"I've got a coupon", I say, sounding like an old Mrs Glickman from Florida.
The main room of the pub is packed. It's vibey and fun, however, we are shown to the restaurant, which has the atmosphere of a morgue. It's empty, save for one couple, and it's ve-wy, ve-wy quiet, even though nobody is hunting rabbits... We want to escape back out to the fun room, the fun room with potential husbands for Tracey, and eye candy for Daryl... But we can't, so instead settle for a round of giggles... This set the tone for the entire night. Hold onto your sides, people.
We are presented with this darling little amuse-bouche of Ceviche King Fish, with horseradish ice-cream and a chilli and lime dressing. Firstly, I love restaurants that hand out the amuse-bouches, because my bouche loves to be amused. The textures are sublime and the ice-cream is a stunning twist. This morsel has set the bar high. I am looking forward to what is to come.
Entrée: I have an oyster, yes, just one. It comes with a sake and lime vinaigrette. It is fresh and delicious. I want about a dozen more.
Daryl has the Hay Smoked Duck Breast with raspberry, squid ink and salsify. I try a morsel (yes, I'm back on the duck train after my duck derailment disaster). It is amazing. The raspberry brings a gorgeous sweet yet tart flavour and works well with the fattiness of the duck. The squid ink fascinates me so much. It is so thick and black and astounds me that it's not poisonous.
Tracy has Yabbies and Seared Scallops with pea, pancetta and apple and bacon jelly. The jelly is a highlight. She loves it. I'm impressed how beautiful the presentation of everything is so far; it's very detailed and precise.
For my main, I have the Riverina Milk Fed Lamb. It's a roasted rump with rosemary, caramelised asparagus, picked vegetables and buttermilk. The lamb is juicy and full of flavour, its opulent pink hue a delight to look upon. The pickled vegetables add a lovely piquancy to the dish and are visually gorgeous, reminding me of a quaint country garden about to be invaded by Peter Rabbit.
I pair this with a glass of Casa Freschi 'Ragazzi" Nebbiolo. It is mid-crimson in colour and doesn't overpower the lamb with its fine, cleansing tannins and aromatic berry perfume. A perfect choice.
Tracey has the special of Wagyu Ribs Off the Bone, with bone marrow, spanner crab and baby leek. It melts in your mouth. It is rich. Too rich for me. One mouthful and I'm done. She struggles to get through.
Daryl has the Murray Cod with prawns, heirloom carrots and champagne gel. A lot of the herbs and vegetables come from the little garden at the back of the pub. We can see it through the window. I like this. I like restaurants that use produce they grow themselves. That whole self-sufficient and sustainable vibe really appeals to me. Oh to have a little farm one day. The Handsome and Witty Gentleman isn't that excited by the idea of a farm, but perhaps I can convince him otherwise... It'll be so nice, Schmoops, we can have a big vegetable garden, and some olive trees, and I can make cheese, and we can have chickens and lots of cute animals to play with and hug, maybe even a mini pig... Yes?! Please?
It is at this point the evening turns into hysteria, as Daryl recounts his childhood tale of The Tillwalls, a 5 piece electronic keyboard band he was once in with his family and close family friends... They played Christmas carols for nursing homes. Tears are rolling down his face, and Tracey and I are laughing, out loud and then it turns into that silent uber laughter where it's mostly just shoulders. Priceless.
Dessert! I have the soufflé. Of course I do. For those who don't know, if it is on the menu, I have to get it. It's passionfruit with a lime and coriander sorbet. The soufflé is fluffy and light and oh so high as you can see, and the savoury sorbet is utterly amazing with the tart passionfruit. There is a smattering of popping candy on the sorbet which creates a little extra excitement, but this dessert is very exciting. One of the best desserts I have had. Outstanding!
Former Tillwall member and Tracey share the desert plate: banana brûlée, Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey ice-cream and textures of chocolate. All of it is superbly crafted and delicious.
The food here at 3 Weeds has been absolutely wonderful. Nothing was a disappointment and each plate had so much thought and detail put into it. The only disappointment was that compared to the pumping pub room outside, which we can see through the windows and the door, the atmosphere in the restaurant is just a little staid and lacklustre.