360 Elizabeth St
Any event involving food is a good event in my books! We were booked in at FoodInc. for the yearly Universe (that’s the name of the Christian club on my campus) welcome dinner, and despite having walked past the cafe every morning and afternoon on my way to school, and for the last 2 years, uni, I’ve never actually stepped foot into the cafe. Maybe it’s because cafe portion sizes scare me, maybe it’s because there are so many other places in the city to eat for 20 dollars. Either way, despite the breakfast smells emanating from inside every morning, I’ve always skipped (read: trudged) past it without looking twice. But there was no way that I’m passing up a 3 course meal for 20 dollars. Admittedly, warning bells should’ve been ringing at the fact that a 3 course meal was ONLY 20 dollars, and the fact that they would’ve been catering for over 50 people. But I pushed those thoughts aside, and set out to enjoy dinner with an open mind.
On the night, we got to choose between a few options for each course, and between me and a couple of friends (HI SOPHIA AND MIRANDA!), I got to try most of the things on the menu.
|Baked Avocado with Scallops Mornay|
For the entree, I decided on the baked avocado with scallops mornay. The quality of this dish actually surprised me – there were 4 whole juicy scallops frolicking in a cream sauce, on top of half an avocado, and topped with a chewy layer of cheese. It wasn’t mind-blowingly good or anything, but the ingredients were fairly good, and cheese makes everything nice anyway.
|Goat Cheese and Smoked Salmon Tartlet|
Sophia went with the goat cheese and smoked salmon tartlets. They came out looking as pretty as a picture, but a bite revealed that it was already starting to go cold. Aside from that, the pastry was flaky and buttery, and it was filled with your generic egg filling; the cheese and smoked salmon on top looked nice, but didn’t taste like very much at all. It was a little disappointing, seeing as it looked so good and everything when it came out. The other two options for the entree were the vegetarian risotto, which no one on my table ordered, and the soup of the day, which was potato and bacon, served with a slice of baguette. I didn’t get to try the soup but, from what I heard, it was ‘just ok’, and barely lukewarm.
For mains, I chose the gnocchi avocado. It was probably the best main out of the 3 choices, with soft-enough gnocchi and generous chunks of avocado tossed in a cream sauce with slices of parmesan on top.
|Porterhouse and Garlic Mushroom|
The porterhouse and garlic mushroom went to Sophia, who was really just after the mushrooms. Shame there weren’t much of them, but it was reasonably flavoured with garlic and lemon. The steak was chewy and not very well-rested, and bland – lots of people were reaching for the pepper-grinder. It was served with a generous side of chips, which thankfully were crunchy and fresh.
|Parmagiana with Chips|
I also got to have a taste of the other main – Parmagiana with Chips, thanks to Miranda. The identical shape of each of the parmas on our table immediately told us that they were of the frozen variety, not that we were surprised. There wasn’t much to say about it – it was a standard parma, with your standard cheese and Napoli sauce melted on top. And whilst being difficult to get wrong, it’s also hardly a dish designed to impress, and the version at FoodInc. is no different.
|Chocolate Mousse with Double Cream|
Mmm dessert time! After having some mousse-in-a-cup the day before, I was craving more of it, so naturally I went with the chocolate mousse with double cream. I was fairly impressed with the plating, though less so with what was on the plate. Whilst it all tasted fairly nice, it was clear that it wasn’t made from scratch, and the mousse was more like chocolate cream. The slightly sour strawberry sauce it sat in made a nice contrast to the richness though, and of course, being dessert, I finished it all.
|Lemon Pancakes with Ice Cream|
The other option we had was lemon pancakes with ice cream (there was also a third option of fruit salad with orange ice cream but that’s not REAL dessert), and being international pancake day and all, Sophia just HAD to have the pancakes. The pancakes certainly came out looking the part – silkily folded with crispy edges, and a scoop of ice cream slowly melting on the side. The flavour however, was disappointing. Besides the lemon juice squeezed on top and the ice cream on the side, there was literally no flavour to the pancakes. It was somewhat redeemed by the fact that the pancakes were a very nice texture, chewy yet soft, a halfway between a crepe and a pancake.
Maybe it was just the fact that they were catering to a crowd, maybe it was the fact that it was late, or maybe it’s the fact that we only paid 20 dollars for 3 courses, but I couldn’t help feeling disappointed at the end of the meal. At least it’s another restaurant to cross off my list though.
Rating: 10.5/20 – just ok