Review: Tukka

25 Feb

Puppies and I have had our eyes on Tukka for a little while now. We found it when I visited him in Brisbane, didn’t have a chance to eat there until last night. I have to say it was one of the more exciting meals I’ve eaten in while.
We knew that it was an Australian cuisine restaurant (i.e. kangaroo, emu and crocodile is on the menu with a range of other Australian native fruit and spices). There are very few foods I question the wisdom of eating (brains is the one I can think of of the top of my head). I came across an unexpected one though last night: possum. I can’t think of any good reason not to eat possum, I just thought it wasn’t something done. I supposed it was illegal, like eating horse meat. I’m not sure at all why we can eat Possum, but not horse.

In the end, I didn’t get the possum (Confit of Tasmanian possum with a baby beetroot salad and a liquorice and rhubarb emulsion, pastly because liquorice doesn’t appeal to me and mostly because the “Vanilla cured crocodile with a necterine and strawberry salad and a lemon myrtle dressing” was far more tempting. The “Seared Queensland kangaroo fillet, sweet roasted peach cheeks, boulangerie potatoes and a Davidson plum jus” was tempting for the main, but as I had already decided on the croc + fruit for the entree, I didn’t want to double up on the fruit. Instead I went thing “Seared Marburg emu fillet, baked truffled polenta, braised spring onions served with a red wine butter and horseradish cream”. Puppies had the “Native platter: Our signature selection of native game meats, fruits, nuts, berries, spices with damper and dips all prepared in house by our chefs” for entree and “Crispy skinned sous vide pork belly, caramelised onion and pear puree served with a muntries and baby herb salad” for main. The latter really being an entree, that he got as a main.

By far, my favourite dish of the night was Puppies’ native platter. An assortment of about 5 different fruits, 5 cured native meats along with a  salad, damper, dipping oil and dukka made for an exciting time. Most of the fruits I had never tried (and unfortunately I’ve forgotten the name of). There was definitely some quadong there. Most of the fruits had quite a sharp taste, but each with their own distinct flavour. The meats included emu prosciutto, pepperberry cured crocodile (tasty!), another crocodile (also tasty), some seared kangaroo and I think something else. All but the prosciutto was definitely on the chewy side. The salad was a mixture of rocket, macadamia nut and some other nut. I remember it as being nice, not anything out standing about it. The damper came hot with some macadamia nut oil and dukka. I’m not really a fan of the taste of bicarb that comes with damper. So while it was nice with the additional spices added to it, it wasn’t for me. The dukka was different. Not so nutty compared to others and with a surprising kick of mint.

My own, vanilla cured crocodile was disappointingly not vanilla-ish. The nectarine and strawberry salad was extremely good with the dressing being nice and tart. My main, the emu was much more enjoyable. The red wine butter and horseradish cream came as a disc on top of the emu: within minutes it was melted. I did find the polenta overly salty, but having rarely eaten it I’m not sure if that is typical. Puppies pork belly was nice. For me it was pork well cooked, not something I can get excited about. The salad it came with included muntries which are little green berry like fruits that taste vaguely of apples.

Next it was dessert. We really liked the look of ALL the desserts, but decided not be pigs. For me it was a toss up between the “Profiteroles filled with macadamia liqueur custard with a warm chocolate sauce, double cream and toasted macadamia nuts” and “Spiced stone fruit poached then served with a vanilla cream mousse, violets and a watermelon and native mint granita”. Puppies was choosing between the profiteroles and “Deconstructed finger lime tart served with toasted meringue and lemon myrtle sherbet”. In the end I went with the profiteroles and Puppies with the finger lime tart.

My profiteroles were, well, profiteroles. Definitely filled with macadamia liqueur, more cream than custard. The chocolate sauce was nicely cocoa-y rather than sweet. The deconstructed lime tart was a bowl of lime custard, some biscuits, very tart sherbert and a blob of egg white that was given the blow torch treatment. Each component was nice, but I think I would rather them together in tart form.

The service was very good. When shown to the table, a chair was pulled out for the lady (so I pulled out my own chair). We didn’t wait overly long for any particular course, although we were waiting for water at one stage. The staff were attentive and could answer any questions.

So that was our meal. I realise I sound overly negative here, but I did really really enjoy it. One of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had in a long time.

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