Sunday, 18 March 2012

Louisiana Cajun in Melb

What: My Mexican Cousin
Where: Corner of Sturt St & Southbank Boulevard, Southbank, Melbourne

First thing you must know before going here is that it is not Mexican food. It is Louisiana style Cajun food – i.e. inspired by the USA southern traditions and flavor palate.
  • Delas Cotes du Rhone, "Saint Esprit" Rouge ('09' Northern Rhone, FRA)
  • Crispy fried chicken wings w/ coriander and blue cheese (I was glad the coriander was just a garnish - since I think it is out of place with this dish. However, the chicken was fried just right, and spiced to Cajun perfection)
  • Season yourself soft shell crab w/ aioli, watermelon, chili, ginger and mint salsa (I loved the crab, and the Cajun salt to self season was great, wonderfully complemented by the salsa. The presentation of the dish in a shell was clever, but the aioli was nonexistent - only a bit in the salsa the chef said, but honestly I did not notice it - but not needed anyways).
  • The "po boy" - with the flavour of the day for us being was chicken gravy (not really Louisiana inspired - and I would know my family is from the deep south - but very good. The reason I say this is because a real po boy is not on a crispy baguette).
  • Beef ribs with red cabbage slaw, jus and cress (dry roasted beef ribs, which fell of the bone - very tender and juicy - delicious and with a seasoned dry rub - very yummy)
  • Pecan pie cream brulee with banana compote and sable (really three desserts: a sable, compote and brulee - but the brulee was amazing, with dollops of pecan paste in it - superb)
  • Beignets, with salted caramel, Chantilly cream and strawberries (how could I ever pass by salted caramel on a menu- especially when you have Beignets to dip in it (Beignets are like a cinnamon donut from the Deep South - French origin originally though), however these were not a classic New Orleans beignet, but very tasty regardless).

The whole meal was fantastic (great atmosphere, food and service), but definitely a shock if you were expecting Mexican food. While not 100% true to Louisiana style Cajun food – a very nice adaptation.

However – one small thing – if you are going to have Beignets, and call yourself a Louisiana style restaurant, you really need to have been to CafĂ© du Monde, the home of New Orleans Beignets (located in the French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA).


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