Seven Lanterns is a modern Korean/Japanese restaurant which had won one hat in the 2013 Gault et Millau guide. It is a cosy restaurant which puts emphasis on the quality of the produce and flavours. We were seated upstairs, where the atmosphere was a lot more tamed than the party happening downstairs. The menu offered quite a range of tasty selections, so we opted for the 7 course degustation menu to sample a range of different things ($55 per person).
David has a good sense of humour. I really enjoyed his 'My name is Ryan and I'm an alcoholic' sake sangria. It was fruity, and light.
First up was the beef tataki; fresh vegetable strips wrapped with seared and sliced succulent beef carpaccio drizzled in nash pear and soy-ginger reduction. This dish packed a punch of flavours, yet they all complimented each other really well.
Next up was the wasabi scallop; lightly grilled Hokkaido Monbetsu scallop on bearnaise inspired wasabi. I loved this dish. The scallop was grilled to perfection, and paired well with the very subtle wasabi paste.
Our next dish was the Hu Yao Pork; which offered crispy skin succulent pork belly with lemon apple and honey infused sour sauce to be devoured with cold daikon slice. You know you have good pork belly when the crunch is real with the moist fatty innards of pork dancing on your tongue.
Tom Yum Salmon; chef hand-filleted premium atlantic salmon teppan grilled on olive oil drizzled with mildly spicy and tangy thick sauce. The fish was perfectly cooked and came apart easily. The sauce on top was quite interesting as it is not something I'd pair up with salmon. Nonetheless, it added dimensions of flavours with its tangy spiciness.
Then came the Emperor's Prawn; teppan grilled large king prawn in an open shell layered with 'Lantern' sauce flame-torch grilled til the melted sauce on top burns down. This was my favourite dish of the night! I loved the oozy, melty sauce that tasted had that perfect little charred taste to accompany the fat juicy prawn.
This was one of the two mains that were available at the time; the angus beef. The black angus steak was complimented with honey roasted soy sauce and an assortment of vegetables, served with rice and pickled ginger. The beef pieces were already sliced up and very soft and tender. It was alright - tasted a bit like bo luc lac - vietnamese style.
The other option was the Imperial Beef Rib; beef short rib marinated overnight in chunky garlic, sesame and shallot slow cooked for hours in soy reduction and carmelised onion sweetened sauce - served with rice. The succulent meat was able to part from the bone easily, to avoid messy hands. It offered a multitude of flavours in that one bite, delicious!
To top off our night, we were able to have a 'dnm' session with David and clink wine glasses with him as he flew from table to table to socialise with his guests. It was the weekend when we went, so he was a bit tipsy and shared a few trade secrets of his with us. Maybe you'll catch him on one of those days - he is a very, very funny fella.
Drinks on the house, wooo!
Dessert options were limited to two choices, one of which being the chocolate mousse cake with belgium chocolates and a white chocolate sauce. The chocolate mousse was quite light and airy. It would be a chocolate-lover's best temptation for the night.
And the other being the sticky date pudding; drenched in a melting caramel sauce with classic vanilla icecream. I thought that this would be a heavy dessert, but it was quite light. It was also served with a generous side of icecream. Anything with caramel in it is a winner in my eyes.
I would definitely recommend Seven Lanterns to anyone. The service here is amazing with attentive wait staff and a very awesome owner. It is a restaurant that really speaks for itself in terms of flavour and decor. Fantastic food. Hope to go there again, soon.
14 Princes Hwy, Sylvania