Stonegrill at Basalt....
I haven't had a Stonegrilled meal for years - not intentionally - completely un-intentionally - in fact based on my experience on Tuesday evening - I had left it too far long. I remember the novelty but I did not remember the flavour - I had forgotten the flavour, the real flavour that this kind of grilling really, brings out....
I took up the opportunity of an invitation to come along to Basalt to celebrate Stonegrills' 20 years - after all, that number of years on the New Zealand restaurant scene was bound to include bubbly……
The beef was sensational - although initially I attributed it to the fact that they were using Wakanui beef - and really 'good' cuts of Wakanui beef - so, the beef was the hero showing off the stonegrill, - making it look good, but then I tasted the chicken, and then a prawn, and slowly became convinced that it was no longer the beef doing the work, - it was the stonegrill, making these all taste sensational, and bringing out the best in each of these cuts..
No oil, but a little sprinkle of salt on the stone and then a gorgeous 'sear' as the meat hits the stone, immediately followed by the tantalising waft of "grill" - there is no other word that quite encapsulates the that moment, because that moment you are instantaniously 'hungry’.
The idea is to slice the meat and 'cook' each piece individually - each mouthful - is then 'perfection' - hot, juicy, cooked to the exact moment that you prefer - in the mean-time your actual piece of meat, has sealed and cooks no further, so you are not left with the end of you meal being a dry over-cooked piece of steak or chicken -- every single mouthful is perfect!!
What really appeals to me intensely is that you can see 'exactly' how fresh your cut of meat is - there is no hiding it with marinades and sauces - it is all beautifully fresh!
Although this story is probably a vegans worst nightmare - the stone grill does a beautiful job with vegetables - a really wonderful chargrill BBQ flavour there too, but anyone following a Paleo or a gluten free diet - YOU are going to have a great meal here, without requiring a 'special' menu!! this is what they do!!! I can't say the same for dessert though.
and there wasn't really room for dessert so we shared......!!!!!
Just to clarify things with this sensational dessert - Wendy has been defending herself on twitter after being snapped with the sharing platter and just herself with a solitary spoon - she is correct - her husband and I ordered it during a moment of her absence (the social butterfly that she is) and we did all assist - well really - who wouldn't help out with just a little taste....!!!