The Collection is one of my most favourite cocktail/tapas joints. Usually on a Friday or Saturday night (I can’t remember which night or both) the place would be packed out and there would be literally no breathing space. Forget finding a table for your drinks. People spill outside blocking the footpath.
To be honest, I haven’t been to The Collection in a while, perhaps a year since moving to the other side of the city.
So on this night, I was hugely looking forward to a big share tapas plate and nice cocktail. Can you see where I am going with this??
I was devastated to learn that The Collection have changed their menu. NO MORE TAPAS! There was a South American type menu list with New Orleans inspired dishes. I kept frantically looking over the menu, back and front hoping tapas would still be there. (You know that feeling when you are looking forward to a particular type of food ALL day?)
Anyway, my friends reconciled me and encouraged me to order something off the menu. “There is still tapas type dishes” They said. “Not the same” I replied grumpily.
I ordered a drink to start, (Remember cocktails are $10 between Happy Hour 4 until 7)
from Erick Castro, travelling bartender
House strawberry infused Bulleit Bourbon, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and Angostura Bitters, shaken and strained over ice then topped with ginger beer
THIS DISH WAS DELICIOUS! Jumbo tiger prawns cooked in a rich, tomato based creole vegetable sauce. The sauce was unique, like nothing I had ever tasted before. Of course, it was tomato based but it was unique and interested. The prawns were tender and juicy.
My two friends ordered the dishes below:
Shrimp & Crocodile baked in smoked ghouda and cream cheese on a parmesan breadcrumb crust with creole cream cheese sauce.
When Eva ordered the cheesecake, I snickered and thought ‘pffft, what kind of main meal involves cheesecake?’ BUT I’m happy to eat my words up because the dish was delicious! The shrimp and crocodile was so delicately based into the cheesecake and had a fantastic texture and taste. It was savory too, (I thought cheesecake = sweet).
New Orleans stew served with Chicken and Chaurice served over rice
When Tim ordered the gumbo, again I snickered and thought (gumbo was some peasant type stew that wouldn’t be nice at all). Again, I was mistaken because it was also delicious!
Wow – this dining experienced tuned out really well! Despite my first disappointment about missing out on tapas.
The Collection had a silent black and white film on in the background, I think Charlie Chapman was playing. Wait staff were very friendly, helpful and nice, I left a generous tip. I have always loved the decor of The Collection. It used to be decorated in RED with a bright red sign out the front, however this has all changed to white.