Nearly four months have passed since Jorg opened its doors and after our slightly disappointing visit in week one, we headed back to see how they’ve progressed.
And it was excellent, thank God!
We dined with friends and decided to do what Jorg suggests: share. So three out of four of us shared some starters. We each opened the night with a Hervey Bay scallop on a white bean puree and sprinkled with a chorizo and cauliflower polonaise; a crunchy flavoursome crumble to provide some texture to the tender scallop.
This was followed with what I guess is becoming Jorg’s signature dish: hot and sour chicken ribs, plus the terrine du jour and the potted meat with crisp bread. Firstly, the chicken. If there was a Colonel Sanders-esque bucket option for these morsels, we would have gladly taken it. They are addictive and I baulked at proper dining protocol to sip the remaining dipping sauce. Yes, I know that sounds disgusting but it was bloody delicious, so get over it.
The terrine of the day was duck and it was OK, nothing remarkable. The better of the two charcuterie items was the potted meat which on the night was pork rillettes; tender and lightly bound with pork fat. Delicious artery-cloying goodness! My partner opted for the double baked zucchini and gruyere soufflé, which seemed to hit the mark.
The negative on the night was the timing of the starters. Our scallops came out first, closely followed by my partner’s soufflé. Then there was a 10 minute gap until our shared entrées arrived. Lucky there were enough chicken ribs to share.
For mains, two of us were in pig heaven ordering the suckling pig with puy lentils, kipfler potatoes and kaiserfleisch. We weren’t expecting a ‘wet’ dish, but it was a pleasant surprise; a generous block of crispy-skinned meat atop lentils in a light broth with a fine brunoise of carrot and celery and some crisp discs of potato and smoked pork belly.
The ‘grain fed bœuf rôtis, soft polenta, charred asparagus’ was a slow roasted (at 60 degrees for 12 or so hours) beef fillet, which was meltingly tender and still pink – a winner. The other dish sampled was another of the starter dishes on offer; char grilled baby squid, braised ox-cheek and gremolata. Small in stature, but a giant in flavour. You’d be hard pressed to get through a main course sized version if it was on offer.
We also ordered a side of potatoes with mojo sauce and it seems Jorg are listening to their customers. The accompanying sauce is now presented in a small jug so the potatoes remain crispy.
For dessert, the vanilla bean panna cotta, blood orange and Campari jelly, meringue and biscotti was light and the bitter jelly perfectly offset the sweet, rich panna cotta. I can’t recall seeing any biscotti element and although the meringue provided some texture, if it wasn’t there, it would have been OK also.
The selection of biscotti and sweets was a generous plate of sweet treats: homemade honeycomb and bite-sized macarons, chocolate tarts and so on. More than enough for one person and an excellent option of petit-fours if you and your date wanted to forego the proper dessert option and finish on a coffee with something small and sweet to go with it.
Other than the timing issue with our starters, the service we received was attentive, even with the place at around 80% capacity (it was busy, which was great to see) and we walked away more than content and only around $100 each out of pocket, which was very pleasing given that three of us started with a couple of beers each and we shared a $75 bottle of Shiraz and a $55 bottle of Tasmanian Ice Riesling over dessert.
Jorg has definitely found its niche; an affordable night with well executed dishes made for sharing over good company and excellent wine in a comfortable atmosphere. And it’s just around the corner!