Our hosts at Lurline House in Katoomba spent some time introducing us to the area, providing guidance on local sightseeing and dining options. One of their top recommendations for a good dinner was Pins on Lurline, conveniently located only a few doors down the road.
When I looked up their website, I was a little bit hesitant to visit for a meal as it sounded like the restaurant didn’t quite know what their niche was. Judge for yourself:
Run by owners – Japanese Wife/Scottish husband, the food is an eclectic menu of Italian pastas, rice dishes and Japanese noodles, with a few contemporary Australian dishes thrown in for good measure.
Italian, Japanese and Australian fusion? I’m all for diversifying and bringing two seemingly diverse cuisines together and creating a new menu of taste explosion, but surely one has to draw the line somewhere? Wrong!
I’m glad I quieted that dissenting voice in my head though, as K and I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal at Pins, and were really looked after by our waiter on the night.
Avocado cured ocean trout sushi salad with a wasabi yoghurt dressing, $13
We shared an entree to start – a fresh sushi salad with a healthy dose of avocado and trout. I’m not normally a fan of wasabi as I find the taste quite overpowering without the tingling delight of a proper chilli sauce, however, the wasabi in the yoghurt salad dressing was quite subtle and actually quite enjoyable. Perhaps I need to experiment with more subtle uses of wasabi in future dishes?
Tsukimi noodle soup with chicken, shallots and poached egg, $17 main
K ordered a udon noodle soup for his main, and enjoyed his choice. I tried some of the soup, and found it light, flavourful and refreshing, with just the slightest lingering tang at the end. The udon noodles had a great texture as well, and were the real highlight of the dish. The restaurant reportedly make a fresh batch of noodles everyday as their specialty, so it’s well worth trying the noodles if you end up visiting.
Healthy Asian risotto with Japanese mushrooms, miso, bean curd and wakame seaweed, $17
I was determined to try the most eclectic fusion dish I could find on the menu, and a Japanese interpretation of a traditional Italian risotto fit the bill best. While I enjoyed the dish, I did find the blend of textures and flavours quite strange – if not for the risotto, the vegetables and stock would have made an ideal Asian style soup. At the same time, if not for the tofu and Japanese mushrooms, the arborio rice would have made a fantastic Italian risotto. Perhaps I’m close-minded, but I think I would need to experiment with this particular blend of ingredients and flavours in my own kitchen until I found a blend that makes sense to my palate.
White chocolate creme brulee infused with lime and fresh ginger, served with home-made honeycomb ice-cream, $12
When K saw this on the dessert menu, he left the restaurant and ran up the street to our B&B so that he could grab his Lacteeze tablets, which allow him to consume dairy products despite his general intolerance to lactose. His all-time favourite sweet dish is creme brulee, and this modified version with hints of lime threw him into an ecstasy of amazing desserts. I have to give points to this dish as well, as both the creme brulee and ice-cream were smooth, creamy, and delicious.
Bombe Alaska – Home-made nougat ice-cream on macaroon base topped with baked Italian meringue, orange caramel and thick cream, $12
Just as K finds it hard to look past creme brulee, I can rarely walk past a good meringue without drooling slightly. This baked meringue was perfectly proportioned, and beautifully presented with the flavoursome nougat ice-cream that went incredibly well with the orange caramel. My hat comes off to the chef for creating a dessert that’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate.
Overall, I rate Pins on Lurline an 8 out of 10. They have a very unique menu, and can offer a dining experience that can be hard to find in Katoomba. Do book ahead if you get a chance, as they can get quite busy – we went on a Tuesday night, and the restaurant was still packed full.