Came across this name whilst doing my daily (almost) perfunctory scrolling through a food blog the other day. Roundhouse. Like Roadhouse but not quite. More…Round. Someone laud my honest jokes, please. Anyways, it’s a little Italian place started up by this local DJ, taking over the area in Turf Club where Picotin, another pizzeria-like restaurant-cum-bar, used to stand. Perfect ambience, with this lovely outdoor area, and we sat at a table with high chairs (who doesn’t love high chairs?!) They serve lots of meat, seafood, and most importantly, most characteristically, pizza. I went in with a bold stomach.
My dad’s smoked duck salad starter was a refreshing start, though it was odd how they also added things like blueberries and strawberries. I wasn’t complaining since I’m a fan of the odd combination, and the cold smoked duck still managed to take centre stage. The fatty outer edges were the highlight, of course.
Seafood Bouillabaisse. Welcome to mussel, prawn, and fish fragments land. Coupled with a few bits of rather soggy buttered toast and a hollandaise-like dip which did little in complementing the toast. Appealing grilled marks though. These things make me jealous of the behind-the-scenes machinery. Grill marks are to me simply the epitome of grandiose home cooking. I think I need a grill pan soon. Just to be pretentious with my morning toast, you know. We dipped it in the surprisingly delicious bouillabaisse sauce instead. The dish was ho-hum, predictable, nothing flabbergasting.
Good news. You get to customise your pizza. 2 flavours. One pan. Bring it. We chose half to be vegetarian, with olives, capsicum and mushrooms, and the other to be capoeira, a combination of 4 cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola and cheddar). The flavours exploded on the emaciated crust, which was lovely albeit the fragile base. A stronger support would be nice. And I may extrapolate this in real life. My life. Actually.
Grilled king prawns with pineapple salsa/ whole sea bass with orange barley risotto/ angus rib-eye (280g)
Salt, salt, salt. I cracked open my first prawn, fingers stuck in, nicely gooed and oiled (I made up that first word). I chewed at the head, limbs and all, but boom. My mouth throbbed with the taste of the sea, but not in a pleasant way. Tragic, it was. Fresh, elegant prawns with lashings of sodium. I had to pick at my mum’s grilled vegetables to lighten the heavy lashings on my tongue. Taking a bite of the sea bass further dimmed my hopes. Lacklustre, bland, banal, trite. A severe lack of balance in flavour, though the sear and cook on the outside was laudable. Oh, so sad. For the first time, I wasn’t eager to get down and dirty with a fish head. Almost good enough to compensate for the poorly inside. My dad had the rib-eye, but also said it was nothing to shout about.
Outrageously dense vanilla gelato to combat the salt-rimmed roof of my mouth. Thick, sweet, speckled.
On the whole, not as impressive as I hoped, but look, I lived to tell the tale. Considering the fact that this place is relatively new, perhaps some things will change for the better in the near future. The ambiance and energy more than made up for some serious culinary flaws.
Roundhouse Pizza Bar and Grill
100 Turf Club Road