The thing is, when you’re new to something, you most likely won’t know how to act. It’s like going for a tea party, drinking tea and raising your little finger because you think it’s part of the etiquette (Don’t do it guys, it’s not).
I was invited to eat at Neon Tiger and was very excited when I got the offer. As it was an offer, I didn’t think to take any friends as I thought it would be taking advantage of their generousity. So of course I was surprised when they asked me if I was alone. I responded in the affirmative but in my head thought “I could have brought a friend? Now I look like a friendless/greedy person”. To be honest though, my friends would not have been able to make it at the time I chose to visit because, jobs.
Anyway, I sit down by the window and the waiter approaches me with a menu. He then goes “We’re looking at a couple of dishes..?” Ahh, emi ro pe mo kan ma je lunch and be going. I didn’t expect that at all. I had just expected to eat something savoury for free, take pictures and share my experience with you guys. It was a very generous offer and something I’d assume seasoned bloggers are used to. I still thought I would just order one dish as it was just me and I wasn’t sure how much I could eat. I made this known to the waiter and then ordered the Smoked Trout Salad and the Neon Tiger Vegetable Juice. The Smoked Trout Salad was to come with beetroot, pickled rhubarb, stracciatella and dukkah, while the veggie juice was a mix of beetroot, carrot, apple and ginger. You could add egg and rye toast to the salad for additional amounts.
When I got the salad, I thought it was small. Maybe they gave me sample sizes so I could eat more? Anyway, if you’re looking for a healthy and yummy dish, order the Smoked Trout Salad. Bruh, it was great. The pickled rhubarb was tangy though, you felt that sting in your throat. The stracciatella was different. My first experience with it was as ice-cream but I enjoyed this savoury version. All the elements in this dish meshed really well (bar the beetroot). I also really liked the cheese. If I had to fault one thing in this salad, it would be the beetroot, which I still enjoyed on its own, and with the cheese. As an aside, if smoked salmon is pricy for you, go the smoked trout way; tasty and less salty.
So, I got a second dish. It was the Thyme Roasted Mushrooms suggested by the waiter. It was to come with whipped ricotta, toasted brioche, savoury granola, rocket and poached eggs. It also had granola which was an appeal for me. I don’t like poached eggs so I asked to swap it with something else. However, the waiter advised not to add anything else as it could mess with the texture of the dish. I assumed he knew better so I accepted that suggestion. That said though, I was going to ask for halloumi.
The Thyme Roasted Mushrooms was a warm dish and smelled really good. See, it came with bread, I like bread, so I may have liked it regardless. The mushroom and ricotta combo was the bomb, I actually preferred that combo to adding the bread to it. The rocket salad made the dish even better. I would have preferred if the brioche wasn’t so dry though. R, my friend, would definitely add sauce to the dish. All in all though, the elements of the dish meshed well.
The vegetable juice was good too, although I would have preferred more ginger.
Generally, Neon Tiger’s customer service is good; both times I’ve visited. The diners are also very diverse; from seniors to younger people.
So was I full afterwards? Wouldn’t you be surprised if I said no?
Neon Tiger Cafe is located at 1252 Malvern Rd, Malvern VIC 3144.