Possums on Burnside: looks can be deceiving ~ Lia Marus
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Possums on Burnside: looks can be deceiving

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We had heard a lot about Possums on Burnside – the new restaurant that was taking over the premises of Burnside, a restaurant on Burnside Avenue in the heart of Craighall  Park and right next  to the Valley  Centre. After having completed the 5km course of Walk the Talk on Sunday, my husband and I decided that we deserved a bite to eat. Feeling adventurous,  we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant’s ambience is quite delightful, reminding one of a French Bistro somewhere in Provence with its  beautiful  gardens and stonework.

As soon as we sat down, my husband and I were given a carafe of normal water with lemon, rosemary and mint added. We ordered a bottle of Sophie Terblanche sauvignon blanc to drink. This set us back about R160  – and it was one of the more reasonable wines on the menu.

To start  we  ordered a garlic and rosemary foccacia. It wasn’t  bad but nothing to write home about.

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We both had starters as our mains. The pork salad tickled my fancy so I decided on this based on the interesting combination of flavours and textures. I was really  disappointed with my choice. The strips of pork  belly resembled pork biltong and tasted burnt. The rest of the salad consisted of a mere handful of ingredients – definitely not enough to satisfy one’s appetite.

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My husband ordered the chicken and avo salad. When I asked him how his food was, he merely  shrugged his shoulders and said that is was “ok”.

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Undeterred – and still ravenous – we ploughed onto dessert.

My husband ordered what has partially saved this restaurant in my eyes – a dark chocolate tart which is smooth and melts in your mouth. The vanilla ice cream that they served with it was definitely home made – in my opinion, there’s nothing nicer. Definite dessert order envy on my part!

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I ordered Possums’ take on the Italian classic, pane forte. (This is literally translated  as ‘strong bread’.) The traditional delicacy is supposed to be the thickness of your index finger, making it delicate to eat. This chef’s take on the classic was the height of what you would expect  a slice of carrot cake to be and it was topped with poached pears as well as icing sugar. It was served with an equally sweet creme anglaise of sorts. I have a sweet tooth with the the best of them but this dessert defeated me.

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We finished off with a double espresso and cappuccino.

The definite low point for me was the bill – R600 including tip.  (The wait staff had been so good that we wanted to give them their well-deserved 10%, eventhough we had not enjoyed the food.)

Personally,  this is not a restaurant that I will be going back to. They would have to try very hard to convince me otherwise…

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