Times where one has reason to celebrate can be - though shouldn't be - fraught with danger in planning. Take weddings for example: so much to do and so much that could go wrong that it's no wonder bridezillas are a common species these days. There's pressure and expectation when all one really wants to do is enjoy and make merry of a moment.
My merry moments tend to be subsequently followed by drinks and food - in whichever order - and this night is no different, although perhaps more on a budget. Baroque is chosen on a whim and reserved with no problem on an early Friday evening. Apparently bistro, bar and patisserie, it's a lovely spacious area with loads of outdoor seating and a rather romantic feel to it.
We're started on a bowl full of crisply shielded fluffy white insides of baguette slices, served intitally with olive oil and oddly for a French establishment, not butter. The lovely bread is scoffed nonetheless and subsequent meal choices are made.
The charcuterie plate, or board rather, looks an appetising start; although we begin not knowing what the components actually were. We discover that the slabs are both pork: a pistachio-dotted terrine and a pate. I generally prefer terrines as the chunky texture is more to my liking than what I call the 'grainy mush' mouthfeel of pate and all things liver.
This terrine is lively with flavour, enhanced by the accompanying dark chutney. The pate is definitively porky while retaining the texture and taste of its like. The peppercorn speckled salami prevails as my favourite, although its almost opaque thinness leaves the chewer wanting.
After several too many chunky slices of baguette, my fish main seemed a very smart option. The dish appears exactly as described by the menu - I think I was both surprised and a little disappointed. I'm initially drawn to the bisque; its deep yellow hue preparing the diner for a giant hit of sea saltiness. It's divine and high in the flavour stakes, making a little more sense of the rather plain boiled potatoes.
In fact, the bisque is so flavoursome that it completely overwhelms the ocean trout, which is cooked through with an almost-crispy skin. The only thing to appreciate in the trout fillet becomes the texture, which three bones later, I don't appreciate a great deal.
At first glance there appears to be an ungodly layer of fat between the skin and flesh of the duck breast. On second and third glances, it really is there - not rendered out at all and quite unappetising to sight. I don't know what method of cooking was used here but I'm just mighty glad this plate wasn't in front of me - no amount of perfectly cooked pink breast meat would get me to eat that fat.
On the other hand, the super-fat duck made for a super-big leg, which was fortunately not as lipid-full as the breast - confit perhaps. While duck and orange are not strange bedfellows, the tart beetroot pieces appeared a little lost on the plate, as plentiful as they were.
Stuffed within an inch of my baguette, dessert is forgone for a walk around The Rocks, where the night markets are still quietly buzzing aside the rambunctious Lowenbrau Keller. While dinner wasn't the main celebration, pleasant times around and about Baroque made merry of the night.