A small stretch of turf on Grand Prom in Bedford is home to several innocuous-looking shops including a bonsai specialist, a massage parlour, a few takeaway joints, and a relative newcomer to the restaurant scene, Our Table. I’d been so accustomed to driving by and ignoring this strip opposite the Bedford Bowling Club that it was several months before I twigged to this new kid on the block apparently serving up decent fare.
And so it was with three friends in tow that I arrived on a blustery Saturday night with a bottle of vino under my arm, ready to sample the wares. The menu is largely Italian with several fish and seafood options, various steaks and a range of pastas. Although some of the dishes are familiar, some are refreshingly different. Although the entrees looked appealing, we all decided to go straight for the big girl stuff followed by dessert.
Aside from the regular menu found on the website, one of the daily specials caught my eye. I love chilli mussels, and the Hot Pot sounded like a variation on that. In a rich tomatoey mild chilli sauce sat fresh prawns, the softest strips of calamari I’ve eaten in a long while, half a Morton Bay bug and oodles of plump orange mussels. Two slices of lightly toasted sourdough bread came along for the ride – perfect for dipping into that wonderful slurpy sauce. I was thankful I’d skipped entrees as this mother was a big serve. I managed to finish it too; I couldn’t bear to leave a drop of that beautiful sauce behind.
Chicken and mushroom tortellini was served in a light creamy sauce with baby spinach leaves scattered through, with just enough heat for them to wilt. My friend enjoyed the flavours of this dish but said it could have been warmer. Shame about that as the other elements of the dish worked very well. Everyone loves a piping hot meal, especially in winter. I think this may have sat in the kitchen for a bit, waiting on the other dishes to be ready. This dish was another of the daily specials and was priced around $24, but I forgot to make a note of it. The pasta and gnocchi dishes all ranged from $21 to $26 and all featured home made pasta/gnocchi.
The seafood platter for one was a generous serving featuring a range of grilled and lightly crumbed seafood. Barramundi, prawns, scallops, calamari, a Morton Bay bug and a lone oyster appeared, along with a bowl of warming chilli mussels. Crunchy potato wedges, a side salad and dipping sauces complimented the seafood. For $38.50 this is value for money these days, and could likely be shared between two with a few entrees thrown in. Fresh well cooked seafood sealed the deal, and much as my pal Lindi enthused about her meal, she couldn’t finish it.
Our Table’s version of Surf ‘n Turf – Ocean and Earth – starred a whopping 400gm rib eye steak, half a Morton Bay bug, potato wedges, sautéed mushrooms and creamy garlic sauce. A feast fit for a man, but also a lovely lady with a hankering for meat. The steak was cooked medium as requested, and this dish was given the seal of approval.
We all managed to squeeze in the obligatory desserts, although Our Table’s range is quite small. It was the usual suspects of tiramisu and creme brûlée, along with profiteroles with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce. We all opted for the profiteroles, but while the choux pastries were perfect and the custard light and not too sweet, the sauce was served at room temperature. I thought it an unwritten rule that chocolate sauce when served with profiteroles must be warm. Sadly the chef at Our Table didn’t get that memo, but next time around I’ll know to request that.
This inconspicuous suburban venue serves up decent food at reasonable prices. Add BYO into the mix and you’re on to a winner. By 7.30pm on a Saturday night there wasn’t an empty table in sight, and I suspect there were many tables of returning local diners and a few large family groups. We enjoyed warm and efficient service and all in all, it is a great recipe for a pleasant evening out, minus the inner city traffic and parking woes.