"Well, I dare you to try it." These were the words from my waiter friend at the Fitz. We'd had an innocent conversation about brioche, but things had turned nasty. I was being asked to put my tastebuds where my mouth is, to coin a phrase.
I took the dare.
"You'll like it!" This, after my first mention of my dislike. "What have you got against brioche?" Nothing, except that as a sweet bread it's not suited to full-on savoury dishes. "I dare you to try it."
Dares are my Achilles heel. Soon I found myself with the offending menu item on my plate. My dining companion was looking on in amusement.
The Fitz is a Brunswick Street standard, one of those places that's been there for so long it's become a handy landmark. Its longevity is well-deserved. The staff are always friendly, the food is always good, and the chef is careful to add new and interesting items to the menu at just the right time. In fact, the Brioche Saga is the first time I've ever vocally disapproved, and of course my waiter friend couldn't let me get away with it.
The first bite: an unexpected crunch. The good kind. A burst of porky flavour on the tastebuds from the perfectly prepared pork. The brioche hung on to the end of the flavour trail, its sweet notes blending in with the barbecue.
Second bite. Now the subtlety of the pork was giving way to the delightful tang of the coleslaw, presumably the Fitz chef's own creation. Just the right mix of crunchy cabbage and toothsome carrot and something else. The third bite resolved this – little pieces of cornichon burst with salty high notes in my mouth. The brioche receded further into the background.