Published on June 22nd, 2011 | by Ultimate OmNoms4
Let’s take a journey back in time!
From the outside of Prohibition, you’d have no idea it was a restaurant, it could probably pass as a gentleman’s club! Discreetly in the shadows, the door to the other world seemed unnoticeable to others walking pass…but when we approached it, a doorman appeared like he had been watching us from inside. ooo.
Hello 1920s Chicago, the time of alcohol prohibition in the States.
Transported into the decadent era of the 1920s complete with red velvet chairs, crystal and brass decor, you can’t help but be impressed at all the little details that went into making the restaurant a memorable experience. The diners all looked contentedly absorbed in their own worlds and the waiters were dressed to the nines.
There’s something about live jazz that instantly hits the nostalgic chord (check out the link above for a snippet) and we had the privilege to be seated right next to the piano and double bass players. It was amazing hearing them decontruct a simple song from The Sound of Music and slowly improvise it into a jazzy swing version until at the end you wouldn’t even recognise it. The beauty of jazz.
Unlike other menus cased in hard leather, Prohibition’s menu was folded up and placed beside a playing card. From the beginning, Prohibition didn’t give off a high class fine-dining atmosphere but it sure is something different from the average dinner out.
Chicken liver with gewurtztraminer jelly and house made oat crackers.
Looked like a afternoon snack – Not a pretty appetizer like Cecilia’s. Nonetheless, the texture of the brulee was like a spread for the crackers. On the surface there was a hard layer that I assume was prepared using a small torch. Beneath was the creamy rich pate, I could eat this all day! Gewurztraminer on the other hand, is actually a type wine grape (I had to look this up), But the jelly tasted nothing like grape – by itself, there was no taste. No idea what the purpose of it was, but it did balance out the chicken!
Mushroom and comte tartlet with garlic and parsley escargots.
I don’t know about my appetizer looking pretty but as soon as I saw it on the menu I knew I had to try it and get over my escarginty. This was the first time a snail had entered my mouth and certainly won’t be the last! It came, the 4 escargots lying at opposite ends of the plate hailing the pyramid in the middle. eek. I couldn’t help but think of the slimey trail that snails leave behind but the texture was surprisingly chewy like seafood. The creamy comte didn’t overwhelm the delicately seasoned escargots. It really left me wanting moaaah!
Rayshurshur’s Main: Bone marrow Black pudding stuffed chicken leg, served with salad.
I always wondered how they could get so much bone marrow into the leg! Knowing me, generally when I have a chicken drumstick – I suck out the bone marrow as well (yes some of you probably think that’s disgusting), and there’s only ever that tiny bit. But this was a huge chunk of bone marrow… wonder how many chickens that marrow came from. The guys at Prohibition definitely know how to cook their chicken. This chicken leg was still moist, tender. Not dry, but I bet it was because they wrapped the chicken leg tightly with the bone marrow and cooked the chicken leg while it was wrapped! Honestly though, I really wonder how many people enjoy having bone marrow like I do. This wasn’t a WOW dish, but definitely something I like!
Cecilia’s Main: Shellfish Pappardelle- mussels, clams + fresh rouille
The reason why I chose this was because seafood is usually the lightest option on the menu. What you can’t see here are the swirls of linguini that lay underneath all the mussels and cockles. I really struggled to finish this main. The soup was delicious, it was tangy and sweet, filled with seafood goodness but it got to the point where we stayed sitting for so long that we were politely asked to go to the lounge area for dessert!
Panacotta with raspberry sorbet.
The dessert menu wasn’t that extensive and we came back to an old favourite. The overload of textures with the crisp biscuits, gentle meringue and icy sorbet together with the panacotta was extravagant and melodramatic- just like the restaurant.
I wouldn’t say the food is better than other fine dining or contemporary dining restaurants; but when there’s live jazz music, dressed up waiters and waitresses, who cares! The atmosphere is what this restaurant’s all about.
108 Ponsonby Road
(09) 361 5858