The first thing you notice when pulling into the Flames carpark are the numerous fairy lights twinkling through the palm trees, lending a welcome tropical feel on this miserable, wet night.
Inside, it's lively with both families and couples dining, accompanied with tasteful background music.
We're shown to our table and promptly delivered drinks before perusing the new menu. It was a tough call between the Lamb and Scallops but I decided to sway from my usual style and try the recommended Deconstructed Beef Welly. This is described as thick-sliced scotch over creamed spinach, puff pastry and crispy onions with butternut puree and jus (gravy). The kids went for the Go Fish – Pan-fried fish, served with a fresh salad, and Kids Kai Pad Mit – a traditional northern Thailand-styled stir-fried chicken dish with cashew nuts and fresh vegetables in Flames' own special mild chilli sauce with a side of Thai rice.
While we waited for this, I admired the classy black and white décor, offset by the numerous fairy lights shimmering through sheer curtains in the windows and the water feature trickling in the foyer by the bar.
The fish, despite being batterless, was gobbled up – every last morsel - along with the bowls of fries shared between us and, apart from a few veges remaining, the thai dish went down well.
As for mine, it was an unusual combination, but it worked. The filo pastry, mixed with the flavoursome sauce, melted in the mouth and I would go as far as to say it was top-class. Oh, and if you didn't like spinach before, I think you will after this dish!
For dessert, the kids ordered what must have to be every kid's delight: the Old Fashioned Kiwi Sunday. This consists of scoops of creamy New Zealand vanilla ice cream stacked in soft marshmellows and smothered in a topping of your choice, then topped with a Buzz bar, freshly whipped cream and sprinkles. We also ordered Homemade Apple Crumble, which uses Granny Smith apples with hints of cinnamon, served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a splash of salted caramel sauce.
I ordered the Baklava, which involves cashew nuts, honey and citrus, baked in a filo pastry and served with a special cream raspberry sauce.
I was stoked with my choice and the kids gave me a taste of their apple crumble which was just as good. Needless to say, the bowls were left fairly clean.
I said last time we'd return. We did, and we will again.