An outstanding dining experience. Just awesome.
What better way to start the new blog than with a post about best dining experience we’ve had (so far, of course).
The food was awesome, but also the service, the grandeur of the converted ballroom, the muted ambience – it all contributed, as it should.
Vy, the maitre’d (who can be seen in the first image above), was fantastic to deal with, although it’s strange to hear an outrageous French accent (cue Monty Python coming from a clearly Vietnamese guy! it just adds to the evening, really
As usual, we were there on a voucher. They must have sold a few, because when we rang a while ago to make a booking, we were told they’d extended it by a few months to avoid rushing people through, so they got a big tick for being sensible.
Anyway, no issues with making the booking. On getting there you head up the sweeping staircase, and find yourself in the enormous former ballroom, with seriously high ceilings. I’d love to do a photoshoot in there one day with a model in vintage gear, it would be awesome…
But, back to the review. The menu is somewhat strangely organised:
- On the side
- To finish
- Feed me
(They also have a PDF of the menu on the site, but it’s way out of date and they should just remove it. I can’t stand it when places leave old stuff up…)
We started with bread (pretty ordinary bread stick, but Cha says it was very nice, mostly because it was white bread, and she’s racist when it comes to bread with an artichoke dip, which Cha LOVED, as she loves artichokes.
After a chat with Vy, we decided on:
Cha – Potato salad with smoked eel, preserved celery & truffle mayonnaise. (V*) ($8.50/17.00) *Can be served without eel.
Very nice, and the eel was very smoky.
Mic – Air-dried Wagyū, poached duck egg, truffle, almond foam. ($21.00) it was great, even the egg, which I don’t usually much like, but the flavour and consistency was terrific.
I’m not a fan of truffles, probably because we had some truffle oil once at Provenance in Collingwood that was insanely overpowering and kinda put me off it, so when Vy came back to collect the entrée dishes, he asked how it was and then said he’d told the chef that I wasn’t a real fan of truffles so they’d toned it down a bit. It was excellent, so they got it right.
Then it was time for the mains, but Vy reappeared and told us that it was taking a while for the chef to get it going, so would we like these couple of complementary entrees?
Tuna Tataki, pickled beetroot, radish, Japanese inspired spice. ($18.00)
Well, I’ve got to tell you, I’m not much for fish, and less for raw fish! But these were excellent, and it really surprised me that I liked it. (I’d NEVER have ordered it, not no way.) Mind you, anything with Wasabi is going to win me over, pretty much…)
Then it was really time for the mains.
Cha: Wagyū rump, garlic roasted parsnip. ($36.00)
Mic: Lamb saddle, eggplant with orange, yoghurt, curry jus. ($36.00)
Both the mains were fantastic. Awesome flavour combinations, that really deserved to be savoured. And they were.
Then the dessert. Oh man. I’m not actually a huge one for dessert (usually), and we’d ummed-and-ahhed a bit, so Vy suggested the tasting plate to share (which is something we quite like doing anyway).
What an inspired piece of advice. What an awesome dessert. Far out.
Here’s what we had (from the top in the first image below):
Maman’s chocolate madeleines, choc sorbet, salted caramel, chocolate sauce.
Butterscotch pannacotta, spiced dates, grapefruit.
Slow cooked apple, rhubarb crumble, Black Russian caravan ice cream.
Poached mandarin, liquorice entremet.
Blue cheese terrine, dried pear. (Honey sauce)
This review is already too long, so I’ll just say it was all awesome (even the creamy blue cheese if you only had a little), but I most loved either the Poached Mandarin with the awesome liquorice, or the salted caramel.
Summary: it was utterly awesome, we will be back.