Sunday, October 19, 2008

Persimmon - Melbourne - NGV

Name: Persimmon at the National Gallery of Victoria

Address: Ground Level, NGV
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Call NGV and follow prompts - 8620 2222

Food: ModOz
Average price: Entree - $14, Main - $24, Dessert - $12.
Complimentary: Two poppy & sesame seed rolls, small stick of butter, sea salt and black pepper.

We ordered:
Drinks: Lemon, Lime & Bitters - $3.

This came in a tall glass with a slice of lemon and plenty of ice. It was perfectly balanced.

Entrees: Veloute of butternut pumpkin, ricotta gnocchi - $11.

This was served in a glass with just the ricotta gnocchi and the soup in a separate carafe which the waitress poured into the glass. The soup was very light and almost fluffy. The pumpkin was quite sweet, I was however disappointed in the ricotta gnocchi which was cold and just like small lumps of bland ricotta.

Carpacio of aged beef, egg yolk curd, chilli, horseradish - $15.

Ryan enjoyed this apart from the horseradish, which he didn't realise as he didn't know the word for it.

Mains: Chilled olive oil salmon, cucumber, aloe vera, sour cream - $21.
The presentation of this was gorgeous. It looked like ancient Greek ruins surrounded by a wild garden - abstractly of course. The salmon had a gorgeous almost raw texture, although I couldn't taste olive oil. The cucumber squares offered bursts of saltiness against a cool firm texture whilst the sour cream gave a much needed sour creaminess (I need to expand my vocabulary, I know) that helped to stick everything together on the fork. I think the green liquid spirals were aloe vera as they were quite watery and didn't have a lot of taste. There were also these small green paste-like substances on the plate which were really sweet and added a great dimension to the plate. The leaves, spring onions and radishes (?) added crunch and a slight pepperyness. Overall the dish was interesting as all of the components were cold and slippery, but offered different textures and flavours.

350g rib eye, pont neuf, red wine grain mustard butter - $30.
Ryan enjoyed this, I however found the potato chips a little stale and dry. I also found the undressed salad (watercress?) was wilted and did not add anything to the dish.

Dessert: A bowl of black forest, chocolate, cherries - $13.

This came deconstructed with beautiful plump juicy cherries perhaps soaked in a liquor (got a burst of alcohol in one spoon but not any others), and a cherry/raspberry? sorbet which was unusual but helped to cleanse and cut through the deep chocolate cake pieces that were pure cocoa. The milk chocolate mousse in the center was luscious and velvety whilst the chocolate twills, although adding minimal flavour, enhanced the presentation of the dish. Really satisfying and delicious take on the flavours of the Black Forest cake.

Cost: $93 - 1 drink, 2 entrees, 2 mains & 1 dessert.

Service: Fantastic. We were offered a menu promptly and our orders were taken soon after. Our water was kept full and our plates were cleared quickly. The waiter was very amiable but did not loiter. Faultless service.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is near the end of a long corridor which we thought felt quite *staff only*. Took us a while to find it on the ground level. The interior is a mixture of black, red and white with a modern minimal feel. There are textures of plastic, steel and leather with a one slate wall surrounded by panoramic windows that allowed us to view landscaped Grollo Equiset gardens. There are leather and fabric booths with red leather chairs, or small black veneer tables with perspex chairs.
There were only 4 other tables being used when we were there so the noise was minimal.
Parking: We only found street parking which is limited. As we went on a Sunday we managed to get a parking on St Kilda rd about 2blocks down from the NGV.

Website: None. There is a small mention on the NGV website.

Hours: Daily 11am to 4pm.

Would I return. Yes. The food was lovely as was the garden view and service. The parking is a bit of a pain in the ass though.

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