Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Embrasse - Carlton

Name: Embrasse

Address: 312 Drummond St
Carlton 3053 VIC
Phone: (03) 9347 3312

Food: Modern French/Mod Oz

Average prices: Entrees - $17, Mains - $32, Desserts - $18
Complimentary: Two bread rolls with butter, salt and pepper.

Tasting spoons: One with smoked trout, the other was kohlrabi, pumpkin (?). Can't remember the exact ingredients. They were ok, but nothing really memorable.

We ordered:

Smoked ocean trout, grated cauliflower, young beetroots, peas Pimprenelle, yarrow - $17

This was rather interesting with the variety of textures and somewhat salty/sea-like flavours.

Milk poached calf liver, golden shallot, potato and fromage blanc, grenache syrup French sorrel, blooded sorrel - $17

Ryan enjoyed this dish but felt it needed more of the secondary flavours to balance the powerful taste of the liver.

Home grown meli melo of vegetables, sprouts, flowers and herbs, herbs emulsions - $29

I was really disappointed in this dish in that it was quite bland and boring. The vegetables all had that steamed partially firm texture and all seemed to meld into each other. It was quite watery and boring to eat.

Slow cooked beef cheek, pumpkin, chard - $35

Ryan did not enjoy the beef and found the texture unappetising.

Aligot – a Provincial cheesy mash potato from the South of France - $ 11

This came in a copper pot which the waitress twirled out to place on our plates. It was rubbery like a mozzarella but more so, but also with more flavour. More cheese than potato. but quite

Desserts: Fresh berries from the garden - $16 dollars

Very simple but tasty berries served with cream. Probably not worth $16 though.

Apricots stuffed with our cheesecake; almond gateau and tuille - $18 dollars

I didn't enjoy this. The apricots were pretty much raw and a little tough to slice through with a spoon. The almond cake crumbs were really sweet just seemed to smother the other textures and flavours, I didn't like eating them. The cheese cake tuille was nice and provided much needed smoothness and a liquid component along with the foam(?). I felt the tuilles served no purpose.

Cost: $151 - 2 entrees, 2 mains, 1 side, 2 desserts, 2 bottle of water. Once again when we asked for water we were given the option of still or sparkling. We were hoping to receive tap water but instead were given a 500ml $12 bottle of water. If still means expensive bottled water then we should also be given the 3rd option of tap water.

Service: Excellent. The staff were friendly and accommodating. The chef came out at one stage to ask each patron if their meals were satisfactory.

Atmosphere: Dull. The restaurant only seats around 30 people, when we arrived at 8:15pm there were 13 other diners. There was very little noise, and very little atmosphere. We could see both the street and the kitchen from our table.

Parking: Limited. There is street parking which was full during our 20mins drive around. The nearest paid parking was full until eventually they allowed people to park in reserved parks. It was $8.50 and about 1-2blocks walk. Arrive early as you may be looking for a car park for a while, probably due to its proximity to Lygon street.

Website: http://www.embrasserestaurant.com.au/index.html

Wed-Sun 6.30pm-9.30pm
Fri noon-9.30pm
Sat-Sun 9.30am-2.30pm

Would I return: No. Food was OK but not spectacular, the ambiance was also lacking. The parking situation was also frustrating.

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