Sunday, May 31, 2009

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 - $16, Main - $25, Dessert - $15.

Complimentary: 6 pieces of bread (poppy seed buns and mini baguettes) with butter.

Coconut macarons with our coffees

Chewy, sweet and full of coconut.

The chef, Terry Clark designed 7 dishes for us to eat today based on the current menu:

Watercress & horseradish bavarois, baby beetroot, candied walnuts, onion wafer, Puy lentils

This is visually stunning with gorgeous emerald and magenta hues. The number of textures in this is a delight for your mouth. The flavours are also divine - this was everyone's favourite dish to eat. The bavarois melts in your mouth, hints of pepperyness which gives way to the sweetness of candied walnuts and beetroot followed by the earthy lentils and finally you are left with a sweet onion melting on your tongue. Great, great dish.

Roast potato soup, garlic puree, potato pearls, micro herbs, porcini dust, shaved Summer truffle

The waiter poured the smooth potato soup into the bowl, covering the small kipfler and congee potato pearls, baby peas, garlic puree and shaved truffle with a gorgeously textured soup, perfectly seasoned. The potato pearls were a little on the firm side but added a wonderful texture whilst the garlic puree added a sweetness that gave it more depth. The peas added yet another texture and sweetness whilst the herbs and porcini dust added earthiness and pepperyness. I couldn't quite taste the truffle unfortunately.

Asparagus risotto, duck lover parfait, tomato vinaigrette, chives (I had sashimi-style scallop in place of the duck)

The rice was cooked to perfection. The asparagus added a great crunch whilst the tomato vinaigrette gave a great, sweetly tart punch that complimented the onion-y flavour from the chives. The scallop added a saltiness for me whilst the duck liver melted in your mouth leaving a fattiness (that they liked).

Roast Tasmanian salmon, toasted cous cous, smoked tomato jam, red wine emulsion, salted rose petals in a chardonnay vinaigrette

The salmon was perfectly cooked as was the cous cous. The smoked jam was full of flavour with a hint of smokyness that hits your palette first followed by the tart then sweet, stick tomato. The red wine emulsion and basil oil were strong and added more dimension. There was also ribboned salted cucumber and an aubergine puree which added cool saltiness and a mellow smoky creaminess. There was an overall sweet, smoky and salty balance. The petals added the tiniest floral note, but I'm not sure they really improved the dish from last time.

Slow cooked pork belly, Spanish black pudding, celeriac and apple puree

The pork was tender and went well with the sweet apple and nutty celeriac. My dad was hesitant about this dish but even he had to admit that it was fabulous.

Barramundi with pureed Jerusalem artichoke, onion rings, wilted lettuce

I don't remember what everything was but it was lovely. It was creamy,tangy, sweet, crispy - just lovely.

Croissant ice cream, raspberry powder, coffee (maybe chicory), chocolate biscuit

Really light but heavy on flavour. The ice cream had a delicate, buttery sweetness which gave way to extremely tangy, tart raspberry dust that stuck to your tongue and would then dissolve into a sweet, coffee that would linger for a while.

Chocolate brownie, raspberry sorbet, hazelnut cream, griotte cherry gel, coffee chocolate dust

The chocolate brownie was decadently dense and chocolaty - absolutely gorgeous smooth, velvet, sticky texture, studded with hazenluts. It had the tart griotte cherry gel as well as a cherry sorbet which offered sharp, but sweet tartness to offset the other deep, sweet tastes. There was also hazelnut cream and a coffee, chocolate dust which offered yet another texture and flavour.

French St Agar blue & Chevre with spiced persimmon chutney, pear sticks & toasted walnut bread

The Chevre was gorgeously smooth and mild, whilst the St Agar was mild for a blue cheese but still had bite to it, the pear sticks helped to cut through the rich cheeses. The persimmon chutney was sweet but not overly so. This time around the walnut bread was thicker and didn't break apart.

Cost: $240 for 7 courses for 4 people.

Service: Fantastic. The service is always flawless.

Atmosphere: Great. The window seats are lovely as the booth seating is very comfy and the view of the gardens is really calming. It can get a little noisy when full but the tables are well spaced. The dark interior helps to frame the gorgeous outside surroundings.

Parking: Limited as car spots are generally taken - although a tram runs along St Kilda rd, and Flinders station is not far down the road. We managed to get a car park a block down the road and there are side streets you might get lucky with.


Hours: Daily 11am to 4pm.

Would I return: Yes.

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