Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Deanery - CBD

Name: The Deanery

Address: 13 Bligh Pl
Melbourne 3000 VIC
Phone: (03) 9629 5599

Food: ModOz,
Average prices: Entree: $8-$21, Mains: $39-$42, Dessert: $16-$17
Set menu: 2 courses - $45, 6 course degustation - $95, dessert degustation - $35 for 3 courses, $50 for 5

Chef: Robin Wickens
Dessert chef: Pierre Roelofs

Complimentary: 2 slices pumpkin & hazelnut, rye & caraway(?) and sage & pancetta.

The bread was gorgeous, especially the pumpkin. They were quite dark on the edges but I like the flavour it lent the soft, fresh bread. Very flavourful. They came with a small quinelle of super soft butter.

We ordered the 6 course degustation (one vegetarian):

Minestrone soup

Mine was made with a mushroom stock and was darker in colour. The soup was poured over the minuscule vegetables hidden underneath a Parmesan gel which dissolved in the broth. The soup was quite salty but in a good way. Mine had a deep, earthiness to it from the broth whilst the vegetables added a nice crunchy texture and lighter flavours. Overall Ryan and I drank every last drop.

Blue swimmer crab, variations of sweetcorn

The crab sat below extremely tender pasta(?). Ryan said this was a light, fresh dish which he enjoyed.

Cheddar veloute

Both Ryan and I loved this. It was bursting with flavour and once again was overall salty like the minestrone. It had cherry jellies and pressed apple and a multitude of over things. I found the apple cubes were best eaten at the end as they cleanses the palate of all things cheesy and creamy. The veloute was whisper light and simple dissolved on the tongue immediately, allowing the other flavours to come through. This was my favourite dish of the night.

Squab, chestnut, pear, rosemary

As Ryan tends to eat with his eyes he was a little disappointed in the serving size of this dish and felt it was difficult to feel satisfied with the small mouth fulls of meat, he wish there had been more meat to stuff onto his fork. Other than that the meat was tender and he enjoyed the dish.

Roasted beets, bitter chocolate, parsnips

When this dish came out it had me smiling at its beauty and I was eager to dive in. Unfortunately it didn't really appeal to me. It was quite sweet and bitter and earthy, there wasn't any acidity or anything to liven it up a bit. The chocolate cake was bitter and the texture enveloped everything in my mouth so I couldn't taste the other ingredients. I then tried the ingredients individually. The small beets were lovely but the parsnip chips were a little bitter and soft (in a old chip kind of way) and the ribbons didn't lend much flavour. Coupled with the cake it wasn't that great.

Mutton, parsnip, tonka bean, balsamic, salsify

Once again Ryan thought the serving a tad small. He did like this though and once again the meat was very tender.

Roasted tofu, smoked gratin, onions

The overall flavours of this dish are sweet and smoky. The leek/spring onion(?) did help to cut through the other heavy flavours but it wasn't enough. The textures are also all soft, apart from the battered onions which only come through with their sweetness at the end. The tofu was crunchy on the outside and spongy on the inside. The potatoes only hit me with their smokiness halfway through which offered a weird but pleasant tang of smoke, the potatoes were a touch firm and therefore watery/bland. I cannot remember what puree was inside the middle onion but it was sweet with a mousse like texture and was the first flavour on the palate. Overall this dish was nice but just a touch too sweet - would have loved a different taste in there.

Blackberry, eucalyptus, yoghurt

This was colourful and visually pleasing to look at. The meringues were a good texture and made it interesting to eat along with the spongy cake, icy blackberry yoghurt and sticky blackberry compote(?). The first flavour is the sponge which is quite sweet followed by the crunchy meringue and sweet blackberry compote then the tangy yoghurt sorbet followed at last by the cool eucalyptus. The eucalyptus stays with you for a while. Ryan loved the tiny violet rocks, they reminded him of Nerds. Overall I found this dish reminded of sweet cough drops with eucalyptus. I didn't love it but it was light and unobtrusive.

Coffee, treacle, banana, basil

This wasn't as loud in appearance as the previous dessert but was heavier in flavour. The banana soon disappeared as the heavy coffee and treacle stomped through with hints of chicory(?) which completely overwhelmed the basil foam and basil shoots. The cake was really really spongy, like an actual cleaning sponge and I don't think I liked that texture. I think perhaps there was also a caramel which I liked. Overall it was nice but a little heavy on the coffee and sweet flavours which had me drinking a lot of water.

Tea/coffee, petit fours

First I had the roasted almond chocolate which began to melt as soon as it was touched, really velvety and lovely.
The cherry kirsch griotte was nice, too much alcohol for me though, but it was hubby's favourite.
My favourite was the salted chocolate licorice caramel. My God I could eat a million of these. Super smooth and they just melt in your mouth - the sweet chocolate, and deep licorice and spikes of salt - yum.

Cost: $190 for one meat and one vegetarian degustation.

Service: Perfect. Our water was filled, waiters were knowledgeable on the menu and everything went well. There was a bit of a wait between the first two meals and the third but after that everything went smoothly.

Atmosphere: Refined. The upstairs mezzanine restaurant looks down onto the bar area as well as through to the wine cellars. The chairs are rich reds and brown leather with real wooden tables - it has a slightly masculine, English blue blood feel. The tables were accented with green champagne bottles filled with real, papery fuchsia blossoms. Overall the tables are generously spaced apart in the 40seat dining room. The openness and cool temperatures coming from the glass separating the wine from us did make it feel a little bare and lacking in something. When we went and until 9pm there were still only three tables full, so the atmosphere was very quiet.

Parking: Ample. Mostly street which is unlimited after 6:30PM or paid undercover parking.


Hours: Mon-Fri noon-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm

Would I return: Yes. The flavours were interesting, although we would most likely order al a carte next time for bigger portions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We appreciate your comments however spam, abusive or personal attacks will be not be published. Please keep in mind that this blog is just the personal opinions and tastes of people paying for their own supper, it is by no means meant to be a professional review.