Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Matteo's - Fitzroy - Raymond Capaldi

Name: Matteo's

Address: 533 Brunswick St
Fitzroy 3068 VIC
Phone: (03) 9481 1177

Food: ModOz, European (Scandinavian for tonight only)
Average price: Entree: $15-$20, Mains: $32-$39, Dessert: $16
Degustation menu: 7 courses, $85
Set menu: 3 courses, $78

We went for the European Vacation with Raymond Capaldi - our night's theme was Scandinavian.

Complimentary: Bread with butter - the bread was topped up all night.

We ordered the 3 course set menu ($60 pp - I had vegetarian one) plus 1 entree and 1 side:

Entree: Breakfast radishes ;in the pot', Tarragon cream, malt soil - $18

This was creatively presented in a little clay pot with the radishes planted in the tarragon cream with malt soil littered across the surface. I really enjoyed this and found it an interesting way to eat radishes. The radishes were crunchy and best eaten with hands rather than utensils. The cream was very light and smooth with a hint of tarragon whilst the malt soil was crunchy

Pressed terrine of smoked eel, kipfler potato, pickled cabbage, sour apple, buttermilk

Ryan was hesitant about this dish because of the eel but he actually enjoyed it. He thought there was a touch too much potato, and the strongest taste was the buttermilk. It was nice.

Watercress soup with sour cream

This was a strong soup. The sour cream had a thickening agent so it had an almost bocconcini texture, it helped to cut through the peppery, tangy watercress. The texture was nice but at the end it was a little powdery.

Mains: Roast Western Plains pork belly, celeriac baked in hay ash

Ryan freakin' loved this, he chewed each mouthful for ages, and we are the scoffing-down-without-pausing-for-air type. He couldn't taste the hay as the overwhelming flavour was that of the pork belly. The dish also had either a potato or celeriac puree which was super smooth. He said the fat and meat of the pork melded beautifully and was the best pork belly he had. He said the flavours were simple and didn't compete.

Vegetable vol-au-vents

This was simple and light. The pastry was flaky and went well with the vegetables which were still crisp but well cooked. The baby carrots were lovely as were the mini courgettes and leeks, I found the onion a little hard to cut through and too strong for me. It was served on a gorgeous puree (potato I think) with hints of caramelised garlic(?). Overall it was lovely.

Side: Salad of beetroots, pickled quince, rye, truffle tapenade, hazelnut, chestnuts, watercress

This reminded us of the style of dishes at our favourite restaurant, Persimmon. The combination of all the ingredients went well. The rye and truffle tapenade as it was very crunchy but went well. The beetroots were perfectly sweet with a hint of acidity whilst the pickled quince was almost like a tomato in taste, and the dried chestnuts looked a little like small dried apples. Both Ryan and I enjoyed this dish as it was full of flavour and interesting.

Dessert: Glazed goats milk curd, caramel of green anise, iced sorrel

My goodness, I did not know what to expect with this dish. The first taste I got was the creamy, gelatinous tangy goats milk with shards of crunchy sugary wafer followed by the icy, grassy sorrel. Whilst this combination was lovely, and hubby loved it, it didn't strike gold for me until I ate one of the fennel seeds stuck to the caramel shard with a mouthful. It brought everything together, as the tangy, grassy, sweetness ended with a punch of lovely licorice from the fennel. It made everything harmonious and stronger in flavour than before. This is a really refreshing, light, zingy dessert with unexpected but complementing flavours.

Drinks: Frozen Linie Aquavit - $8

This 41% Norwegian distilled liquor is distinctive in that it is made by being carried in oak casks on board ships crossing the equator (linje) twice before being sold. It is flavoured with herbs such as caraway seeds, dill, anise, fennel, coriander or "grains of paradise. ”

Cost: $154 for 3 entrees, 2 mains, 1 side, 2 desserts and 1 alcoholic shot.

Service: Good. Our water was topped up, our bill was given soon after asking and they were very attentive with dolling out the bread. Not all the waiters explained the dishes when they gave them to us, but we had the menu on the table.

Atmosphere: Relaxed. The restaurant is quite dark with wood panelling, Asian gold wallpaper, and dim lighting. There was a lovely green glass chandelier near us and an interesting painting of a naked woman with a rather large derriere. Unfortunately we were seated next to a dumb waiter trolley and so had the staff right next to us all night, as well as being opposite the bathrooms. On one occasion we got and extremely bad down wind- if you catch my drift, which made me gag and temporarily stopped me eating. Other than that the atmosphere was quite chilled, with minimal noise and wells paced tables. They played Abba songs to accompany the Scandinavian theme, which I thought was fun.

Parking: Ample. We went on a Tuesday night at 7pm, there was plenty of unlimited parking right in front of the restaurant.

Website: http://www.matteos.com.au/

Hours: Sun-Fri noon-3pm, daily 6pm-10pm

Would I return: Yes - to another Raymond Capaldi evening, as tonight's dinner was not indicative of Matteo's usual cuisine.


  1. hi Chanel

    Thanks for writing it up here as well hope to see you at the next dinners..good to see your husband enjoyed the pork...are you a vegatarian the next time will make it special ....Ray

  2. Hi Ray

    my husband and I had a great night and a wonderful time telling everyone about the food we ate (and the fact that you personally commented on my comment, which was really cool).
    Yes I am a vegetarian, and my husband a voracious meat eater -and both of us left equally satisfied. Thank you for accomodating my particular diet, and for doing it well. We shall definitely be there next time, and hopefully for each night, ratehr than just the 1.



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