Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel - Southbank - Crown

Name: The Brasserie by Philippe Mouchel
Crown Casino Complex
8 Whiteman St
Southbank 3006 VIC

Phone: (03) 9292 7808

Food: French
Average price: Entree: $17.50-$22, Mains: $25-$39, Dessert: $16.50-$18.50, Set menu: 3 courses, $75

Complimentary: Bread with olive oil and dukkah.

The bread was so tough that I had to get my husband to tear it in half for me lest I elbow the person next to me with the force it would have taken to rip it apart. As a result it was fairly chewy, the lovely oil and the flavoursome dukkah made it a little more enjoyable though.

We ordered dinner:

Entree: King salmon gravlax - $20.00
dill and yuzu mayonnaise, egg condiment, toasted sourdough

This was one dimensional in flavour for Ryan, all he got was salmon and more salmon, the mayonnaise and egg condiment weren't enough to cut through the oily, fishy salmon.

Vegetable confit/tempura - $16.80
eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, tomato, free-range egg

I barely ate a mouthful of this. The vegetables tasted like any marinated vegetables you can buy from your supermarket deli, but with less flavour. This whole dish was cold, included the poached egg, which I found bizarre and unappetising. The tempura veggies were unseasoned, cold, greasy and a touch soggy.

Mains: Humpty Doo barramundi - $35.45
asparagus and broad bean nage

This was boring for me. Some of the asparagus were really ragged in their shaved form and the broad beans were black/brown in colour, I am not familiar with cooked broad beans, but I was expecting green beans, so I chose not to eat them. For some reason I thought the nage would be thicker, but it was water thin, and it didn't add anything to the dish. The fish was cooked well, slightly on the raw-er side, but overall it lacked dimension and flavour.

Porterhouse (280gr) - $35.45
pan-fried served with French fries

The chips were good, Ryan had his steak served with a herbed butter. Ryan thought this was actually rather bland, and the meat a little chewy, he didn't eat much.

Dessert: French crêpe filled with lemon curd and raspberry - $15.90
with lemon sorbet

Aside from the fact it was practically cold when brought out, Ryan enjoyed this somewhat. For me however, the raspberry filling tasted a little too artificial, like raspberry powder and icing sugar.

Chocolate and caramel tart with passionfruit - $15.90

It took me until halfway through the tart to realise that the bottom of it was caramel - the caramel and chocolate ganache were the same texture. The chocolate was dark and just pure chocolate, whilst the caramel had a slight bitterness to it, but not one bit of the chewy, stringiness I love. The shell was a touch dry. It was served with some passionfruit, caramel splodges and a passion fruit whipped cream, which tasted like a passionfruit whipped cream, surprisingly the cream didn't go so well with the tart. Overall it was OK, but nothing memorable.

Cost: $153 - for 2 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts.

Service: Great. The first dish, as mentioned before, was out in a flash, as were the subsequent dishes. The wait staff were also prompt in taking orders, clearing plates and giving us the bill.

Atmosphere: Lively. Having a restaurant in Crown means being packed. The seats were well spaced however, and we were in the top section which is separated from the main floor that has doors that open onto the boulevard outside, and therefore is much noisier than the upstairs room. I really loved the Christmas ornament-esque decoration on the table and the booth was comfortable. The seats are a little long and I found myself having to lean over to talk to my husband.

Parking: Crown has three huge car parks, we went on a Saturday night however and the first two car parks were full, with the third already filled to the fifth level.


Hours: Daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm

Would I return: No - it isn't worth going to Crown for.

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