Friday, July 16, 2010

Persimmon - NGV - Melbourne

Name: Persimmon at the National Gallery of Victoria

Address: Ground Level, NGV
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
8620 2434

Food: ModOz
Average price: Entrée - $14-16, Main - $23-32, Dessert - $14-16.

Complimentary: 6 pieces of bread - brioche, sour dough and pumpkin seed - served warm with lovely salted butter.

Pumpkin soup, roast butternut, pumpkin seed biscotti, pumpernickel, micro herbs

Velvety smooth, like liquid silk. Everyone loved it, I found it a touch sweet but tasty nonetheless.

Entrees: Smoked ham hock terrine, kipfler potato salad, apples and chicory - $17

My mother was happy with this dish - full of flavour and fun to eat. As soon as it was set down I could smell a hint of liquorice, perhaps a dusting of fennel seed? Y, who also got a taste, said the meat was very tasty.

Salad of poached prawns, baby cos, watercress, garlic croutes, apple, creme fraiche - $18

Whilst cooked perfectly, those who had this dish said it needed a 'punch of flavour' to take it up a notch.

Vegetable terrine with poached egg, capsicum - $17

Vegetables were well cooked and the egg poached wonderfully. The capsicum paste tied everything together nicely.

Mains: Casserole of rabbit, winter vegetables, caraway seed dumplings, beer - $29

R thought the flavours were wonderul, but some of the pieces of rabbit were a little dry for him.

Grilled Scotch fillet of beef, fat chips, watercress, Dijon mustard mayonnaise - $35

Unfortunately most who had this dish said they thought the meat had a little too much gristle and was slightly 'soggy' - they wanted the outside to be a little more seared and less wet on the plate.

Jerusalem artichoke risotto, pickled trompettes, truffle oil, black cabbage - $26

Well cooked, strong acidic, salty and bitter flavours that give it a 'freshness' rather than sumptuousness. I didn't taste the truffle. I assume the artichokes were the 'chip-like discs' that gave the risotto some crunch, but I'm not sure if there were incorporated elsewhere in the dish. I also found the nettle leaves to be quite strong in flavour and am surprised they aren't mentioned in the dish's title.

Desserts: Microwave pistachio cake, chocolate sorbet, buttermilk, rhubarb - $15

Ryan went apeshit (sorry for the strong language, but its necessary to convey his reaction) for the sorbet - once he tasted the sorbet he forgot everything else. He even asked for a second quinelle and continued to talk about it on the way home -'I normally HATE chocolate sorbet but this was like perfect chocolate...' When I asked about the rest of the dish he commented that he remembered he liked it, but all he could think about was the sorbet...he really is so helpful with his opinions....

Bitter chocolate fondant, mint ice cream, pop rocks - $15

Mum went crazy for this - she absolutey adored it, she was also surprised that the violets tasted nice. Y also said it tasted great. P gave all the dishes 10/10 for presentation, he said they looked beautiful. Once again the pop rocks turned the adults into giggling children.

Vanilla cream, burnt citrus, blood orange, olive oil powder, lime vinaigrette - $15

Y had this but she didn't tell me whether she liked it.

Coffee cream, amaretto, sponge, bitter chocolate - $15

I would have loved some more moist cake to accompany the lusciously fluffy coffee cream and ice cream. With only a tiny portion of cake, which was soaked nicely, I felt like I had barely had dessert. Flavours worked well though and weren't overpowering both coffee and alcohol-wise.

Coffees: Cappucino - $4
Long Black - $4
Caffe Latte - $4

D thought this was a well made coffee.

Cost: $418 for 6 entrees, 6 mains, 4 desserts, 1 bottle of wine ($58 - Cullen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot) and 3 coffees.

Service: Perfect. Must make a special mention of our waitress, Tess - because of her service my grandfather claimed that he had never had better service elsewhere.

Atmosphere: Lively but very relaxed. The interior is a mixture of black, red and white with a modern minimal feel. There are textures of plastic, steel and leather with one slate wall surrounded by panoramic windows that allowed us to view landscaped Grollo Equiset gardens. There are leather and fabric booths with red leather chairs, or small black veneer tables with Perspex chairs. 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 so you never feel cramped or listened in on. The dark interior helps to frame the gorgeous outside surroundings.

Parking: Limited as car spots are generally taken - they are metered except for Sundays - 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. There is also underground gallery parking which is $12 for non-members.


Hours: Daily 11am to 4pm (except Tuesdays).

Would I return: Yes.

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