Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Persimmon - NGV - Melbourne - review

 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: 2 rolls of bread with butter

Smoked tomato jam, fried cauliflower, leek

For me this dish was like a Clint Eastwood Western - ballsy and bad-ass. The smoked tomato jam gave everything a tough, complex edge. The mixture of herbs, sweetness, cool cucumber and meaty cauliflower was fantastic - I wanted more.

Citrus cured ocean trout, cauliflower picalli, dutch carrots, herb salad 

R liked this.

Pickled blueberries, short bread crumble, green apple bavarois, maple jelly, dehydrated blueberry

Now is that art on a plate or what? And it tasted as good as it looked. Eating this was like being a kid, but with a grown ups palette. It felt like a really posh Granola somehow to me. The dehydrated blueberry crisps were wonderful. Everything was clean, crisp and sweet, but in a refreshing way. I loved everything together but felt the blueberries still remained the headlining flavour.

Entrees: Butter poached prawns, toasted rye, avocado, heirlooms, smoked tomato jam - $18

Gazpacho, red onions, kumato, compressed cucumbers, capsicum, basil dust - $15

The best gazpacho I have had to date. The soup was extremely silky, slightly sweet with a sharp tang, that was tempered by the cool cucumber. I'm not sure what the yellow dust was (dehydrated basil) but it was delicious and picked the dish up.

Mains: Potato and herb gnocchi, broad beans, parsley, blue cheese, brown butter - $26

The gnocchi was pillow soft  with the perfect amount of 'bite' as I have come to expect here. Whilst I enjoyed the sweet and bitter herby tastes I felt the dish needed something fresh to elevate it and bring it some 'life'. Would have loved a touch more cheese as well.

Slow cooked pork belly, fennel escabeche, grapefruit, baby herbs, cinnamon and star anise broth - $26

R loved everything except the grapefruit which he felt was jarring and not harmonious with the other flavours.

Desserts: Bitter chocolate fondant, malt ice cream, honeycomb - $14

A dependable dessert - always the right amount of molten goodness within. I loved the pairing with the honeycomb, but found the malt ice-cream, whilst lovely, a touch dull.

Sticky date pudding, matcha green tea ice cream, milk jam - $14

I have to admit, this fell a little short for me, perhaps because I simply adore a traditional sticky date pudding, which this wasn't. The pudding, whilst nice and fairly moist, was not sticky and not drenched in some sweet, overindulgent sauce which left me unsatisfied. What let it down most, for me, was pairing it was the matcha tea and milk jam - there was an almost fruity acidic taste that was completely out of place when paired with the spicy, winter-esque pudding. It was average when compared to the other desserts.

Cost: $93 for two entrees, two mains and two desserts.

Service: Perfect. Food comes out at a great pace, waiters are knowledgeable and our water always filled.

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 - food that not only looks spectacular but also tastes good too.

Persimmon on Urbanspoon

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