Thursday, June 30, 2011

Persimmon - 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 - $23-35, Dessert - $14-16.

Complimentary: One pumpkin seed and one sourdough roll with butter. Warm and lovely.

We ordered: 150th NGV anniversary dinner - 5 courses for $85
Mushrooms in soil

Possibly my favorite dish of the night; the medley of earthy mushrooms, herbs and spices was wonderful.

Cream of fennel  & Pernod soup, pickled fennel salad

Lovely, creamy soup with subtle hints of licorice.

Baked kingfish, white onion soubise, toasted almond gel, golden raisins & capers,

Broccoli risotto, pine nuts, truffle, goats curd, grana padana

Just like my previous visit, the risotto was cooked wonderfully, with a little more goats curd this time around which I appreciated.

Roast Porterhouse of wagyu beef (marble score four), Chausson of roasted beetroot
marinated in aged balsamic & braised ox tail, smoked celeriac & apple cream, apple cider gastrique

Mr.M raved about this dish, from the flavour combinations to the extremely well cooked steak.

Mousse of Tarago triple cream brie, compressed pears, persimmons, toasted rye

Great take on the cheese course.

Bitter chocolate fondant, griottine cherries, malt ice cream, brown butter crumbs

I don't think this dessert will ever not be on the menu, especially when patrons, like Mr.M, continually choose it rather than trying something new. In this version it's subtly paired with the malt ice cream and the sharply rounded cherry. Like always, it was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of gooey ooze.

Tea, coffee, petite fours

The strawberry macaron was like full of childhood wonder with it's lolly-like flavour.
The mango macaron tasted as it should, like a tartly-sweet mango.
The chocolate ganache logs melted instantly on the tongue with their bittersweet liquor.

Drinks: Lemon, lime & bitters

Cost: $174 for two degustations.

Service: Perfect. Food comes out at a great pace, waiters are knowledgeable, they happily cater to vegetarians and our water is 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: Ample. Street parking is generally 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. 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 - we can always rely on Persimmon to deliver on flavour, presentation and service.

Mr.M: Finally a dinner sitting!

Persimmon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Point - Albert Park - review

Name: The Point

Albert Park Lake
Aquatic Dr
Albert Park 3206 VIC
(03) 9682 5566

Food: French, Modern Australian and Steak
Average price: Entree: $22-$40, Mains: $36-$78, Dessert: $11-$24
Degustation menu: 8 courses, $110
Degustation with matching wines $165

Complimentary:  Bread and butter

The olive roll was so hard I almost had to use my teeth to tear it. The rosemary roll after it though was lovely.

Avocado and radish

Acidic palate cleanser

We ordered: Entree: Soft poached egg, polenta, truffle, brioche crumbs - $27

Really lovely, simply, satisfying dish. A great mix of peasant and luxury ingredients. Yum.

The Point charcuterie board $35

Mr.M enjoyed the selection.

Main: Butternut pumpkin, taleggio and cauliflower tian $36

My first impression of this dish was 'Wowza, salty!' This was too salty to be able to enjoy the subtler flavours, even the sweet pumpkin was washed away.

Onkaparinga Valley venison, chestnuts, $48

Side: Autumn mushrooms, $11
Italian parsley and black garlic

I didn't care for these at all, to me they were quite bland.

Honey glazed heirloom $10
carrots and pine nuts

I found the flavouring strange and uncomplimentary to the carrots.

Dessert: Spiced gingerbread pudding, warm quince, caramel ice cream and thyme $18

A lovely moist cake strong in spice with sweet poached quince and a soft ice cream. I would have liked the quince a little less sweet so that it could break through the heady spice a little more but all in all it was pleasant.

Apple and cinnamon souffle, pastry crisps and yoghurt sherbet $18

The first bite of this was heavenly. Gorgeous fruity apple with warm cinnamon atop a cloudlike tower. Unfortunately as you travelled deeper into the souffle it became rather slimy and tasted only of eggwihte which I found unpleasant and odd considering how lovely the top was.
The yoghurt sherbet was delightful, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cost: $193 for two entrees, two mains, one side and two desserts.

Service: OK. The waiters were attentive but the food took a while to be served despite the restaurant being at half capacity.

Atmosphere: All about the view. We went at night so the view was a little less spectacular. The decor is very neutral with just some twig-lights as an accent. The restaurant was only 1/3full so it was very quiet and subdued.

Parking: Ample onsite parking, but the road you need to turn onto is hard to spot at night.


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

Would I return: Yes.

The Point Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heirloom - Melbourne - review

Name: Heirloom

Address: Citadines Hotel
Ground floor
131 Bourke St
Melbourne 3000 VIC
(03) 9639 1296

Food: Japanese, French
Average price: Entree: $4-$27, Main: $28, Dessert: $15-$17

We ordered: Mother's Day 5course menu  - $55 per person
Salmon Blini
house cured gravalax, buttermilk blini, whipped fraiche, salmon caviar

Dill chevre on crisp toast

This was nothing special, just crackers and cheese.

Warm Truffled Potato and Leek Vichyssoise
slow cooked egg, persillade

This was a lovely soup with lots of flavour and a smooth texture. The egg was lovely for me, though some others would have preferred a runnier yolk. Overall everyone enjoyed it.

Wild mushrooms, quinoa, sage and pearl barley

This was lovely, earthy, salty with great textural differences. I liked the addition of sage.

Terrine de Campagne
umeshu jelly, prune puree, petit herb salade

D liked this.

Rare Seared Yellow Fin Tuna Loin
piperade, black olive crumble, crisp basil

Both Mr.M & S didn't enjoy the flavour combination.

Gnocchi with diced vegetables

The gnocchi was extremely soft, doughy and unpleasant to eat. The veggies were nice enough but just diced veggies, overall I found the dish boring and didn't eat much of it.

Roast Beef Tenderloin
Bourguignon garnish, pomme puree, red wine jus

White Choc and Tofu Blancmange
dark chocolate sorbet, chocolate brownie glace, poky biscuits

Simple and unoffensive dish. The blancmange was akin to a panacotta except it was a touch softer with only hint of sweetness. The chocolate sorbet and sweet glace were lovely and the malt chocolate crumbs added nice texture as well as a slightly salty element to dish which I enjoyed.

Tea & biscotti

Cost: $220 for four Mother's Day menus.

Service: Young but eager. Our waitress kept our water topped up whilst another described our dishes as they came. They were also accommodating to one late diner who they quickly caught up to us.

Industrial chic meets Japanese zen. I really liked the juxtaposition of concrete and metal against the wood and bamboo plants. The splashes of red and hanging fairyesque lights complimented the style well.

Parking: Limited street parking but plenty of paid underground car parking right next door.


Hours: Mon-Fri 6.30am-late
Sat-Sun 7am-late

Would I return: Yes - good food for a cheap rpice in a nice setting.

Heirloom on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 3, 2011

La Petanque - Main Ridge - review

Name: La Petanque

Address: 1208 Mornington-Flinders Rd
Main Ridge 3928 VIC
Phone: (03) 5931 0155

Food: European, French and Mediterranean
Average price: Entree: $15-$30, Mains: $29-$44, Dessert: $16-$25, Degustation menu: 5 courses, $90
Set menu: 3 courses, $79

Complimentary:  Bread with marinated olives, Olive oil & balsamic.

The olives and balsamic were so delicious we asked for more.

Chocolate brownie

The brownie tasted stale and was overly sweet.

We ordered: Thanks to Blogger deleting almost all of my drafts, I have to go by memory as I no longer my original notes.
Entree: Vegetable soup

Good old honest creamy soup. The basil oil was a nice touch. Mine didn't come with the goat's curd as it was unpasteurised so I had to leave it out.

Terrine of Gippsland farmed rabbit, pancetta, prune and pistachio with onion marmalade and cornichons

Mr.M enjoyed this dish.

Main: Flinders Tomato tart and French goat cheese, Devon Meadows green, parmesan foam and thyme pesto

Nice simple flavours, nothing super exciting though. The tomatoes were a touch bland but otherwise nice enough dish.

Mickleham duck breast, poached quince, Shoreham honey and star anise jus

Dessert: Soft centered Valrhona chocolate biscuit, almond praline anglaise and Tahiti vanilla bean ice cream

The fondant was delicious. The ice creama nd almond creme anglaise were also lovely and subtle but were smothered beneath rich oozy chocolate. Great dish.

Caramelised Red Hill apple crêpe, Calvados crème chiboust, green apple sorbet

The crepes were rubbery and the fresh apple sorbet and cooked apples didn't mesh. I didn't really like it at all.

Cost:  $158 ($79each) for 3 course lunch.

Service: OK. Waiters were great, received more of that balsamic when asked, however the kitchen was extremely slow. we were almost falling asleep in between meals despite the restaurant only being half full. the waits were far too long between each course, we ended up becoming antsy in anticipation for our food to arrive.

Atmosphere: Sunday lunch relaxed. Simple almost barn like decor with focus on the outside winery views. The petanque pitch is a nice touch.

Parking: Ample onsite parking.


Hours: Mon-Sun noon-3pm
Fri-Sat noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm

Would I return: No, the service was far too slow and there are other great places to try in the area.

La Petanque on Urbanspoon