Monday, July 25, 2011

Attica - Ripponlea - review

Name: Attica

Address: 74 Glen Eira Rd
Ripponlea 3185 VIC
Phone: (03) 9530 0111

Food: ModOz,
Average price: Degustation menu: 5 courses, $120, 8 courses: $160, $270 with matched beverage
Complimentary: Bread with cultured butter & olive oil emulsion with volcanic salt

The bread was absolutely delicious. All four of us couldn't help ourselves from asking for more. Most enjoyed the cultured butter but I preferred the slightly tangy oil emulsion.

Mr.M: bread was fantastic
Silken tofu

I can't quite remember what was in these appetisers but they were quite bland and unmemorable.
White chocolate eggs with caramel

Modelled on pekeko eggs these little morsels were filled with a gorgeous salted caramel that went wonderfully with the white chocolate. Yum.

We ordered: Textured cauliflower with horseradish

Delicious and complex. I can't recall the sequence in which everything revealed itself but the strongest contenders were the horseradish with its peppery bite, the calming, exotic coconut and the sharp tang of the crimson barberries. This dish is fun. It also contained puffed wild rice.

Snow Crab
Same as above but with crab instead of cauliflower.

Mr.M: a complex mixture of many flavours that sometimes you are unsure if you like the dish or now. Jury is out on this one.

Cress stems, cucumber, pumpkin seeds

This was delicious. I loved the sweetness of the leeks and pear with the salty cucumber and samphire. The seeds added a nice crunch.

Marron, leek, egg yolk

Mr.M: best dish of the night. You would expect the marron to be a cold fish like texture when you sink your teeth into it. This dish was warm, and maybe is because I was expecting not to like the dish...but it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Everything goes together perfectly, and everyone on the table with this dish loved it

A simple dish of potato cooked in the earth it was grown

The potato, which is sightly sweet and butter was tender but still firm - perfectly cooked. The smoked goat's cheese with coconut husk ash gave a wonderful tangy, smoky element to compliment the potatoes starchy creaminess. The crunchy fried saltbush leaves also worked well.

Mr.M: I've had this dish a couple of times and out of all the dishes it was my least favourite. I seem to be the only person that doesn't think its a great dish so there is probably something wrong with my taste buds

Shiitake broth, sea vegetables, osmanthus

Lovely Asian flavours.

Shiitakes & meat from the Pearl Oyster

Mr.M: great dish. Once again, lots of flavours that went together really well. Almost licked the plate clean.

Raw chestnuts, salt baked celeriac, Pyengana

Fantastic dish; it was salty but excellent. The chestnuts added a soft sweetness along with the nutty celeriac to balance the sharp cheese and rich egg yolk. Everyone loved it.

Mr.M: Another table favourite. Very warm inviting plate.
Beef tongue, vanilla, myrtus, lettuce stems

One diner wasn't keen on beef tongue so they substituted a 5+ Waygu rump for her.

Mr.M: the main meat dish of the night was served about 3 hours in, by this time everyone was pretty full. However this dish was 'light' on filling your stomach but potent on flavour

Wild mushrooms, mulled wine, pearl onions

This was my least favourite dish of the night. The wine sauce was too strong for me.

Winter apples

The vine leaves were soaked in juices (I believe one of which was beet?) and went well with the apples soaked in granny smith apple juice. Overall the flavours are tart and sharp. I enjoyed it.

Mr.M: loved it.
Mandarin & honeydew honey

The caramelised Sauternes cream was delicious and despite the mandarins (both fresh and freeze dried) being very acidic I enjoyed them. What felt out of balance to me was perhaps the honey? There was a strong herbal like element (more akin to a tree like eucalyptus or tea tree) that was really strong and overpowered the other flavours.

Mr.M:  liked it.

Violet crumble

Mr.M loved this dish so much he asked if it were possible to make one up, luckily for him it was. The flavours of the violet fromage frais and crystallised flowers to the chocolate dust, house honeycomb crumble and butterscotch syrup are delicious, although I still feel that a creamier ice cream, rather than tangy, would work better.

Mr.M: I've had this dish before but it was taken off the ever evolving menu. We asked the Chef is he would make it again and he did. A personal favourite of mine!

Service: OK. Whilst the waiters were great the kitchen was really behind and we didn't receive the first appetiser until at least 45mins in. In total, despite us scoffing down our food really quickly, our last dish wasn't served until after 1am (we had an 8:30pm seating). We were all quite tired by the end and a few of us chose to take the eggs home as we had passed the eating stage and just wanted to sleep.

Atmosphere: Mellow. The lighting is definitely dark, with the overall room decorated in dark, woody hues. The noise level isn't very loud and the tables are spaced apart well. It has a stylish casual feel. There was also a lovely view into the courtyard, I would recommend being seated in this area rather than the front.

Parking: Ample - the main street doesn't get much traffic after hours.


Hours: Tues-Sat: 6pm til late

Would I return: Yes, this was the best food experience here yet with almost all of the dishes being fantastic. Hopefully next time the service won't be as slow.

Mr.M: Attica has definitely undergone some changes in the last time we visited. Last time I was at Attica I loved the creativity of the food, but that didn't necessarily translate to me enjoying the dish. Upon arriving we looked at the menu, and noticed that the price was up for the 8 course to $160, making it probably in the top 5 most expensive places in Melbourne. "It better be worth it" I thought in my head. Well, it was. The service was a little slow to get going  (Attica seems to  be known for this), however the place is very relaxed and  the waiters where extremely knowledgeable without being snobby (like many other 2~3 chefs hat restaurants we have been to). Attica proves that Winter food does not have to be boring! We will be back again!

Attica on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Estivo - Kew - review

Name: Estivo

330 High St
Kew 3101 VIC
Phone: (03) 9853 1727

Food: ModOz, Italian
Average price: appetiser - $9, entrée - $18, main - $30, dessert - $13.

Complimentary:Bread with balsamic and olive oil

We ordered:
Mains: Vegetarian platter

The mushroom parmesan tart was lovely as were the mixed vegetables but I was slightly perplexed as to why the third component was a dollop of guacamole. For a main it was slightly small.

Aged angus tenderloin of beef, medley of vegetables a la Grecque, soubise sauce and rich veal glaze

Sides: Rosemary garlic potatoes

Gorgeous crunchy exterior with fluffy insides and a good sprinkling of salt.

Dessert: Chocolate fondant with raspberries and cream

For a chocolate cake, this was lovely, but a fondant it was not. There was no ooze whatsoever which was disappointing as I was expecting a fondant. The raspberries were also a little mushy and too scant to offer enough tartness to balance the heavy sweetness of the chocolate cake.


Mr.M: Best I have had, loved the addition of Frangelico.

Service: Good. As there were no vegetarian options for either entree OR main the staff and chefs arranged something for me to eat.

Atmosphere: Smart neutral. The interior was a cool brown with neutral tones and artwork on the walls. There is downstairs and upstairs seating. There wasn't much noise at all considering the tables were almost full. The lighting was low but not too low.

Parking: Good. There is street parking along High St although it can get a little scarce on a Friday or Saturday night, but there are side streets.

Website: None.

Hours: Tue-Fri noon-3.30pm, Tue-Sat 6pm-10.30pm

Would I return: Yes. The food was decent and it is just down the road for me.

Estivo on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cafe Rosamond - Pierre Roelofs - Fitzroy - review

Name: Cafe Rosamond - Pierre Roelofs dessert evenings

Address: 191 Smith St
Fitzroy 3065 VIC
9419 2270

Food: Cafe (Thursday evenings dessert degustation).

Average price: Mains: $3.50-$10.50, 1-3 course dessert degustation - $20-40, dessert tubes - $9

Complimentary:  Nothing.

We ordered: 3 course dessert deugstation and a dessert tube.
Blackforest tube

This consisted of cream, cherry puree, kirsch, chocolate

Mr.M:  Tube was nice but frustrating I couldn't get it all out.

Rhubarb, strawberry, creaming soda, vanilla, yuzu

Presentation was lovely and very girly. Upon first mouthful it did remind me of a strawberry milkshake but better. Whilst I loved the fruits and the vanilla the yuzu cream was too overwhelming with its acidity. I preferred the dessert without it.

Mr.M: Pretty nice, loved the meringue, but not the yuzu.

Toasted amaranth, oat cream, passionfruit, yoghurt foam

This reminded me of a really yummy porridge, it definitely had a 'breakfast' feel to it. I loved the heaviness of the oat cream, the tangy yoghurt and nuttiness of the amaranth which was cut by the tart passionfruit. There was also another fruit, perhaps rhubarb or raspberries?  Yum.

Mr.M: Not bad.

Chocolate, turron, honey, shandy

We dove straight into this before remembering to take a photo...

My favourite dish of the night. The dark velvety chocolate went perfectly with the nutty turron and vanilla whose sweetness balanced the beer and lemonade soaked sponge. Once again though I tasted something acidic that reminded me of the yuzu, which I also thought the dish could have done without. But despite that this was delicious.

Mr.M:  I liked this most, especially the chocolate component.

Service: Great. Desserts came out very fast and the service was friendly.

Atmosphere: 70s dining room. The room is extremely tiny and as you enter you see the checkout and the mini kitchen which almost has an office-kitchen vibe to it. The brown tiles are worn down and the place is decked out with varnished wood, painted brick walls and 70s style watercolour paintings with a hanging vine plant in one corner. The vibe is really low key (at night) but the sound level isn't too bad but the chairs are somewhat uncomfortable. The tables are spaced together, so if you happen to be sitting next to a blogger who uses flash, prepare to be blinded (the girl I was opposite took 7 photos of the one dish, I was pretty much seeing stars all night).

Parking: Decent. There was a decent amount of street parking on a Thursday night.


Hours:  Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm. Thursday degustation 7-11pm.

Would I return: Yes, but not right away. It would be nicer if you could know the dessert choice for the evening before rocking up. I would suggest arriving by 6:30pm as by 7pm you will be on a wait list guaranteed.

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon