Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trocadero - Southbank - Melbourne - review

The moment I heard of this restaurant and peeped at their menu I was chomping at the bit to make a visit and fill my belly.

Trocadero is situated within the Art Center at Hammer Hall. Perfectly positioned on the banks of the Yarra facing the iconic Flinders street station and federation sqaure. With your meal you also get a view. The decor is relaxed but polished with a dark, neutral colour theme. The staff are dressed in t-shirts but the patrons were a mix of casual and dressy. Trocadero sites itself as a bar-slash-brasserie, practically open all day with quick-bites for the pre-theatre crowd.

We arrived on a gloriously sunny Thursday evening and ordered the following:

The evening started with a bag of complimentary bread which Mr.M devoured.

Berkshire pork cacciatore and venison calbrese salami - $15

cooked potatoes, truffle aioli, pecorino $11

I ordered this as my entree. The potatoes were probably a touch overdone for me, and I was hoping for more of a truffle or cheese flavour, they were surprisingly mild. Mr.M on the other hand, ADORED them - but he is a 'potato chip' fiend.

zucchini risotto with black truffle

This was a special, and I regret not ordering the onion risotto instead. The consistency was a touch watery for me, and with the zucchini as the main flavour component it was all rather bland. Even the generous shavings of truffle didn't help punch up the flavour.

beef, chipotle pepper and quinoa sausage, chickpea fries, harissa $28

Mr.M asked our waitress what she thought was their best main dish, and this is what she suggested. At first Mr.M was a little hesitant to order sausages and fries, but after he tried some he changed his mind. The chips were delicious although Mr.M hoped there had been more. The sausages were so incredibly juicy that Mr.M exclaimed they should come with a warning  in case someone pierce it and be squirted in the face. It was a touch spicy but overall Mr.M enjoyed it.

caramel cooked cream, pear, popcorn crumble, chocolate $17

The chatter about this dish was assaulting me from all sides - so needless to say my expectations were quite high. It looked scrumptious and very generous, I tend to find some desserts tiny so was incredibly pleased with the portion serve. However, I barely finished half. As many have said, it is decadently rich. As someone who is sadly dairy-intolerant, the cooked cream part was just too much for me to handle. What I loved most about this dish though was the popcorn crumble in its salty deliciousness and the sticky caramel - caramel popcorn is a favourite of mine, and this dessert was what caramel popcorn would be if it reached enlightenment   Despite the fact that my body wouldn't allow me to eat it all, I would order it again and perhaps eat more topping, less cooked cream. It truly was delicious.

chocolate pudding, milk toffee ice cream $17

Mr.M ordered this was and incredibly happy with it. The chocolate fondant had a glorious ooze and exquisite cocoa richness. Desserts were definitely the stars of our evening.

The staff were friendly and the food was wonderful. We will definitely be returning.

Trocadero on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 4, 2013

Persimmon - NGV - Melbourne - reivew

We find ourselves fluttering to Persimmon rather often due to the fabulous food, fantastic service and relaxing garden-setting. We thought it long overdue for a visit.

As usual the staff were attentive and friendly. Upon glancing at the menu we saw that the dishes had taken on a more Asian twist and that the regular chocolate fondant was no longer on the dessert menu. We asked the waiter whether Terry was trying some new things to be told that he was no longer working at Persimmon and that there was a new chef, Gabriel Martin at the helm. At the time the website still listed Terry as the chef (tsk,tsk NGV) but the menu suddenly made sense to us. And despite the fact that we would no longer be able to sample our favourite chef's food, we were excited to try the new menu.

Mr.M and Miss Dor elected to try the Market 4 course menu - $45 per person.
As usual, the meal began with the complimentary bread and butter, always a nice selection.

heirloom tomato salad, tomato beurre blanc, tomato dust

Both Mr.M and Miss Dor enjoyed this dish.

salmon vermincelli, prawn, carrot oil

This was Mr.M's favourite dish of the menu.

aged beef porterhouse, bean cassoulet, red wine jus

Miss Dor enjoyed this dish but Mr.M did found it too strong in taste.

chocolate and mint tart,chocolate sorbet

Both Mr.M and Miss Dor enjoyed this tart.

I had the following two dishes: Folded lasagna, purple artichoke,parmesan foam - $24

This was delicious. The pasta was well cooked and the parmesan foam added a delicious saltiness. I ate every morsel.

Chocolate waves, salted caramel, chocolate mousse, chocolate sorbet - $19

A really lovely and generous dessert. The salted caramel had the perfect amount of saltiness to compliment the rich sorbet and sweet mousse.

The chef may have changed, but the food is still lovely enough to warrant repeat returns. The prices, however, are more expensive then they were previously, for instance the desserts have gone from $14 up to $17-19. That being said it is still value for money.

Persimmon on Urbanspoon