Thursday, September 22, 2005


I revisited Attica yesterday in reaction to the wholesome praise being heaped upon it recently. Age food writers seem to be spell bound and Gourmet Traveller chose chef Ben Shewry as best 'new talent' of the year 'tho he doesn't seem very new to me having been at Attica for 3 or 4 years now And Ed Charles had something of a rave review on his site (
So is Attica set for a stellar rise - I don't think so.
The degustation menu is in the general style of Interlude, Fenix and Vue de Monde. The number of dishes is less but the serves are bigger
The venue is something of a noise trap with bare walls, stone floor and reasonable height ceilings but it's pleasant enough.
the service was exemplary, the wines reasonably priced - we had a 2006 Villa Wolf Pinot Gris ($38) and the presentation of the food tops
These were complicated dishes with many ingredients, often in amounts too tiny to savour, barely a mouthful of anything. There were a profusion of textures but the tastes did not titivate the taste buds. the only exception was the venison which was cooked to juicy perfection.
For me Attica has a long way to go before it justifies the recent reviews! Here are some pictures The food does really look good It's not that the Emperor has no clothes it's just that there not quite regal - yet!

Homage to Alain Passasd's egg with a W.A. Truffle from Peche his Paris restaurant

A Almond cream, shaved squid, kinkawooka mussels and clams, candied olives, red gaspachio jelly! Smoked ocean trout, cured kingfish, pickled melon and and cucumber, lemonade fruit, soy vinaigrettte

Butter poached sea bass, spring onion, oyster sauce, oyster fritters, chive flowers, prawn paper

The worst photo but the best taste! Rare seared NZ venison, caramelised pumpkin,air dried quince, black pudding crumbs and beetroot

pear in tea, carrot and sauternes (not really tho) custard, pear cider, pop rocks

My original review follows but I would now increase the mark to 14.75/20

Introduction: Set in a former bank on Glenferie Rd a few doors from Hotham. Food is strongly Thai influenced
Ambience: White linen table cloths and serviettes, unrushed comfortable atmosphere

Service: Quietly efficient

Food: Menu is divided into Appetisers about $6, Pear in tea, carrot and sauterne custard, pear
The Dessert a taste tease gone in a bite cider, pop rocks
Entrees about $12, Mains about $27, Desserts about$12 and some small sweet things to go with coffee $2.5 up to $12
The hand picked crab remoulade was a delicate and tasty appetiser. we also had the baby barramundi entree which was dominated by coriander and a sweet chilli sauce. For mains the beef cheek in alovely red wine sauce was outstanding but the side salad of smoked eggplant, rice, mushroom and a lightly boiled egg was inedible and tasted only of ?preserved lemon or lime juice and coriander. The pressed lamb shoulder was very good but a little dry. Grandma's chocolate cake also failed to inspire any special feelings and, surprisingly there was no ice cream available.
Wine: Fully licenced - no BYO. A very small selection. By the glass $7 the Long Gully Pinot noir was OK and the Sally's Hill shiraz excellent

Price: About $100 for two.

Comments: If you like Thai and you live around there give it a try

Score: 13.5/20

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