Saturday, November 03, 2007


The closest thing to fine dining in Balaclava Rd St.Kilda. Piper has a menu that promises rather more than it delivers.
There were plenty of free tables on Friday night when we turned up for dinner which meant that we could talk quietly and enjoy what was to be enjoyed- not everthing.
Our small square table had an irritating rock each time one side or the other was leant on but I put up with it without comment.
On arrival we were quickly presented with most a excellent slice of French bread, from Mornington, and olive oil on, unfortunately, indifferent Balsamic vinegar. Butter was supplied on request. Good quality cutlery, crockery and linen napkins (the U term for serviettes!) made a good impression
There is a reasonable list of ordinary wines by the glass on blackboards on each side of the room $8 to $11
The chef's offering of a small cup of leek and potato soup was well received I started with an entree of crispy skin quail on a large mushroom stuffed ravioli.
Very tasty but not crispy skin at all. My wife had the Souffle which was much too firm - more like an omelette.
For mains My medium rare lamb stuffed with olive fetta on a bed of parsnip mash would have been excellent but for the domination of the olive taste and the toughness of the meat.

The parsnip was beaut but really went better with the duck confit that my wife had. This came with a somewhat incongrous Yorkshire dumpling and the balance of the sour cherry sauce not quite right being too sour
Desserts looked good and the Honeycomb bomb Alaska with rich chocolate ice cream was wonderful if you can take all that richness.

The apple tartin with coconut ice cream looked very nice too but was wrecked by being burnt on the bottom. (Burnt I told the waiter. Caramelised said he without apology or recognition that I might actually be telling him the truth No atrocious said I BURNT!) Ah well I think I prefer the the Carlisle Wine Bar which is good with no pretentions
Score: 13/20

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