Thursday, November 06, 2008

JacquesReymond Nov 08 (Prahran)

A couple of years ago Jacques spent a small fortune renovating his eponymous restaurant at 78 Williams Rd. The dining room is a sophisticated and elegant area. The tables, set with good quality cutlery and white linen, are well spaced and the seating is comfortable, although the corner banquette is low and a short customer might need a cushion!
They currently offer 'A Taste of Spring Degustation Menu' ($150, $240 with ]matched wines), a 'Menu Vegetarian' ($115) and an a la carte menu from which you can choose three courses ($98), Four courses ($125) or five for ($150). We selected the five course dinner and asked the sommelier , Natalie, Jacques daughter, to match wines for us . ($100). These were good size dishes and it proved to be a bit of a challenge to eat the lot.

In his traditional way prior to the first course a large and very tasty cheese gougere arrived at the table with the chefs compliments.
Hot bread rolls, just out of the oven,another regular pleasure, were dangerously moorish.

I started with the Hervey Bay scallops and smoked condiments. These were seared, covered with a light liquorice foam, and sat on a bed of smoked ocean trout in sake tempura with a smoked eel brandade, smoked tomato sorbet and cucumber jelly.
This colourful display tasted wonderful although the smoked eel taste in the brandade was barely present. A great start

We followed this with steamed coral trout in dashi broth, made from bonito flakes and kombu with apple, globe artichoke and olive dumpling. Another outstanding dish.

Next came the Wycheproof young pigeon the breast and one leg grilled with honey and szechuan pepper, the other leg in tempura. Served with wheat, coriander and lemon (both handled with a very light touch) rocket juices, ham hock oil and
grapes (peeled and butterflied too!!) Another fabulous dish. The small copper pot had a mixture of chicken and duck liver in a mushroom sauce

The milk fed veal fillet, slow roasted and poached with kombu, citrus and red onions On the same plate blow torched tuna with sesame and alight ginger and sake dressing. Everything was tender, flavours were delicate and combined well. It was served with a 2001 Jacques Reymond Reserve Bass Phillip Pinot Noir.

This was turning out to be one incredible dinner.
The fifth course was gilding the lily - a supreme of pheasant, steamed and lightly seared with mild spices, king brown mushrooms bargoile, a parmesan salad and cooking juices emulsion.

With a side dish of young salads with blue cheese and walnuts ($18) I could not even consider a dessert. Tea/coffee and lovely petit fours completed a devastatingly good meal.
This must rank as the best meal I have eaten in Melbourne. I don't have enough praise for it

The one area in which there is room for improvement was the lack of knowlege about the way in which dishes had been prepared. Time and again waiters had to return to the kitchen to inquire as to how this or that had been produced
Score 19/20

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