Monday, May 24, 2010

Jaques Reymond

Jaques Reymond
Despite its $x million refurbishment one feels, as before, that one is eating in the front room of a Victorian mansion. There are several new faces who have migrated from other leading establishments, such as Vue de Monde, bringing a high level of professionalism, understanding and attention with them.
Another plus is that Jaques is usually in the kitchen.
He claims to "have introduced a new approach to fine dining. The concept is designed to encourage you to sample a wider variety of dishes in a more dynamic and accessible way" They therefore offer only entree size dishes. Evidently he has not noticed what has been going on at fine dining restaurants around Melbourne for the last decade. He has a eight dish 'Menu Vegetarian' plus petit fours and tea/coffee $130 or $225 with six matched wines. Which looked extremely interesting. An eight course 'Taste of our Degustation Menu' including coffee and petit fours for $170 or $265 with six wines matched by "our sommelier 'Nathalie Reymond'''. and a sort of a Carte, a menu of quite different dishes, offering three, four or five courses for $98 $125 or $150 respectively. Finally he notes that the restaurant will not be responsible for any illness caused by the use of nuts and asks that the waiter be informed of any food allergies.
We opted for the one with the lot. As usual an outstanding bouchere arrived at the table first.

The first course, an odd conglomeration, Lemongrass, spinach and rock lobster soup, fragrant Tiger prawn, sweet potato and turmeric ice cream,

was interesting and I would have happily had more except for the ice cream which was a mismatch on this dish. A Tyrrell's 2004 Semillon was pleasant enough was pleasant.
Seven more courses.
Sandwich of spanner crab, mirin, fresh wasabi jelly, lacquered Petuna ocean trout, black bean and sweetcorn dressing, - everything on the plate gets a mention,

was a taste bud pleasure. The fish and the crab both contrasting in flavour and delicacy represented very fine cooking. The wild barramundi with pepper, yoghurt, black garlic Kafir lime hidden by lemongrass espuma

shows Jacques is moving far from classical French and this dish, for me, was over fussy and overcomplicated failing to achieve anything in the taste department. Many wines would have done here a 2008 Toolangi 'Jaques Reymond' selection Chardonnay served well enough.
There is even less French about the Peking duck and Hervey bay scallops, Peking juices, spiced marshnallow like a crepe (not very like one though), crispy rice, ginger sesame and pandan oil

bore no resemblance to any version we have ever seen of Peking duck. I suppose you can call anything whatever you like and it did have duck but I felt misled. It didn't taste that good either and 'Jaques Reymond' selection 2007 Bass Phillip Pinot Noir was far from his best. At least their bread is extremely appealing, looks like bread and tastes like bread.
Highland venison came next.
with a 'Jaques Reymond' selection 2005 Dalwhinnie Shiraz which I liked but why doesn't he tell us what it really is?
The last 'main' entree was suckling pig.
A rather ordinary Chateauneuf-du-Pape came with this. The food was very good but we were both getting a bit jaded by now.
The Pacific rim martini with liquorice ice cream and honeycomb was a nice palate reliever.
before the milleleuilles, plural you see, of chocolate, white chocolate mousse, Carribean chili ice cream dark chocolate mousse and praline ice cream.It was as rich and sweet as it sounded. The Seppelts Field Grand Tokay was an ideal accompaniment.
This was a very good meal regardless of my picky comments. It is expensive and the wine selection were not especially good.
Score 16.5/20


Anonymous said...

He did introduce this approach to fine dining to Melbourne, it just happens that everyone else copied him.

Anonymous said...

We took overseas business guests and were nearly foamed out, a very expensive and disappointing dinner,

Elliot and Sandra said...

To Anon one let me emphasize that is his claim, between exclamation marks.
To Anon two I certainly hope you did not go there on our recommendation,