Thursday, July 01, 2010

Comme Kitchen (Melbourne) 06/2010

This is a very popular restaurant with aspirations that are not quite realized. First impressions as we waited for our table that we had been assured would be ready and we would not have to wait if we were punctual, is of a large, rather bare, area adjacent to a bar.
The staff all all young attractive, courteous and knowledgeable about the food. On the other hand they were also a little disorganized, offered sparkling or still water but did not mention wine or cocktails, and took quite a while when, finally, we asked for some wine.
The menu, which is called 'Comme La Cuisine', nods to the French at several places with an assortment of French terms scattered through it for example Plat du (sic) jour, grilled lemon and jus gras and creamed parsley 'en croute'. It's a limited menu with six entrees, six mains and six side dishes. No vegetarian mains but there was an onion soup and a braised artichoke dish that, perhaps could have been served as a main. We started with six Burgundy snails,

braised in Chardonnay stuffed with garlic, parsley and Pernod butter. ($16) As they arrived the aroma of herbs and garlic was mouth watering. Indeed the sauce was rich in flavour and after the snails were gone we continued to soak up the buttery sauce with bread until it was all gone. I don't know if these snails could have been cut in half but they surely were the smallest snails I have ever eaten. Other entrees were not very tempting. Seared scallops, braised leeks, milk infusion and Avruga caviar ($25) might have been interesting and had the chiken liver and foie gras pate ($16) been a duck liver pate I would have had that - I never spoil a meal thinking about cholesterol!
Mains were two fish dishes, one salmon, one barramundi, one venison, one rabbit, one duck and one steak (Angus rump, an odd choice if you are going to have only one beef dish.) Prices ranged from $35 to $42. Sandra had the roast Aylesbury duck breast and croustillant of leg with beetroot creamed Savoy cabbage and Madeira sauce. ($38).

The verdict very nice presentation. Lacked any 'wow' factor. My roasted Western Plains rabbit loin stuffed with apple and Dijon mustard, Lyonnaise salad, soft boiled quail eggs (and blood pudding, not mentioned on the menu)
was really excellent. The rabbit was tender and moist there were no dominating flavours just a gentle, delicate combination that I would not be surprised to get at leading restaurants anywhere. A pear soufflewith cream fraiche ended a reasonable meal. Masterchef judges would have no difficulty finding faults, both with the service and the food, but they were fairly minor. The clientellle were very young and mostly considerate in regard to noise but if the voices were quiet the music replaced it!
A little way to get to the top bracket in our estimation
Score: 14/20


Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. I have read a few of your reviews and you seem quite passionate and knowledgeable. However, I find you blog is not very user friendly to navigate and, man, you need a good camera if you are going to post photos for a food blog. A lot of then are unexposed and dark and a few out of focus. Hope you take this as constructive criticism and congratulate you on following your passion. Neale

Unknown said...

...sorry - that should have read underexposed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Neale
Thank you for the comment.
Unfortunately I very much agree with you and Sandra agrees even more!! Firstly I am fairly computer illiterate. I did try to establish indexes based on geographic vicinity and on food style but got so frustrated that I gave up. Perhaps if I tried to do it from the start instead of after a couple of hundred reviews it may have been easier. Anytime anyone would like to drop over we are open to advice!
Secondly, re the photo's, almost certainly the problem lies with the photographer. Although I use a fairly ordinary digital camera I should be able to do a lot better. The conditions under which I take these snaps are very variable in regard to lighting, my ability to go back to the distance I would most like to and the effect of the alcohol and what's going on around the table. I would love to get some instruction. They actually look fairly OK on my screen but I know they could be much better. I do think photo's add greatly to food blogs and in time will get a better camera which might help a bit.

Henna @ AboutCabinets Blog said...

your blog is a good one, pictures accompanying recipes are always a great attraction for visitors and you blog has best of blog,

Elliot & Sandra said...

Hi Henna
We're constantly trying to improve.