Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Luke and Guy Show

Luke Mangan and Guy Grossi, two celebrity chef's in Australia, well Melbourne and Sydney anyway, put on a show and dinner at the Regent Plaza ballroom
on Friday and Saturday night last week. About 300 foodies and fans paid anything from $150 to $375 to watch some low level buffoonery while these two 'stars' lapped up the adulation of several admiring young women. They cooked each of the courses on stage before teams of waiters poured out of the kitchen
to lay their offerings before us. There was plenty of pre dinner finger food, with Pommery champagne, in the foyer, which was just as well as it was a long wait for the first course. This was a carpacchio of Kingfish overwhelmed by a sweet ginger, citrus (orange) dressing with radish, coriander and Flying fish roe.
Give me sashimi next time please. This was followed, some considerable time later, by a red leg lobster angnolotti, with a barely detectable bit of lobster and no taste of it at all, accompanied by "passata", pecorino, fried basil, shallots. It looked good but the essential ingredient, a taste of lobster was AWOL. A slow cooked Hopkins River beef yearling eye fillet,
marinated then cooked in a vacuumed bag at 80 degrees for 40 minutes was terribly over cooked. You can do this at home Luke told us several times but who would want to. The smear of celeriac paste, hardly a teaspoon full, was thew best part of the dish. It came with a very ordinary feta salad. Finally the dessert called a St.Tropezian tart. I don't know how it got St. Tropez attached to its name. It was dry, heavy and desperately needed the quince and sauce Anglais.

Wines were supplied by Shelmerdine and were above average and water by Sanpellegrino. In my view it is close to criminal to buy bottled water in Melbourne where, I believe, the stuff that comes out of the tap is far superior, far cheaper and leaves a far smaller carbon footprint.
Kate Cebrano was supposed to provide entertainment. She managed one solo song and one with the company. In total the show was plebeian and the food was worse.
A final irritation was to find Luke's book on sale for $45 when two days before I paid $59 for the same thing at his gastropub!!! They say there's a sucker born every day, I've got May 27.
Score: 11.5/20


John Salisbury said...

Elliot in my limited experience these "big" functions are often a disappointment.
Too hard to control even for chef's of this calibre.

Wendy and I totally concur re imported water comments.

We will go to Palace following your favourable review...

Kind regards John

Anonymous said...

I find big functions the best way of spoiling good food, closely followed by my own coooking. When I made the reservation I was told it would be a much smaller function and I thought it was going to be at Grossi Florentino!
Re Palace Hotel. I hope your experience is as good as ours was. Please send a comment. It is such a personal matter and influenced by lots of external factors so fingers crossed it will be A OK.

Shane said...

Hi Elliot and Sandra,

Thanks for posting this review, my wife and I are heading to Melbourne shortly for a bit of a break so I'm doing my homework on nice places to take my wife... I agree buying bottled water is bad for our health and way to expensive.

Lovely photos you took there.


Elliot and Sandra said...

Strangely half the criticisms of the blog are about the quality of the pictures. The rest are about the grammar, spelling and problems navigating around as well as the deficiencies in the index. On the other hand it is not unusual for us to get compliments on the photos. I just use a little digital camera but think I should try to get some lessons in photography and then a much better camera.

Matthew said...

I agree with Shane, the photos look lovely... Did you end up finding out how the dessert got it's name St. Tropez?

Sounds a bit out of left field, looks yummy though...

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Matthew
Tx for the support.
So far have no clue to the name. I suspect it has very little to do with St. Tropez.