Friday, April 13, 2012

The Point (Albert Park) 04/2012

A year ago this was home to Scott Pickett, now at The Estelle. Highly regarded AGFG awarded them two hats and we agreed with that rating. Things are different now. The place looks exactly the same with carcasses hanging over magnificent steaks in a glass fronted cabinet just outside the entrance to the restaurant. Well spaced white clothed tables look out over the lake. Frank, the head waiter is still there but they now have a new general manager, Brian Lloyd, formerly from Vue de Monde and a new head chef, Justin Wise who worked for six years at the Press Club and more recently at Maze.
Service is exemplary. Wait staff are always at hand but never in your face, bread rolls are offered frequently and butter, which is a cultured butter from country Victoria, is replaced promptly with out having to be requested. It speaks of quiet quality. They concentrate on meat but also offer some sea food dishes and a degustation menu which, had we desired, they would have modified as to the number of courses. They have an extremely extensive wine list. Many of the wines are hundreds and thousands of dollars a bottle but there are a few around the $80 mark. By the glass they range from about $15 to $27
On this occasion we chose the a la carte menu.
An amuse bouche arrived with a French accented waiter consisting of a rabbit rillette with a ring of crisp fried onion and little pear puree which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I got more of my share as no one else at the table would eat rabbit! Eating is a psychological experience too. If they had and closed their eyes opened their minds a little they would have loved it. For entree we had a scallop risotto with squid ink. This was disappointing. A small serve for $29, the rice was still quite hard and it was not in the sort of creamy sauce we expected. The scallop had been cooked nicely, just seared and then cut in half. Here we would have preferred a larger serve of risotto and two scallops rather than two halves.Never the less it did deserve a better photo. I had a tasting plate of meats consisting of 100 gm of pasture fed Cape Grim Eye fillet,100gm of Sher Fi Wagyu Porterhouse, 350 days grain fed and 100 gm Hopkin River Eye fillet, 120 days grain fed. On Scott Pickett's menu they had five different cuts and I would have liked to have tasted more than these three.

All were exceptionally tasty with the grain fed being fattier, in the meat itself, than the grass fed steak. The waghu was the fattiest of the three.Grass fed had better flavor but the texture of the grain fed meat and the feeling it produces in the mouth is superb if you like fat. Sandra had an impressive rib eye, cooked as requested. It ticked all the boxes.Our friends had chateaubriand, removed from the bone at the table. They have taken control of the hanging and aging of their meat and are doing it really well. These equal the best steaks we have enjoyed for a long time. A side dish of carrots with pine nuts in a honey sauce was excellent.Dessert, a deconstructed creme brulee, bore little resemblance to the dish it was named after.
We will come back and try the degustation menu. This is a sophisticated restaurant, a bit more expensive than the average. We both feel that, despite their magnificent steaks, they will struggle to keep their two hats although there were certainly some high points.
Score: 14/20

1 comment:

mery johnson said...

Hi
Nice blog post over great hotel, staff and obviously great dishes.
I like the staff services along with that chef you are talking about as he has a very good experience.
Flinders Ranges Tours