Saturday, December 20, 2014

Man Mo World Trade Centre Melbourne 12/2014

In their own words
"Man Mo is a candle-lit temple style restaurant offering fine dining with both traditional and modern dishes inspired from cooking styles of the Malaysian cultures.
Man Mo’s menu features an extensive selection of dishes inspired by the ingredients and cooking styles of the Chinese and Malaysian cultures. The resulting modern Chinese Malaysian food is served with a European flourish.
Boasting an interior space that is white, light and airy, Man Mo also features a casual dining area alongside the bar. Visitors are encouraged to sit back and relax. The glass walls slide back when the weather’s fine, allowing diners to eat al fresco or on the promenade seats with fine waterfront and city views."
Which is quite a good summary.
It is a very nice place with a mixture of traditional Chinese decor

and modern Western table settings

And what restaurant today can resist stencilling there name on their glasses?

Under the guiding hand of Elizabeth Choong, who must be a National treasure, seen here with two chefs,we had a end of year celebratory dinner enhanced with Mitchelton wines and the added pleasure of a very  proficient magician at Man Mo

The menu was rather too large. It began with three entrées:
Tasmanian oyster platter; steamed with ginger and shallots, natural with a piquant plum sauce and deep fried with a dry chili garlic.

A very tasty and appropriate start.
The second entrée was mango scallop in kataifi pastry and Man Mo garfish supreme. This is a super dish. The garfish outstanding. Everything here was concealed and transformed.

Followed by a delicate preserved Chinese cabbage clear soup,

which was also excellent, after which came a third entrée, Buddha Belly Quail. This was, according to the chef, twice cooked- steamed & fried whole boned quail stuffed with chicken mince served with tempura vegetables in a goose liver & sweet soya sauce. Over whelmed by the sauce, which also had some chilli in it, I could not recognize any thing but quail.

Not quite as special as it's name might have suggested.
These dishes were accompanied by a pleasant 2013 Blackwood Park reisling

and a 2012 Marsanne

The first two main courses, served with steamed rice, were braised pork belly with miso and Supreme soya in a taro basket,

an OK dish but not really special,
and a claypot of mixed Chinese vegetables with preserved bean curd,

which I thoroughly enjoyed.
These came with the only red wine for the night,

a MicheltonCrescent SGM (shiraz, grenache, mouvedre).
The last two mains were described as Free range chicken duet, deboned and layered with mince prawn meat, lightly battered crispy fillets

which also presented beautifully and was texturally interesting but lacking in taste.
and a rather dull noodle dish Char Kway Teow. This is a great traditional Singapore and Malay favourite. According to Wikepedia this is supposed to be especially tasty containing shahe fen, (the rice noodles) light and dark soy sauce, chilli, belachan (shrimp paste), whole prawns, de shelled  cockles, bean sprouts and Chinese chives. It totally missed the mark here.

These came with a 2013 Chardonnay
Desert was a mango pudding served with ice cream.

After this huge meal I did not relish the dessert, served with a Blackwood Park botrytis reisling.
The entrées were excellent but after that the meal became less than special. I think they are capable of producing very good food but the menu has to be chosen carefully. I am also chary of single vineyard  wines for multi course dinners. It is are for more than ne of them to particularly enhance the food.
Score: 14/20

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