Friday, July 31, 2015

The Flower Drum (Melbourne CBD) July 2015

We wrote not long ago about The Flower Drum, once a shining example of the best products, well prepared and served by impeccable staff in lovely surroundings. It still has many of those attributes which made its reputation but the culinary world has changed in 25 years.
We did enjoy an eight course banquet. The products were as fresh and fine as one could ever want and the service continues to be as good as ever. despite some renovation the venue still has a tired feel about it but excellent cooking would make that irrelevant.

Steamed crab meat dumplings were pleasant, pastry was indifferent and the overall result ordinary.
Spring onion cake had butter almost dripping from the puff pastry. The filing was meagre and did not do the dish justice. It could have been much better.
Saute pearl meat was, and always is, completely bland. A little sauce doesn't quite fill the bill for flavour. Texture is unusual and I like it but others certainly do not.

An adjacent table had a whole suckling pig ($650) which serves about 12 and looked fantastic.

Baked scallops with tumeric sauce was the best dish of the night. Delicate and perfectly cooked. The tumeric added a special touch to it.

Saute crayfish with ginger and spring onion is a traditional preparation. In this dish the lobster was more cooked than I would have preferred. Flavours were bland.
but presentation of a second serve was cute and vegetables were tops.
Peking duck another traditional favourite
with some encouragement it was also served in a striking manner.
Special (but not very special) fried rice with some crustaceans added
was served with grain fed Black Angus eye fillet with black pepper sauce and seasonal vegetables.
Top ingredients, a pleasant dish but lacked anything to make it 'special'
A delicious fruit platter including sweet rock melon, golden kiwi fruit and mangosteen ended the meal.
The whole lot was lubricated with an NV Bollinger 'Special Cuvee' champagne and a 2003 Petaluma Cab/sav from Coonawarra.
Finally gorgeous almond cookies came with the hot beverages.
In all it was a very good meal but seasoning was dull and the overall effect too bland.
Score 15.5/20

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