Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ezard (Melbourne CBD) 12/2016

Ezard 's has been an extremely successful restaurant for many years now and, whilst it has emphasised different tastes in food the venue has stayed very much the same.

Give someone a mass of ingredients, for example wasabi, mirin, sake and soy, or avocado, chili and pomelo, or pickled cucumber, rice wasabi, fingerlime, cream fresh and and see what they can do with them. It's an interesting challenge. Teague Ezard has come up with one answer and its encompassed in his degustation menu. Obviously it's how they are combined and the proportions that matter.
The first course on our menu was an oyster shot which was on the menu a decade ago when we were here last time. Served in a shot glass it was just as appealing with a touch of soy in the mirin and sake with just a little wasabi. This was followed by  an avocado, chili and pomelo combination.
Hardly photogenic it was a pleasant way to enjoy an unusual combination of ingredients.
Scallop dumpling, Osaka seaweed, mirin and soy broth
 was, for me, over seasoned with pepper. The scallop was not whole but had been minced and then made into a the dumpling. Not very successful for me.
Lightly cured Kingfish, pickled cucumber, puffed rice, cream fresh, wasabi and fingerlime, on the other hand,
 was a huge success, thoroughly enjoyed. To use that hackneyed expression 'a go to dish'.
Asparagus salad, smoked ricotta, Otway shitaki, air dried beef

Was another success demonstrating imagination and taste.
Salmon, Victorian greens, a clear tomato broth
came with a mini pasta.
 Totally delicious.
Pork belly, balsamic glaze and red plum
 was another lovely dish. The pork was meltingly tender with a good layer of succulent heart threatening fat. I loved it.
The final dish was a duck breast with smoked tofu.
 Good but not exciting. This was followed by a watermelon granita with hibiscus jelly, a syrup and
 cream as a palate cleanser before the dessert.
This was Choctaw, a chocolate sphere filled with mouse, kaffir lime, coconut and passionfruit.
This gorgeous presentation lived up to expectation with it's variety of tastes and textures. It was sweet but not overwhelmingly so,
We drank a 2013 Tarrawara reserve pinot noir at about three times the retail price.
All in all an extremely interesting and high quality meal. Strangely, despite it's variety there was a blandness about most of the dishes. Really good, really very good yet lacking some sort of excitement. 
Score: 16.75/20

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