and 10 at the rear, at the former home of L'Oustal on Bridport St., has been getting a lot of publicity lately. Talented chef Greg Brown, who trained at Trois Grois has redesigned the menu to the extent that there is no longer any Vietnamese element in the eight course degustation menu that we ate. What matters most, though, is the food rather than its ethnicity and that is really good. First came a Prawn "Magic Mushroom" with apple and sherry mousseline. This is a beaut combination of sweet apple with its own texture contrasting with the mousseline, which could have been a little lighter, set off by the mushroom in its centre. A great starter. It was served with brioches,
formerly one of Greg's signature products. Tomato tea with olive tomato pearls and field mushroom crisp was worthy of any restaurant. As with all the dishes served it was colourful, nicely presented, very tasty (the tomato tea a clear consomme absolutely first class), and offered a range of textures that combined well. Diablo of lobster and scallop with fried leek, lobster oil and mustard had a very delicate flavour.
It needed a lighter surround to get the very best out of it. I would have liked bread to sop up the oil after the rest was eaten. Luscious. Oyster on spaghetti with champagne sauce is a rather meager serve as a course.
Regardless it could not have been better for taste. The pasta is under the oyster. The champagne sauce unbeatable. Braised belly of pork on lentils had been slowly cooked for 4 to 6 hours resulting in a moist and tender meat with what might once have been tough skin and fat melting in the mouth.
The Pui lentils were a perfect accompaniment. Daube of ox cheek was served with a heavily reduced very rich red wine sauce. Quite salty, served with an onion and a rolled sheet of pasta, I would have preferred something like mashed potatoes to lighten up this dish. Recalling Brillat-Saverins' dictum that a meal without cheese before the dessert was like a beautiful woman with only one eye we added a cheese dish. Two French ash and vine wrapped goats cheeses one two and one four weeks old. The older slightly stronger, both typical of that style of cheese. Dessert selection included a quite strong lemon souffle, a caramelised apple a scoop of ice cream and a small dish with cherries and a few squares of mango (I think) allowed modification of tastes according to the order in which things were eaten. Quite nice but so many calories.
Degustation is $85 Wines by the glass $8 to $12 Mains $36 but you would want side dishes
If you're lucky you might also get to see Greg's dog!