Friday, June 29, 2018

Kizumé (Melbourne CBD) 06/2018

We went all out and had the tasting menu with the additional de luxe sushi upgrade ($88 + $33 PP). They also have Comments Score: /20

an extensive a la carte menu. They also have an omakase "seasonal appetizer chefs selection of sushi, miso soup at three price levels $88, $120 and $140, which I had not noticed before we ordered.
The meal began with a plate of edamame which was char griled with sea salt, shizo flower and garlic oil
Crispy Pork Gyoza came with a spicy tofu emulsion.

A platter of cured kingfish was served before .

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Le Petit Tracteur (Main Ridge, Mornington Peninsula) 06/2018

Rightly or wrongly I always thought the idea that the name 10 Miles by Tractor was intended to convey was of environmentally conscious organic local food. That restaurant is now closed but it's little brother, you might say, Petit Tracteur, is serving French style cuisine in an attractive rural environment roughly an hour and a quarter out of Melbourne concentrates on the same sort of thing.
Adjacent to the restaurant we came across something new to me.
 but we came to eat and anyway I had a three hour drive later that afternoon so alcohol had to be minimal.
The restaurant has a room attached to the main venue which is a sort of conservatorium, filled with greenery.
 Tables are large, attractively set

and well spaced.
Waitstaff are neatly dressed in white shirts and blue overalls.
Remi looked after us very well.
They offer a typical French style of food though the bread, which was appealing, was not the typical baton.
 Between us we tastes quite a few dishes starting with Coffin Bay oysters ($15 for 6!)
 Steak tartare
Seasoned minced raw fillet steak, egg yolk, capers, shallots, croutons. A little light on the seasoning.
Tarte au Celeri-Rave
Puff pastry celariac tart, mushroom duxelle, salt baked celeriac. Good but dominated by the pastry.
Portrine de Porc

Pork belly, quince puree, black barley, pork jus.  Aparently some people order this dish and then complain it is too fatty, au contraire, as the French might say, it could have been even more so, and could have been cooked for longer too. The skin looked good but was barely crisp but the black barley was excellent. 
Barramundi au Legumes D'Automne

Crispy skinned Barramundi, leek consomme, roasted celeriac. Perfectly cooked, it could not have been better, moist and rich.
Selle D'Agneau au Topinambour
Pan seared lamb rump, artichoke puree, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, lamb jus. Almost sweet this very tender piece of meat was excellently prepared and presented. Not too fussy it ticked all the boxes.
Canard a la Orange
Confit duck leg, orange sauce, green beans. A classical French dish.
This side dish was brilliant. I'm not sure what was in it apart from the peas, some onion, probably shallots and lardons which gave the whole dish a fabulous mouth watering taste. Yum.
With a long drive ahead of me I was happy to drink a 5% alcohol Massolino Moscato d'Asti

which fitted well with the desserts.
Tart Tatin

Pink Lady apples served with cream and ice cream was too sweet and lacked character.
Cream Brulee
looked good even with the unusual berry dressing but the custard had the wrong texture and was so loose that it ran onto the plate once the crust was broken and a spoonful had been eaten.
Tea was nicely presented.
Let down by the desserts this is well above average though a little short of 'fine dining'.
Score: 15/20

Monday, June 11, 2018

Woodhouse (Bendigo) 06/2018

Shown to a corner table near the central fire place this smoky and dim venue 

reminded me of The Pyjama Game "I know a dark secluded place, a place where no one knows your face" Of course it is not really that dark,
and not at all like a speakeasy.

but they have a wood fired grill that creates the atmosphere. It's a no frills sort of place.

The place is most noted for wood fired pizzas and steak, although they do have other dishes. They also offer 'Express Lunches' two or three course meals at set prices.
I had no hesitation in ordering the Sher family wagyu grade 9 steak tartare with cornichon, quail egg yolk and shaved manjimuk black truffle. 
It sat on bresaola and had some puffed wagyu tendon chips on top of it. If you can stand raw meat and more or less raw egg yolk this is an excellent dish. Full of flavour, gently spiced it was as good a dish as it could possibly be. 
There was a choice of air dried steaks, I'd passed them in their cabinet, 

as I came into the restaurant.
Top choice for me was the 600 day grain fed 280gm grade 8 waghu scotch fillet. ($62) served with Hasselback potato.
Cooked as requested,
It was meltingly tender, rich with fat through the muscle fibres and  with all the character and taste of top quality waghu. It came with a well made red wine jus, though I could have had a butter sauce, and a choice of mustards or a herb dressing. This snap does not do it justice.
For dessert I had the wood roasted Harcourt Pink Lady apple, dulce de leche, cinnamon palmier, nutty crumble, caramel glass.
A pleasant finish to a fantastic meal.
 Score:17 /20