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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dinner @ Fenix

It's Paalo's birthday so we're off for a night of indulgence at Fenix.

Fenix does seem to be making the press of late but there's one piece of information that hasn't made it out, which we can now exclusively report - the liquid nitrogen cooked cleanser is no-more!

After that bombshell, it's time for some food...

broth
Smoked tuna broth with Poached oyster and Scallop slivers, red radish, daikon, dandelion leaves
To drink: Outlook Hill 2005 Chardonnay

The broth was as delicious as always and the Oyster is a single spore virgin oyster from South Australia - very plump with a great taste of the sea about them. We must also mention how particularly impressed we were by the Outlook Hill Chardonnay.

salt cod

Salt cod, broken pistachio cakes, celeriac and salt cod mousse, nasturtium puree
To drink: Dr Loosen Kabinett

There's been a little tweaking, presentation wise to the dish - some of the cake crumbs are now crispy which add a new textural element, the salt cod itself is a study of skill - the fish is still juicy yet breaks into large shards. It's a standout.

pork

Pork belly, apple cubes and apple sauce, smoked eel
To drink: Eagle Vale Sauvignon Blanc Fumé

A new dish for us - the smoked eel pieces may be small but the smoke flavour is intense. We've had the pork belly in the deconstructed laska and this is every bit as good - the meat just breaks apart and is incredibly tender while the rind is almost caramel-like in chewiness. The apples are a classic flavour pairing.

barramundi

Wild Barramundi, parsnip, truffle sand, Brussels sprouts, lactose caramel
To drink: Pinot Noir

It's still a superb dish.

quail

Seared Quail breast, beetroot jelly, roasted baby vegetables, quail egg

I have mentioned it a few times before how much I love quail - this is such a good dish I'll gladly eat it again. It's had a few tweaks on presentation - the quail egg is more predominately displayed and it looks a little less structured.

venison

Seared Venison, dehydrated vegetables with beetroot dust
To drink: 2000 Tempranillo "La Granja” from Ribera Del Duero

Another new dish - if we thought the pork was tender, then this was its equal. It's great to see venison on a menu but when it's presented so well you really get to understand why this meat is so valued. We must also mention the wine, quite a full bodied wine but matched splendidly with the venison and the strong earthy flavour of the beetroot.

In all the major elements of these dishes what is coming out is how well the kitchen is in control - whether it be meat or fish or fowl, it's tender and juicy.

pumpkin

Pumpkin Ice-cream, gingerbread biscuits, coffee crystals, caramelised pumpkin cubes

The pumpkin ice-cream is back and this combination works really well - the coffee no longer overwhelms the ice-cream and the crunchy biscuits gives you that texture that was missing in the previous incarnation involving a ginger-cake. It makes me think of Halloween with pumpkins and spice and even though it's ice cream, it's a great winter dish.


cumquats

Caramelised Cumquat, pressed macadamia biscuit and burnt orange cream

Another dish that is still as good as ever.


I should mention that there is currently a tuesday-wednesday night BYO deal going on - if you have a special bottle (or two) you've been saving for a special occasion then this is for you. When you book, just let them know about your wine and they will create a 4 course degustation menu for you for only $85 a head and they even throw in a glass of Champagne to kick off the night. If you haven't dined here before then perhaps now is the time.


The details:

Fenix can be found at
680 Victoria Street Richmond
(03) 9427 8500

Open:
Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch
Tuesday - Saturday for Dinner

web
www.fenix.com.au

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