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Friday, September 14, 2007

Dinner @ Matteo's

First off I'm going to pretend that the shocking colour cast in the photos just doesn't exist - it will be helpful if you do the same.

Tonight we join Elle and Al for a little farewell dinner at Matteo's - it has been a while since we've been there but Elle and Al's reports are glowing.

As is the norm we decide on the Tasting Menu with matching wines but first we need a fizz and choose a bottle of Billiecart-Salmon.

There are four courses in the Tasting Menu and each course is matched with 2 wines.

To begin:

first

From left to right:
Carpaccio of semi-cured Hiramasa Kingfish with a prawn remoulade sauce and "shiso" dressing
Tuna Sashimi and Tartare on a Japanese seaweed salad
Smoked eel on fried tofu, pickled plum and bonito dressing

Wine match:
Pieropan Soave Classico Garganega, Trebbiano 2005
Chatta Semillon 2004

We all agreed that the kingfish was the standout of the trio. The eel had a very pleasant smokiness to it and the tofu presented in this way proved surprisingly palatable. The tuna sashimi is a component we've tasted in the past and was excellent.


The next course consisted of:

mushrooms

Toasted Brioche, mushroom "charlotte", wilted water spinach, truffle poached quail egg, porcini mushroom "fumet" sauce

raviolo

Snow crab raviolo on stir-fried iceberg, soy butter sauce, taro straw chips

Wines:
Joseph Pinot Grigio d'Elena 2006
Pandalowie Mt Tempranillo 2006

Delicate truffle aroma wafting from the dish, it was quite filling since it was pretty rich. The raviolo was generously stuffed with crab.

main

Crisp fried, master-stock braised quail, peking cabbage fritter, bbq duck sauce
Seared rabbit loin wrapped in proscuitto with rabbit rillettes, marinated fromage blanc

Wine:
Woodside Valley Estate Bissey Merlot 2004
Brini Sebastian Shiraz 2004

The previous course was probably a bit too rich and too large to have been able to properly enjoy this course. Both components were tasty but the general consensus was that we felt a bit too full. I think the spacing between these courses wasn't large enough and the gap between the first and second too large - it should be noted that a large function was being held in the back room so I think our 2nd courses were delayed by that.

We put a delay on dessert but when it did arrive it looked like this:

chocolate

Warm dark chocolate fondant pudding

pear

coconut milk gelato and cinnamon poached pear, traditional warm zabaglione

Wine:
Alasia Moscato d'Asti 2005
Pettavel Evening Star Late Harvest Riesling 2006

dessert

The chocolate pudding was just cooked on the outside, soft and squishy on the inside. The poached pear was stuffed with a mix of nuts and fruit and the coconut ice cream was a nice counter to both the pear and chocolate pudding.

It's interesting to note that the restaurant was filled to capacity - obvious its recent "second hat" is doing wonders for trade.

Paalo also mobloged this dinner here

The Details:
Matteo's
533 Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9481 1177

Open: Lunch - Sunday-Friday from noon
Dinner: 7 days from 6pm

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