We've taken advantage of a break in the hot spell to head off to Pearl for a leisurely lunch
and by the look of the restaurant, everyone else is staying indoors.
We mull over the menu with glasses of champagne and once again start with oysters
Moulting Bay Oysters served with mint and green chilli nam jim
yes, I think we enjoyed them. I must add that just like Bacash these oysters were served still attached to the shell however they were a little easier to pry free. I understand that serving them attached to the shell is a way of showing they are super fresh but with the cutlery usually supplied, detaching them isn't an easy thing to do and I'd be more than willing to forgo that perception of "ultra freshness" for a little convenience.
Paalo's choice: Saltwater char cooked in palm sugar and nam pla, wallis lakes rock oysters, sashimi of gould's squid with iberico ham and honey dew melon, shaved lime ice
In the center, the sashimi of squid with shaved lime ice.
Around the rim are 3 pieces of the iberico ham topped palm sugar cured saltwater char interspersed with 3 wallis lakes oysters that sat on slivered cucumber.
A wonderful study of differing textures and tastes all beautifully balanced.
My Choice: Half shell hervey bay scallops with yellow curry sauce, crispy fried shallots, coriander and lime
At first look you might think that there's just too much curry paste over the scallops but the yellow curry sauce provided such a wonderful foil for the just cooked scallops. It was perfectly spiced so as to accentuate the sweetness of the scallops.
For our mains:
Paalo's Choice: Sukiyaki of Moondara beef with tofu, shitake, enoki and daikon, shiso and chyrsanthemum shoots, dashi broth added at the table. On the side, udon noodle, ponzu and sesame dipping sauces.
It was both amusing and sad that when Paalo ordered it, the waiter had to tell him that it's not served as a steak! Unfortunately people tend to see waygu or beef and don't click that it's Sukiyaki (or worse, they don't know what sukiyaki is) and as they have had some upset customers in the past they now have to make sure people understand what the dish is.
The dashi broth is poured at the table and then it's up to you to decide how long the beef slices "cook" in the broth.
My choice: Soy braised baby chicken, roast pumpkin, red date and ginger flower dumpling, spring onion relish, star anise master stock sauce
The pumpkin, red date and ginger flower dumpling looked a little more like a spherical ravioli and it sat between the beans and chicken. A simple dish but with complex flavours.
A break with cheese:
Cromwell Bishop Organic Stilton, Queso Iberico, Pont L'Eveque
Paalo's Choice: Frozen white chocolate and black cherry mousse with coconut biscuit, ruby grapefruit, papaya, rambutan fruit salad and lychee sorbet
I don't think I need to say that this was a gorgeous dessert.
My Choice: Golden dumplings "the redux" - crisp fried taro dumplings with dark, milk and white valrhona chocolate, vanilla custard and gold leaf
A close up of one of the taro balls - there are three in the serving, each filled with a different molten chocolate
Filled with dark chocolate..
filled with milk chocolate...
and filled with white chocolate.
Hard to believe, these were even tastier than they looked.
631-633 Church Street, Richmond
Weekends/Public Holidays: 11am-Midnight
Phone: 03 9421 4599