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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Event @ Les Boucheries Parisiennes


Outlook Hill is a winery in the Yarra Valley and tonight we're attending a wine dinner, featuring the Outlook Hill range.


On arrival we enjoyed glasses of Champagne Gardet Cuvee Riche while waiting for all the guests to arrive. We had a taste of the cuvee riche at lunch on Saturday and it is just a superb aperitif styled champagne, that touch of sweetness just makes it special.

I can't overlook the great bread rolls - they are offered as usual in their cloth sacks, irresistibly warm. You would be very happy just eating this warm bread.

We begin with an amuse:


Freshly chucked Oysters and Escargots de Bourgogne
NV Champagne Gardet Brut Tradition "St Flavy"

Duo of caramelised scallops, smoked pork belly, carrot puree, apple and watercress salad, almond foam
2008 Outlook Hill Pinot Gris
2008 Outlook Hill Pinot Rose

Pork and scallops are often served together and this was a stunning dish. Fabulous meaty scallops perfectly served - the pork, soft and gelatinous, masterfully smoked to give enough of that smoke character without being overpowering. The skin was almost caramel like in consistency.

Herb crusted Rockling, white asparagus, morel mushroom gnocchi, truffle beurre noisette
2006 Outlook Hill Chardonnay
2007 Outlook Hill Gold Leaf Chardonnay

A plate of indulgent spring flavours - soft morel gnocchi and tender white asparagus. A beautifully cooked piece of rockling - I love when it just flakes along its layers.

Veal Tenderloin, hazelnut and cabbage salad, crispy sweetbreads, salsa verde
2006 Outlook Hill Pinot Noir
2007 Outlook Hill Gold Leaf Pinot Noir

Perfectly cooked, it's a gorgeous piece of veal.

Selection of Artisan Cheese with quince paste and

fruit bread
2006 Outlook Hill Gold Leaf Reserve Cabernet Merlot

Peanut Butter, chocolate brownie parfait, caramel sauce, peanut praline
2005 Chateau Fayau Cadillac

It certainly deserves a close up.

A delightful way to finish the evening - for something of its size it is surprising light. The brownie isn't too dense and the parfait is like whipped air. A marvelous combination of flavours, chocolate, caramel and peanuts.

The details:

Les Boucheries Parisiennes
268 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Phone: (03) 8256 1636

Lunch - Tuesday to Sunday: 12pm to 2.30pm
Dinner - Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm to late


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lunch @ Pearl

After last night we're still feeling a bit sad so we've decided to head out to Pearl to help cheer us up.


Apart from that it's been a long time between meals here.

Coddled Egg Toastie with scallops and salmon caviar - when I saw this was back on the menu I just had to order it.

Seriously, is there a much lovelier sight than that?

Adam's Memories of Manhattan - an offering of four fish tastes


For mains:

Roast Red Duck Curry, a crispy fried eggs, shallots, mint, sweet fish sauce, coconut rice and cabbage spear

For my main choice I went for another classic Pearl offering - if you only ever have one dish here, make sure you at least try this.

Roast Saltbush Lamb Leg with grilled cutlets, brussel sprout leaves, broad beans, mint, cumin and cauliflower cream

Paalo's main was a study of Lamb, there's about 6 different cuts of lamb. The cauliflower cream sitting at the center of the plate was like velvet.

Rather than have dessert we ordered a plate of "Sweet Treats"


Verjus jelly, violet marshmallow, pearl dusted chocolate truffles

Berry Jellies, Saffron Fairyfloss

The details:

Pearl Restaurant
631-633 Church Street, Richmond

Monday-Sunday: 6.30pm-11pm

Monday-Sunday: 12pm-3pm

Monday-Sunday: 11am-11pm

Phone: 03 9421 4599


Since the silly season is approaching you might like to know that Pearl is open:

Christmas Day - lunch and dinner
Boxing Day - dinner only
27-30 December - lunch and dinner
New Years Even - lunch and dinner
1-5 January - closed
Re-opening January 6th

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dessert Degustation @ Interlude

interlude menu© by Haalo

It's Interlude's last night and we're back with Al and Elle. We'd had plans to come here for the dessert degustation for ages and as it turned out, we've managed to accomplish that just in the nick of time.

I'm not going to say anything about these dishes - I don't really need to. There's one thing you know for certain when Pierre is preparing dessert you will never be bored and there's always something new and usual and intriguing that makes his dishes more than something you eat, but something that leaves you thinking.

Rye, Apricot, Caraway

Cardamon, Quinoa, Coconut, Pedro Ximenez

Milk, Chocolate, Nuts

Blueberries, Semolina, Cashew

Chocolate, Beetroot, Coffee, Passionfruit

Cherries, Milk, Olive Oil

Raspberry, Sour Cream, Mint, Eucalyptus

the end of the last dish

One final surprise was left in the evening - we were presented with signed menus from all the crew at Interlude


It's something that we will all treasure and just a beautiful way to say not a goodbye but a Ciao, we'll meet again.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Lunch @ Les Boucheries Parisiennes

It's been a while between meals here so that's a good enough reason to return.


The change in seasons brings in a new menu - an express lunch menu has been introduced to compliment the regular a la carte offerings.

We decide to stick with a la carte and our first course brings us an array of intriguing cutlery


For starters:


We both decide to have the tasting plate of 6 entrees - in the center sections we have from top to bottom, gruyere souffle and truffled tortellini


Top: Snails cooked in the shell with garlic and herb butter
Bottom: Oysters with salmon roe and ruby grapefruit


Top: smoked ham hock terrine with salsa verde and poached shiitake slices
Bottom: Seared Scallops on carrot puree, watercress and almond

It's almost impossible to pick a favourite but those scallops are just so perfectly cooked they might just win out.

We also end up with a little extra treat from the kitchen


pan seared quail breast, poached leg with slices of roasted beetroot, wild rocket and goat biscotti

I do have a fondness for quail, and this is really delicious. Even the bones are picked clean by the end.

For mains:

Chicken Kiev with truffle jus, confit potatoes and summer beans

It may sound a bit retro but you'll appreciate why this dish is considered a classic. The truffle jus puts this into a class of its own. Thick and syrupy, the truffle flavour is certainly evident


Rib Eye served with roasted shallots, cherry tomatoes, pommes frittes, red wine sauce and bearnaise sauce.

Paalo goes for the beef and it turns out to be a fantastic choice. Cooked to perfection, wonderfully rare, it's incredibly tender and full flavoured.

For dessert:

Mango Pannacotta with pineapple donuts and pineapple salad
This definitely deserves a close-up. I'm impressed with the mango pannacotta - with its pure mango flavour and that "just-set" texture. The donuts are light and fluffy and come with a pineapple filling. This is summer in dessert form.

Cherry ripe, coconut ice cream and malibu anglaise

Paalo indulges himself with cherry ripe - cherry & coconut filling topped with thick dark chocolate. A tasty ball of coconut ice-cream and malibu anglaise sip completes the dish.

To finish, nut studded chocolate discs to enjoy with coffee.

The details:

Les Boucheries Parisiennes
268 Toorak Road, South Yarra

Phone: (03) 8256 1636

Lunch - Tuesday to Sunday: 12pm to 2.30pm
Dinner - Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm to late


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dinner @ Interlude

What can you say...we had hoped that the whispers weren't going to come to pass but alas they did. Interlude is closing its doors - last service on Saturday night.

While we never got to knowingly have a farewell dinner at Fenix we certainly are going to say au revoir to Interlude in style.

It begins, as always, with the beer flavoured nuts, lattice cut chips with salt and vinegar foam.

Alphabet Soup
2007 Chateau Bierre Bise Cabernet

The letters are a basil gel and they sit on almost clear parmesan gel - the warm tomato broth is poured at the table which works to melt the parmesan gel but set the basil gel.

Rabbit, Lentils, Liquorice Beignets
2005 Gerge Breuer Spätburgunder

Underneath and set at a angle in the bowl, is a gel of lentils which is designed to dissolve in the heat of your mouth.  3 slices of poached rabbit loin are arranged between delicately scented liquorice beignets.

Cauliflower, Herring Roe, Apple, Chervil

The dish that causes grown men to giggle.

Marron, Egg Yolk Puree, Carrot, Shellfish Consomme
2005 Mount Gisborne Chardonnay

Veal Sweetbreads, Rosemary Cookie, Eucalyptus
2005 Les Bérangères Trousseau Jacques Puffeney

One of my favourite dishes as the final product is just so different. The combination of rosemary cookies, sweetbreads and eucalyptus is almost impossible to describe - it defies classification as sweet or savoury.

Roast Chicken, Roast Egg, Leek
2005 Mount Gisborne Chardonnay

There's a bonus of sliced truffle over the faux egg - cut the egg and chicken juices escape. Chicken breast is shaped to form a ball and it's served along side shredded leek and a delicious black pudding puree.

Mulloway, Violet, Scallops, Chicory Sponge, Malt
2005 Marcel Deiss Bergheim Pinot Blanc

Pan seared mulloway sits askew a slice of chickory sponge cake. A seared scallop and treviso complete the plate - violet powder brings and intriguing perfume to the dish.

Wagyu Sirloin, Horseradish, Roasted Onion Puree, Potato Croquette
2005 Gaja Ca'Marcanda Promis

9+ Wagyu sirloin is served with roasted puree and horseradish foam - to one side a potato cylinder stuffed with braised oxtail.

Rye, Apricot, Caraway
2002 Suicciardini Strozzi Vin Santo

Caraway flavoured milk is poured at the table into a bowl containing apricot sorbet, apricot foam, toasted rye flour and rye friand

Milk, Chocolate, Nuts
NV Stanton and Killeen Tokay

Think nutella like flavours - chocolate, hazelnuts, cashews, milk sorbet, puffed rice and coffee

Cherries, Milk, Olive Oil
NV Renardat-Fache Bugey Cerdon

The cherries are poached in olive oil and served with milk jelly cubes, olive oil tuiles and cherry sorbet

Petit Fours - a final treat with our coffee.

With that, our final dinner at Interlude draws to a close - sad to see it passing but hoping for good things to rise in the future.