It may be the birthday of The King but it's also the birthday of frequent dinner companion Al and we've come out to celebrate and his favourite spot Matteo's.
As usual we've opt for the Tasting Menu with matched wines:
Miso caramelised black cod filled, pan-fried eggplant and sambal roasted cherry tomato, Indonesian yellow curry dressing;
Seared sea scallop, rice noodle raviolo with roasted fennel and almond crustacean butter sauce
08 Leo Buring Leonay Watervale Riesling
07 Quealy 'Independance' Pinot Gris
the miso caramelised cod fillet sits on a thick slice of eggplant, the eggplant acting like a sponge to capture all the flavours, the yellow curry is delicately spiced and a perfect companion to the cod. The cod itself was cooked to perfection, the fish coming apart in lush flakes.
Scallop cooked as I love them, seared on one side, the interior gorgeously translucent. Behind it sits a spring roll shaped raviolo made from rice noodle - the rice noodle has such an interesting texture and its filling of roasted fennel brings a delicate aniseed flavour to the dish.
Chinese style duck breast, creamed leeks and soya bean spring roll, salted cucumber coriander and peanut pesto, hoisin duck sauce;
Minced Chicken & mushroom pithivier, asparagus spears pan-fried with oyster sauce
08 Tscharke Girl Talk Albarino
02 Del Rios of Mt Anakie Reserve Pinot Noir
The duck breast as you can see is lovely and pink - tender, its skin is nicely spiced, bringing in those scents of star anise, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Behind it is a creamed leek and soya bean spring roll that is topped with a coriander and peanut pesto.
Encased in buttery and flaky puff pastry is a mixture of minced chicken and it sits on seared asparagus spears, lightly flavoured with oyster sauce
Crumbed Kurobuta pork terrine with cheek, trotter and spicy black pudding, shredded apple and ginko nut salad, green apple and wasabi sauce
Milk-fed veal loin rolled in porcini dust, spinach, feta & leek cannelloni, taro and root vegetable rosti
03 Summerfield Reserve Merlot
04 Brini Estate Grenache Shiraz
Inside this crumbed cube is a mix of pork cheek, trotter and black pudding. For a small cube it packs a lot of flavour. The shredded apple and apple and wasabi sauce help to soften the rich flavours of the cube.
Behind the veal loin is the cannelloni - instead of pasta, leek is used to wrap the filling of spinach and feta.
For our final course, Al's plate came with an extra surprise
a little birdie must have whispered something.
The wine match is 2006 De Bortoli Noble One Semillon
Silvan Estate Monbulk raspberries between almond shortcake biscuits with framboise mascarpone with macerated berries.
Mango carpaccio with lime syrup, pistachio halva, watermelon sorbet
533 Brunswick Street, Nth Fitzroy
Phone: 9481 1177
Lunch: Sunday-Friday from noon
Dinner: 7 days from 6pm