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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Lunch @ Fenix

The trouble with having your birthday fall on either Sunday or Monday is that a lot of restaurants are closed or don't open for dinner. Usually for my birthday, it's just Paalo and I that go out but for a change and in light of it being Sunday, we are joined by my sister Elle and partner Al for a leisurely lunch at Fenix.

The first surprise for me comes at that restaurant when we're ushered to the Chef's table - seems Paalo has been doing some planning and to my immense pleasure I have a perfect view of the Kitchen and we'll be enjoying a degustation lunch.

kitchen

We begin with the 1985 Veuve Clicquot Rosé - 1985 was a fantastic year in Champagne and this is a perfect example, a splendid drop in which to toast.

As usual the meal begins with the liquid nitrogen cleanser.

yabbies

yabbies

Our first course are the crusted yabbies - seared on one side and served on top of tapioca infused with pieces of longan.


Next we are given two different dishes -

tomatoes

Elle and Al both get to enjoy the mixed tomato salad with sorrel and white chocolate sorbet and tomato broth

and Paalo and I get to try one of the newer dishes

quail

quail

In regards to this offering, can I say, You had me at Quail! Along with pieces of seared quail there are baby turnips, golden carrots and baby orange carrots and baby beets and baby leeks and the most tasty roasted hazelnuts - a kaleidoscope of colour and flavour and texture.

kitchen

fish

fish

You might be asking what are those usually shaped black shards - well it's dried squid ink and they sit atop seared fish fillets and calamari coils that look like they had been perfectly patterned so when they cooked they looked like fiddle-head ferns.

marrow

marrow

This next dish screamed FLAVOUR. Sautéed bone marrow served with wonderfully sticky dehydrated vegetables and beetroot dust. The marrow so gelatinous, it melted in the heat of your mouth.

kitchen

lamb

lamb

Our final savoury dish - roasted lamb rump served on a eggplant sauce. We had earlier enjoyed the scent of roasting eggplants and now we were enjoying them. Draped over the top were baby leeks and to one side a sesame seed brittle with rosemary flowers.

anton careme

Written on the wall in the area of the chef's table - these words of Anton Careme face out into the kitchen.

green apple

The dessert that wowed the tables at the recent Desserts of the Future Dinner - green apple sorbet, blackberry, cashew nuts, tiny cubes of apple, white wine vinegar and parsnip!

pears

A most fitting end to the meal and a most intriguing combination of flavours. Served on an ice-cold plate and centred on the plate was a caramelised core of Corella Pear sitting atop Olive Oil Ice cream with broken cake crumbs speckled with caramelised black olive. It's hard to describe just how good this whole dish was - the ice cream being a real eye-opener.

Now this should have been the end of our meal but to my surprise and even Paalo's, the ever-charming Alastair came bearing this delightful offering

chocolate

chocolate

How absolutely fantastic is that! My sincere thanks go to everyone at Fenix - Dan Hunter for creating the fabulous menu, Darren Purchese for the stunning birthday cake and Alastair who effortlessly managed the day and always finds the perfect wines to compliment every dish - they all went out of way to make the day special.

slice

And just look how wonderfully it sliced and rest assured we savoured every bite.


The details:

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

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

web
http://www.fenix.com.au

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