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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Dinner @ Matteo's

It's Al's birthday so we're off to Matteo's for dinner. As a surprise, we're having a special degustation.

Hiramasa Kingfish Sashimi, prawn remoulade with kaffir lime and lemongrass; Confit Tasmania Ocean Trout, creme fraiche, Yarra Valley salmon roe; Rice crusted smoked eel brandade, red claw yabby tails, pickled plum

Usually in this first course there's a consensus that our favourite is the kingfish but tonight, there is dissension in the air, with both the ocean trout and eel brandade winning hearts. Too close to call, we probably should eat this again to decide ;)

Hervey Bay scallop, miso-cauliflower sauce, lup-cheong sausage crumbs
Brik pastry spring roll filled with grilled eggplant and rice noodle, edamame soya beans
We all know that cauliflower and scallops are an excellent match, team that with black pudding and you have a modern day classic. This dish for me, updates that combination and gives it a much lighter feel. The cauliflower is mixed with miso to form a light and fluffy sauce, the lup-cheong crumbs, gives it little bursts of intense flavour.

The spring roll is a study in textures - crisp exterior, followed by the chewyness of the rice noddle and the softness of eggplant.

Chinese roasted western plains suckling pig, kim chi spicy pickled vegetables, tatoyaki octopus dumpling
Seared wagyu beef tatake with ginger and soy, enoki mushrooms and garlic shoots
I know the light is awful in this photo but that's out of my control.
On the left of the plate is the slice of roasted suckling pig and it's topped with a tatoyaki octopus dumpling. The octopus dumpling was incredible, so much flavour in such a small object. The pork was tender and moist, beautifully cooked.
The wagyu was also expertly done - wonderfully seared, still pink, with that terrific, almost spongy texture.

Vanilla bean panna cotta, roasted peach, crisp meringue
Summer berry tartlet, Framboise flavoured mascarpone cheese, berry sorbet
This plate says summer to me - it's light and bright.

  The details:

  Matteo's Restaurant
  533 Brunswick Street
  Fitzroy North

  Phone: 9481 1177

  Sunday to Friday: 12pm to 3pm
  Monday to Sunday: 6pm to 10pm

  Matteo's on Facebook
  Matteo's on Twitter


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