I was at The Smith a few weeks back and noticed a sign up in the ladies room: “Michael Lambie, 17 Years in 17 Dishes”. The man behind some of the most famous restaurants (Stokehouse, Circa, & Taxi) was celebrating his 17 years in the Melbourne dining scene by serving up some of his most delicious dishes. Needless to say, the very next day I signed up for it!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover upon arrival that drinks were included in the cost and with unlimited top ups! Turned out to be a much bigger night than I’d originally anticipated…
We started off with three canapes: kingfish sashimi with nam jim and toasted coconut, organic tofu with pickled ginger, cucumber and mint, and freshly shucked oysters with ponzu and wasabi caviar. A lovely refreshing start to the dinner.
The food was broken into time periods, so the first four dishes represented 1995 – 2000. The mushroom cappuccino with truffle cream was like heaven in a cup. It was rich, earthy, and creamy.
Harrisa crusted yellow fin tuna with Thai style spanner crab salad was excellent. Refreshing and light.
Seared Atlantic scallops with cauliflower puree and curry oil… well I loved this dish. Beautiful and delicately seared scallops with creamy puree… yum!
King Island crayfish salad with tomato confit and lobster oil dressing… Can’t go wrong with that combo! The cray was fresh and perfectly cooked. The dish salad added a nice crunch.
The next episode was 2001 – 2004 and first up was quail salad with apple and celery salad, bois bourdon sauce. Crispy pan fried quail on a tangy salad.
We were then presented with a very full plate housing San Daniele proscuitto with blue cheese dressing and crostini and ballotine of duck and foie gras with rillettes, parfait, hot toast and ginger pear chutney. I love these charcuterie plates – heaped with salty tasty goodness and crusty bread.
And last lastly, we go into 2005 – 2012. The roast wild barramundi fillet with eggplant caviar, basil puree and orange miso jus was an interesting combo but worked well and tasted good.
Wonderfully cooked and tasty rolled roast rabbit saddle with rabbit confit and grain mustard veloute.
This was so so good: Wagyu 7+ rump cap with horseradish cream and yakaniku dipping sauce. Meat was cooked perfectly and the accompaniments were amazing!
And last but not least, a modest raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet to finish a marvellous dinner.
I hear you asking “how did she walk out of the restaurant?”. Stuffed full of fine fine food? Stumbling from too many wine top ups? Euphoric from eating some of the best dishes ever? Yes, twas all of the above.