Tag Archives: Melbourne Fine Dining

Attica – Mixed Emotions…

This is the post that’s long overdue,  and truth be told, I’ve been avoiding it a bit.  First of all, it’s a loooong post as I sat through a long degustation.  There were some highlights, and there were some lowlights.   And it’s Attica!  There’s a 6 month wait to get a table!  And it’s in the top 50 best restaurants in the world.   I’m very torn about this.  Having said that, my partner points out that it was a “complete” experience – food, atmosphere, service (I’m guessing he was more enamoured by this dinner than I).

A few interesting snacks to start…  There were breads, an olive oil mousse, buckwheat pancakes, and crumbed mussels (complete with crazy painted mussel shell).

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Snow Crab, Mandarin and Sorrel.  Light, delicate and fresh.

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Marron and Ground Greens.  Really, you can’t really do anything wrong with a marron dish.  Love.

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A simple dish of Potato cooked in the earth it was grown.  First time I had this dish a few years ago, it was a revelation.  Whilst this time, it was not a revelation, it was still pretty darn good as I love a good potato.

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Cucumber, Holy Flax, Sauce of Burnet.  Never ceases to amaze me how something that sounds so bland (cucumber) and good for you (holy flax!) can actually taste good!

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Meat from the pearl oyster pinctada maxima with Radish.  Hmm… this was a real miss for me.  Weird consistency, weird temperature (it was warm and not) and a poor used pearl oyster!  It tasted good, but that was about it.

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Wallaby with Herbs Tended by the Hands of our Cooks.  It was delicious.  Perfect proportions and the herbs tasted excellent.

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At this point, we were invited to check out the herb garden at the back and were give a little chocolate ice cream treat.  It was nice to be outside and having the opportunity to chat to the chefs.

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Blueberries, Vinegar and Fresh Cheese.  Perfect dessert.  Totally my kind of dessert and I loved it!

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Raw Strawberry Jam.  This was good too.  Interesting in that it was like semi frozen jam on top of strawberries and other things.

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Lastly, we were presented with a little ditty about a Pukeko bird and some chocolates.  Very cute way to end the evening.

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So, one miss, and a few hits.  I’m not sure if I would recommend Attica to people as it’s a bit avant garde and a fair amount of dollars for dinner.   I suppose I will be back in a few years to see what new food experiences are there and if the old trusty potato dish is still there!

For more info and reviews:
Attica on Urbanspoon

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Jacques Reymond… over overindulgence…

Decided that winter in Melbourne is too dreary and that I needed some “highlights” to get me through. Hence, we decided to have an extra special date night at Jacques Reymond. Last time I was at Jacques it was about 4-5 years ago, and I remember the first time as being excellent. This time round, perhaps I am a different type of diner now, the wow factor wasn’t quite there.

Degustation started with a appetizer of cheesy puffs (there’s probably a more fancy name, but whatever!). Had a lot of these during the last holiday in France, so knew what to expect – soft fluffy shoe pastry filled with cheese! They were delightful.
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The “clear broth of shiitake, fragrant lemon balm, clams” was a beautiful subtle dish, with the broth being very flavourful with perfectly cooked clams. IMG_0818

The “yellow fin tuna, smoked salmon mousse, spiced nougatine, togarashi, lemon caviar” another subtle dish. Interesting textures with raw fish, mouse and a jelly like sheath on top.

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Nothing makes me happier than perfectly cooked fresh fish, and the “King George whiting, acidities of pickles Japanese style, yuzu” dish delivered on that. The pickles elevated the fish to a whole new level.
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Gotta say, I love dishes that combine seafood and poultry. “Cuttlefish, pork and crispy chicken skin” was an excellent dish which was so tasty, I was scraping the bottom of the plate to get all the sauce. Finely sliced cuttlefish and pork with a super tasty broth/sauce topped with a think piece of crispy chicken skin – yum!IMG_0821
Parmesan custard, green peas, macerated grapes, wasabi and apple granita” = palate cleanser to get us in the mood for the meat dishes. I’d describe this as cold, cleansing and sour-ish, with pops of peas.

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The “salad of Flinders Island lamb, smoked eucalyptus scallop, scampi, masterstock jelly” was a nice little dish that showcased the lamb whilst incorporating lightly cooked seafood.

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The “Sher wagyu a la plancha, burnt onion and coffee” was delicious. A perfectly cooked piece of beef, however, I wish it came with more sauce and a few more things to accompany it!

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Dessert number one was “Camargue organic red rice, champagne, Yarra Valley berries” which had nice textures in the semi crispy rice and cold berries and sorbet on top.

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Dessert number two, the “spiced cherries, chocolate and chestnut mont blanc, bay leaf and cassis” was fabulous. Little things on a plate that went perfectly together, and was not too sweet for me.

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Finished off with the generous petit fours, including Spanish donuts!

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Overall, the dinner was good, but there were a few things that I thought were a bit a miss. The biggest one being when we decided to order the degustation (which is in the $200 per person mark), we were asked if we would like to include truffle with the beef course at an extra $50 per person! I don’t know what was worse… trying to be up-sold truffles or that it was $50 per person!

The food was well presented and immaculately prepared, service was good and atmosphere was a bit stiff. Would I revisit? Probably not for another 5 years. Would I recommend you go? Nope, there’s more exciting dining for more reasonable prices in Melbourne.

For more info and reviews:
Jacques Reymond on Urbanspoon