Tag Archives: Scallop

Michael Lambie, 17 Years in 17 Dishes at The Smith

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.

Canapes

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.

Mushroom cappuccino with truffle cream

Harrisa crusted yellow fin tuna with Thai style spanner crab salad was excellent.  Refreshing and light.

Harrisa crusted yellow fin tuna with Thai style spanner crab salad

Seared Atlantic scallops with cauliflower puree and curry oil… well I loved this dish.  Beautiful and delicately seared scallops with creamy puree… yum!

Seared Atlantic scallops with cauliflower puree and curry oil

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.

King Island crayfish salad with tomato confit and lobster oil dressing

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.

Quail salad with apple and celery salad, bois bourdon sauce

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.

San Daniele proscuitto with blue cheese dressing and crostini

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.

Roast wild barramundi fillet with eggplant caviar, basil puree and orange miso jus

Wonderfully cooked and tasty rolled roast rabbit saddle with rabbit confit and grain mustard veloute.

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!

Wagyu 7+ rump cap with horseradish cream and yakaniku dipping sauce

And last but not least, a modest raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet to finish a marvellous dinner.

Raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet

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.

For more info on The Smith:
The Smith on Urbanspoon

Moon Under Water

Within the Andrew McConnell’s Builders Arms Hotel, there exists a little dining room called Moon Under Water.   Whilst in the same building, this is distinctly different from the bar and bistro.  For one thing, the menu is a set menu every night at a fixed price.  Another is that it’s blindingly white in the dining room – I felt like if I had worn an all white outfit, I would have disappeared into the room itself.  But we are not here to talk about the color of the room but the food, which was brilliant.  The menu we had that night was perfect for me as jamon, scallops and chicken are some of my favorite things!

We started with deliciously savory cheese biscuits.   I’m a big fan of cheese biscuits, such as Phillipa’s Parmesan Sables so this was a similar treat.

Cheese Biscuit

We were then presented with some grilled peppers, and bread, butter and pickles.  I love surprise peppers, but unfortunately for me, I didn’t get any that were tongue numbing.Grilled peppers, and bread and butter

The Rottness Island scallops, cucumber and fennel was a beautifully light dish with flavors and textures that married very nicely together.

Rottness Island scallops, cucumber and fennel

The shaved jamon, fresh curd, grilled and raw zucchini was a huge surprise to me.  It was light, it was fresh, the texture was amazing and it tasted fantastic.  Who knew you could make the humble zucchini taste so upmarket?

Shaved jamon, fresh curd, grilled and raw zucchini

I love a good roast chook and the roast chicken, celery, leeks and hazelnuts dish was amazing.  The chicken was cooked so perfectly (moist and tender) and the accompaniments matched it beautifully.

Roast chicken, celery, leeks and hazelnutsI like light fruity desserts, so the white peach, lemon cream, blueberries was a great way to end the meal.   The peach was poached, and served along with the cream and fruit were soft fluffy pieces of cake.  Very nice.

White peach, lemon cream, blueberries

Lastly before departing, we were presented with caramel filled chocolate cups.  It was a rich mouthful to end the dinner with.

Chocolates

Don’t expect big pub/bistro type meals here – it’s all light and fine.  Perhaps they change their menu when the weather cools down, but this was what we had in early January.  I think it’s good value for money, and would definitely go again.

For more info:
Moon Under Water (Builders Arms Hotel) on Urbanspoon

Cumulus Inc. Never Disappoints!

One of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne is Cumulus Inc.  I’ve been numerous times and the dishes have never failed to delight me.   The menu changes quite frequently, and I’m still suffering from the loss of the truffle gnocchi from the menu…

First dish during this visit was the special of the day which was the fried soft shell crab, school prawns, chilli & lime.   Crispy salty seafood with a rich tangy sauce – winner!

The seared scallops with potatoes were perfectly cooked and tasted delightful.

The grilled pork chop with green apple was again well cooked and the green apple was a nice way to cut through the richness of the meat.

Last item we had was the roast chicken with corn, with sides of roast potatoes and cracked wheat and freekeh salad.  Gotta say, the chicken was amazing!  And corn is one of my favourite ingredients so it was a perfect little dish.  The sides were also very tasty.

Another great dining experience makes for a happy diner.  Love Cumulus Inc.!

For more info and reviews:
Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Movida Aqui… Yummy Spanish Food!

We are so lucky to have 3 Movida’s in Melbourne.  The original Movida which is constantly booked out and a bit more upscale, the uber cool Movida Next Door which is constantly packed… and then we have Movida Aqui which is located in a quieter part of the city, but has the same great food and service (without rejections when booking or waiting an hour for a table!).

Went for a superb lunch there prior to Xmas, and this was what we had…

First item was from the tapas menu,  Anchoa which was described as hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet.  Yeah, I’m not normally a fan of anchovies but someone else wanted to order this and I gave it a go… and it was amazing!  The fish wasn’t overpowering and with the crispy crouton and icy cold sorbet it was a great combination.

Next up was the Vieira which was live half shell Western Australian scallops with jamon and potato foam… perfectly cooked scallop with salty jamon topped with a creamy foam, you can’t go wrong!

No visit to a Spanish restaurant would be complete without a paella, and we had the Paella de Marisco which had Bomba rice cooked with seafood and saffron…  perfectly cooked seafood, the rice at the bottom of the pan had that lovely crispiness and tasty saucy flavours!  Yum!

Last dish we had was the steak… it probably has a fancy name (which I don’t recall) but it was a massive (400g?) fillet off the bone perfectly cooked and served with potato puree.  It was awesome!

One of my favourite places to dine in Melbourne – hassle free, great atmosphere and good food!  I would gladly choose this over the other 2 Movida’s!

For more info and reviews:
MoVida Aqui and Terraza on Urbanspoon

Boston Food Trucks and Lobster!

In the lovely city of Boston, surrounded by historic sights and endless amounts of clam chowder, I saw my first food trucks! There they were, like a mirage in the city, serving burgers and tacos! As an afternoon snack, the food was tasty and satisfying.

I was so excited to be in Boston… we went to Harvard for a day, walked the Freedom Trail, but most of all, we ate our hearts out!  Clam chowder, lobster, crab cakes… the list goes on!

First stop for seafood action was Tia’s Restaurant which is located near the waterfront.     Between the two of us, we chose to share the “Award Winning Boneless Buffalo Wings” followed by the “Baked Stuffed Lobster” with a side “Basket of Onion Rings“.   The buffalo wings and onion rings were average but the stuffed lobster was awesome!  It was half a pound of lobster, stuffed with crab meat, scallops, shrimp and buttered cracker crumbs.  It also comes with fries and coleslaw.  It was sensational!

Boston is known for clam chowder, and upon a few recommendations (including local’s in Boston) we decided to try Legal Sea Foods.   There are numerous outlets in Boston, and we went to the one by the waterfront.  The clam chowder (apologies, I don’t have a pic of it) was too creamy for my taste.  We also had the crab cakes – which were amazing!   It was a whole lump of crab meat, with a creamy mustard.

For more info on Tia’s:
Tia's on the Waterfront on Urbanspoon

For more info on Legal Sea Foods:
Legal Sea Foods - Long Wharf on Urbanspoon