Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attica - Ripponlea

There were only 4 Australian restaurants that made it onto San Pellogrino World's Best Restaurants list last year and having had the honour of dining at Quay (ranked #27 in the world and the highest ranked restaurant amongst the 4 Australian restaurants) last year, the boy was keen to visit Attica (ranked #73). Me, however, not so keen. The idea of another degustation menu, long waits in between....just threw me off.

But am I glad I went!
On weekends they only offer the 8-course degustation so that's what we had.
Butter and smoked olive oil with black rock salt.
He was delegated the *cough* tough *cough* choice of choosing the wine
Meanwhile I was delegated the even tougher task of having to eat the bread. O woe is me.
Sashimi of prawns (complimentary appetiser). Yum. So fresh and refreshing. It truly whet my appetite for the next few courses. 
The science lab for molecular gastronomists!
Molecular magic!
Tada! Snowcrab with horseradish powder, roe, puffed rice, pomelo (I think!) and many other ingredients I'm sure. This dish set the bar very high- this was such a textural tease! Every spoonful tasted different because of the different flavours and textures embedded in the clever play of ingredients. 
Marron tail with leek, egg yolk, garlic. The freshest seafood I've tasted in a while. I didn't think it'd work with the egg yolk, but the pairing was beautiful.
' a simple dish of potato cooked in the earth it was grown' I was very keen to try this dish, but unfortunately it just reminded me of a very well cooked potato. It probably didn't help that when I was younger and still in primary school my mom would always pack boiled potatoes for my lunches haha. I didn't exactly like the goats cheese cream it was sitting on either.
Bass grouper, shitake, quinoa and raw brocollini flowers in dashi broth with slivers of radish. I enjoyed everything but the fish (but that's because I don't like cooked fish that much....I reckon it's boring :x .. unless it's salmon or cod- then we're talking! )
Pork tail, black pudding, pickled onion sauce, beetroot watermelon, dune spinach and flowers! Delicious- the pork tail was made to resemble something like deep-fried taro (always seen at yum cha) but still kept it's lovely, flavoursome taste. And beetroot infused watermelon? Who would've thought! I ate all the flowers on my plate too haha
I think somewhere in between this and the previous dish I was starting to feel stuffed to the brim with food. This was beef cooked 3 ways- Wagyu beef (very good), smoked ox tongue (so tender, and literally melts in your mouth), cured beef with tomatoes
I needed a hot glass of water with lemon to digest all that goodness I had just consumed. What's quirky about this glass is that it's tempered so even though the water was BOILING, we couldn't feel it on the outside. Kinda tricky, if you ask me....imagine if I'd been impatient and gulped everything down yikes. But that's ok, it came with a warning from the waitress to be careful so I was saved that night haha
honeydew, peach sorbet and blackberries. A great way to finish the meal- this felt like a palatte cleanser.
Strawberries, brown sugar, cream. Imagine this dish without the cream. Now imagine one of the chefs coming over to your table to introduce this dish, and to also pour the sour cream over the strawberries. Cos that's what happened! How often do you get chefs coming out of the kitchen during meal prep time? If I wasn't full to the point of bursting I would've eaten everything...but sadly I could only manage 3 or 4 so the rest went onto the boy's plate :D
We thought the strawberries were the end of the meal, but we were presented with two salted caramel filled white chocolate eggs with brown chocolate speckles. How pretty!

I was very impressed with Attica- almost all the dishes were amazing. Would I go again? Definitely...but I'd opt for the 5-course menu instead of the 8 so that I can enjoy the food better :) Oh, and I have to tell myself not to wear such a tight dress the next time so all the food can go down!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Andrew's Hamburgers

.....words aren't required for something as succulent and juicy as a burger with the lot- thick beef patty, tomato, onions, lettuce, egg, bacon and gooey cheese- i'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Andrew's Hamburgers has been around for decades and constantly ranks high on hamburger-aficionados' lists so head on down quick and taste for yourself....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cafe Rosamond - Fitzroy

An article in last week's Epicure caught my eye- it was a story about Cafe Rosamond and how Thursday evenings are special. Special because it wasn't like any other evening, or any other weekend. No, Thursdays are their dessert-only evenings! :) Dessert maestro Pierre Roelofs creates a new menu each week so no two weeks are the same. This is dangerous, because it means I have something to look forward to each week, only that it really isn't that practical (or healthy!) for me to be ingesting so many sweet dishes in such a short span of time. 

It's a cosy little cafe situated just off Smith Street. I was puzzled whist walking along Smith Street because I couldn't locate a 191 anywhere- when on a whim I just looked into the laneway between two blocks and there it was- Cafe Rosamond nicely tucked into the side of the building. Having heard that the place didn't take bookings I thought it would be a good idea to arrive at around 7.30-8pm (I'd had an early dinner with the boy) and not have to wait too long to be seated. I was wrong, there was already a waiting list and we only got a table around 9pm. Maybe I just picked a wrong week to go, I mean, the place was just featured in Epicure two days ago! Good thing was that once you left your name on the list, you're free to go do whatever to kill time and the lovely staff keep you in mind by calling you to let you know how long more you have to wait. 

You have a choice of a one, two or three-course degustation ($20, $30 and $40), and the boy and I picked the three-course degustation to share.
#7 in the series- salted chocolate fudge pudding. I regret not buying a packet, oh well, maybe next time when it's closer to winter. I can imagine whipping this up as a comforting snack when the weather turns colder. 
Test tube ($9 each)- filled with raspberry jelly and custard. Fun, but taste-wise it was nothing special. I couldn't even get it all out at once haha.
Look how pretty it looks. Caramelised peach, blackberry and tea. I couldn't remember what the rest of the ingredients were. There were also a couple of pieces of something that resembled cake, and something else that tasted like cream cheese. I didn't think this was too special, having had better desserts elsewhere.
This, however, I absolutely loved! I have to warn you though that this is an acquired taste. You need to like (on their own) rose, turkish delight and musk sticks to be able to enjoy this. The boy didn't like this very much, which suited me just fine because it meant I could have everything to myself! Hee. I believe the ingredients included a delightfully refreshing grapefuit sorbet, lychee (maybe?), rose-flavoured ice-cream, turkish delight and musk pieces. 
Grape, olive oil, walnuts....this reminds me a lot of carrot cake as it also has some cream cheese-like ingredient. Not a fan, unfortunately. 

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the night's menu because I expected greater things or had higher expectations, or maybe the courses served weren't suited to my tastebuds as I like to be a bit more adventurous. Having said that, knowing that the menu changes every week is enough to tempt me to give it a second chance. 
Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon