Posts tagged ‘degustation’

Jacques Reymond – What i’m eating at the time 26.04.13

jacques_reymond_logo

Dinner 26 April 2013
Executive Chef Jacques Reymond

Jacques Reymond, a name synonymous with the best of Melbourne’s culinary delights displaying innovation, modernisation, consistency and artistry on the plate. Located on the outskirts of the CBD, Jacques Reymond occupies an old and lovely Victorian mansion complete with flourishing gardens, fireplaces and has been used as a restaurant reception centre for over 50 years. The house has undergone extensive renovations since the Reymond family purchased it in 1992 resulting in a fusion between traditional and contemporary décor reflective of Jacques cooking style. If you walk past the kitchen, you may get a glimpse of Jacque in the kitchen commanding the troops with his daughter Nathalie in front of house as the sommelier. This highly regarded restaurant is affiliated with the Relais Chateaux association, awarded three chef hats for many consecutive years and currently holds two and three gourmet traveler stars for food and wine respectively.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to have dined at Jacques Reymond on three previous occasions. My first two visits played a big part in my fascination of food and wine so there is a special place in my heart here. I can still remember the sweet lobster bisque with crab dumplings and the flavors of the foam on a perfectly cooked king fish…just magic. The third time I visited Jacques was early 2011 where I felt a slump in consistency and quality in the dishes, a shame really. Nevertheless, when my 30th birthday came around this year, there was no other place I wanted to be than Jacques. It was like a pilgrimage, one all Melbournians should take so thank you to all the guests of the night making it a memorable one.

Friday came around quickly and we soon found ourselves outside the mofo of a mansion scanning the soon to be nommed 9 course degustation menu. Three taps on the old door later, we were greeted by some fabulous wait staff, patient, accommodating and friendly; easily some of the best.

We filtered in two at a time around a circular table within one of the three rooms flanked by fireplaces and carts of Dom Perignon. The menus came around along with one of the many reasons to dine at Jacques; the cheese balls.

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ARIA – what i’m eating at the time 01.04.2013

ARIA

ARIA
Autumn Tasting Menu

Hello gang and welcome to Sydney, today we are experiencing ARIA. The missus and I took a little trip to Sydney over the Easter break for my Auntie’s 70th birthday. Since we had some “spare time”, we decided to also dine out and catch up with our good friend Eugene who recently moved to Sydney. Originally I was going to revisit Quay and introduce the wife to le snow egg but everything was closed! Luckily, for a slightly dearer price, ARIA was open to cater for our fine dining needs.

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Attica – what i’m eating at the time 29.05.12

Attica

Friends of food, welcome to Attica. Last Tuesday, Nat and I dined at Attica to celebrate my in law’s 24th birthday. There were six of us in total; the birthday boy Steve, his brother Cam and his cousin Scott along with their bosses Sop, Sarah and Nina. Big thanks to Sop for organising and thanks to the peeps for a great night!

Team Attica

Attica has been on a tear shotting out of nowhere to become a global hit, ranking 63rd in the top 100 on the San Pellegreno list; the highest ranked restaurant in Melbourne. With 3 hats, Ben Shewry and his team at Attica has been voted 2012’s restaurant of the year.

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Vue de Monde – what i’m eating at the time 16.03.2012

Vue De Monde

It’s Friday! Yay! Was so so tired last week and was tempted not to write this but thought of my 10 followers (hehe actually, its 11 now! thank you email follower! please comment to let me know who you are!) and said “what the hell”. I have some time after work so I went and looked for a little meeting room and try to take a nap. I ended up chatting the hour away before having to run off to Vue. A bunch of friends booked the mega chef’s table at the new Vue de Monde. We almost had the full 18 but after a miss count, only 17 bums were on the seats. I was really looking forward to this night since I have been to the original Vue on little Collins St before the move and some of those dishes….just wow. A few of the people who shared that night with us were coming again for a repeat experience so expectations were high. We still talk about some of those dishes today! If you have been, you will definitely remember the burnt butter marron, chocolate/coffee smoked kangaroo, cranberry marrow waygu and “the egg”. Magic.

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The Fat Duck

 

The Fat Duck

The name says it all. Heston Blumethal, 3 Michelin Stars, rated as one of best restaurants in the world. Originally inspired by the three star Michelin restaurant L’Oustau de Baumaniere when he was sixteen, Heston taught himself how to cook and in 1995, bought a quaint little pub called “The Bell” which has been transformed into what we all know today as Fat Duck. He led the way of culinary gastronomy and earned his third star in under a decade. Heston loves to question everything and push the boundaries of food and cooking bringing all the senses into the eating experience. Like a kid in the candy shop.

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Circa – what i’m eating at the time 18.11.11

 
Friend of mine Eugene booked us a table at Circa in St Kilda last Friday and I was really looking forward to some good food, good wine and good company! His friend’s husband is the sommiler there so I was also hoping to pick brains. Nat, Eugene and I got there way way early so we decided to grab some bar snacks and something to drink; I packed in the water since I was feeling exhausted and wanted to make sure I didn’t pass out mid way through dinner (hey, it has happened before!)

We ended up getting some king prawns with green tea salt and saffron and mozzarella arancini. The arancini balls were meh, but the prawns were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! I picked at the salt flakes whist I drooled over the crazy wine list. make sure to have a look, there are some great stuff there. We hung around till 7.30 and then food team was assembled and ordered 1 a la carte and 4 degustations (of course) with matching wines. We had a choice of standard or premium wines and when premium…of course 😛 On to the rounds!

Warm miso glazed eel, pickled kohlrabi, avocado & apple

Vinoptima Ormond Gewurztraminer, 2006

Round one is a lovely glazed eel which was tougher than expected, however worked extremely well with the avocado puree and prawn cracker and this highly prized NZ Gewurztraminer was it’s white on rice. Nose was of creamy pear, like a full bodied cider withough the fizz. It matched the food perfectly, to the point that it seemed to be an extension of the food. The wine felt like the texture of the avocado puree and the eel was perfectly coated and finished off with a well rounded mouth feel. Best food and wine pairing of the night, but only just. A great start to the evening.

 Rabbit tortellini, morels, broad beans, garden peas

Bouchard Corton Charlemagne, 2000

If your a wine lover, you got to be excited about round two’s wine, a Corton Charlemagne. Oh and yeah, lets just throw 10+ years on that. What a treat. Such as exciting wine. White peach, mineral notes with some sea salts. The palate was granny smith apples, grass and straw. Odd, I expected more from this wine. However, add this to the food and BAM, imcredible. The food and the wine both bounced off wach other enhancing all the flavours, especially the jerusalem artichoke puree. The nose changed giving off a toffee/caramel aspect especially in the finish. The meal was not to be outshined and was personally my pick for the meal of the night. Delicate pasta and chunks of rabbit with an amazing sauce. A very close second/third in terms of wine pairing but will not complain, hell, I’m asking for seconds!

John Dory, mussel & clam risotto, sea urchin butter

Foster e Rocco Rosé 2010

Round three came with a rose from Heathcote made from 100% mourvedre which I thought was stange. Looking at the colour, you would not pick it to be rose, it had a strange golden/bark colour, almost like a sweet wine, nice and golden. Nose was extremely fresh and floral like potpourri. Beautiful acidity, subtle bitterness, some fruit balance. Reminiscent of a sav blanc. The fish was cooked well and the risotto was excellent, though I’m not sure it was regular risotto. It was almost like a fat sago, very smooth and almost bouncy. I liked it and the sea utchin butter was plate licking good. There was a downside to this dish, the food gave or enhanced a bitter finish to the wine. The wine did do a good job of cleansing the palate reading your mouth for the next bite, but you had a bitter taste in your mouth mading the wine not as enjoyable. We were able to snag another splash from our sommiler! I asked her about the pairing and she said it was more of a textural match and to also prepare your mouth for the red wines to come. After drinking the extra glass by itself, I think it got better over time, but matching the fish? I’m not so sure. Slightly dissapointed but we did come from a major high.

Suckling pig, salsify & ham beignet, spring garlic

Felton Road Cornish Point Noir, 2010

Another NZ wine, this time from Central Otago. This pinot had a great nose of red berries, cassis, brambles, and makes you think of dry and arid bushes. Palate has some white pepper balanced with some sweet Asian spices, cinnamon and paprika. Light to medium bodied, some enjoyable heat on back end but again, well balanced with a touch of acid. Nice wine! The pork belly was solid, though nothing special and I wasn’t a fan of the ham beignet, tasted a bit like spam! Perhaps we were spoilt with the previous dishes? The pinot did a great job of cutting through the fat both on the palate and the taste. Well done and a solid dish, lovely pinot and well matched.

Black Angus rump, bone marrow and oxtail brik, rainbow chard, creamed nettles

Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, 2010

We drank the 2006 Clonakilla recently and was ranked last stacked against some heavyweight competition. After drinking this wine, it only shows the incredibly high calibre of those other wines. This is a great great wine and well done to such a young winery and vintage. Sniffy sniff opens with oregano, metallic notes and green peppercorns. The viognier comes through well, lifts the wine and brings out some floral sweetness. This wine has a juicy mouth feel, spicy mid palate of white and green pepper. Some caramel nuances also. Finish is a mix of interesting sweet alcohol with a touch of dry of the tip of your tongue, spicy and peperish but extremely well rounded and balanced. This wine matched the dish extremely well, virtually uplifts the entire dish to a new level. Exquisite, just edged out by the first dish, but phenomenal pairing and wine. I believe that the dish was the one playing the role of the backup dancer here and thats saying alot. The steak was excellent and I do love me some bone marrow. I jokingly asked the waiter for a second splash of this like the rose and guess what! I got one! yeah, we tipped 😛

 Salted caramel parfait, chocolate cake, honeycomb

NV Morris Classic Rutherglen Liqueur Tokay

Final round of the night was a treat. The sticky came with smells of honeycomb and port flavours. Not overpowering on the palate like a normal sticky, great mouth feel and balanced sweetness. Very impressive on its own. The dessert was gorgeous, both soft and cruncy and a effortless creamy texture on your mouth. With the dessert, the wine suffered and became overly sweet and somewhat unpleasant. It brought out the alcohol which made me want to finish the desert first then the wine or vice versa. Not a good match but great individually. Sipped that wine throughout the rest of the night with a smile on my face.

Circa was definatly an enjoyable experience. It was strangly loud in the rooms and had very funky ambiance with their own DJ. Very cool. The degustation will set you back $120 and then your choice of standard or premium wines at $85/$120. You will definately sleep well bring a wheelbarrow to roll yourself home.

Kenny

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