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Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce. Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback, comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.

MUST VISIT SOON: Livingroom, Hare & Grace

MOST RECENT FEASTINGS: Pei Modern, Sarti, PM24, Vue de Monde

BLOG OF THE MOMENT: I Eat Therefore I Am

Happy eating,
Jon!




Wednesday, August 6, 2008
ezard: pre-theatre tasting menu
ezard has definitely got to be one of my favourite restaurants in Melbourne. I love the style of food presented at this contemporary Mod Oz restaurant and every dish is always a delight to look at and consume. I recently visited ezard before heading off to see Wicked at the Regent and was lucky enough to sample the pre-theatre menu and a couple of glasses of excellent wine to match.

The pre-theatre menu starts off with a beautiful light course of kingfish sashimi. It is served thinly sliced, layered with a small quantity of creamy sesame custard and a julienne of fresh pears. The plate is finished with a lime dressing and some droplets of sticky caramel. Delightful textures and pretty as a picture. I can't complain about this course.


The next course is this stunning presentation of wild mushroom tortelli. The single pasta cylinder rests upon a rectangle of sweet wagyu salami and the construction is completed with a soft herb salad and a crisp deep fried lotus root chip. The smell is amazing as the dish is finished with real truffle oil and an intense mushroom jus. The pasta is perfect. When broken into a filling of finely diced mushrooms is revealed and together with the truffle oil and salad elements it really is a delight to eat.


The main course presentation is the sichuan peppered duck. Served with a slight pinkness the meat is perfectly tender and has beautifully rendered skin. The accompaniments are some wok-tossed silkmelon, an amazing coconut rice that I probably enjoy a little too much and its all finished with a sweet, sticky coconut and tumeric dressing. The dish has not changed a lot over the past few years, but like a couple of the other menu stalwarts it has been tweaked a little to remain interesting.


The series ends with a light dessert option. A sphere of refreshing granny smith apple sorbet with some apple crisps and a gingerbread crunch crumbled around the plate. A nice way to cleanse the palette and end an excellent meal.


The pre-theatre menu at ezard regularly changes and costs $65 for four courses, which represents fair value. The courses are degustation sized as opposed to what you may receive if you order a la carte and you will consequently leave satisfied, rather than stuffed. All done with impeccable timing as well leaving you with plenty of time to get you to your show.

ezard reamins one of my favourite places to eat. The service is amongst the best in the business, the food is creative and original and the experience is one which I always thoroughly enjoy. Quite possibly my favourite restaurant in Melbourne. Consistently excellent.

MY RATING: 18/20 - Food 9/10 Service 4.5/5 Ambience 4.5/5 - Hard to fault in almost any aspect. Definitely one of Melbourne's best.

Ezard has previously been comprehensively reviewed by Melbourne Foodie here

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  posted at 9:40 AM  
  8 comments



Saturday, August 2, 2008
Chocolate Truffles: much easier than you think
I've been cooking quite a lot lately. Whilst I am being good myself steering away from all of the bad foods I still enjoying making these items and witnessing the enjoyment that others get from them. One place where I really get to see other people enjoying my cooking is at work. It seems that I am making something rather delicious for my team just about every week so I thought I might as well start sharing some of these cooking experiences with you. Below is my recipe for chocolate truffles. They are so simple, but taste so very good. I start off with a basic ganache recipe that can be tweaked to make any variety of truffle you like. I must warn you that these truffles are particularly popular with the ladies and tend to lead to marriage proposals whenever I make them. They really are quite good and you certainly don't need to be a whizz in the kitchen to give them a go.

BASIC GANACHE RECIPE: Makes about 50 truffles
I choose to use a mix of dark and milk chocolate, but you could use all dark chocolate if you prefer. I feel this mix gives a milder, creamier result.

250g good quality dark Belgian chocolate
250g good quality milk Belgian chocolate
Approx 400ml Pure/ Double Cream (45% fat content)

Break up the chocolate pieces and put into a stainless steel or glass bowl over a double boiler on a medium heat. When partially melted add in the cream and constantly mix until smooth. Chill in fridge until set to a malluable texture (about an hour or 2).
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MAKING THE TRUFFLES:

Here are a few ideas for some truffles you may like to try.

CLASSIC: For the classic variety simply use the basic ganache mixture. Roll the set mixture into balls and dust with some fine cocoa.

MACADAMIA: For the macadmia variety I add a nip of Frangelico to the ganache mixture along with some finely diced macadamia nuts and finish them by rolling in crushed macadamias.

JAFFA: For the jaffa variety finely grate some orange zest and add it to the basic ganache mixture. To spice it up I also add a nip of Cointreau. I choose to finish these by rolling in flaked dark chocolate.

CARRIBEAN: For the carribean variety I add in a nip of Malibu and some soft flaked coconut to the basic ganche mixture and roll the balls in flaked coconut.



The truffles really are that easy to make. Just have a little bit of patience and you can make these delicious little treats with very little time or effort. So give them a go and let me know if they are a success. This recipe also works just as well if making a half/ reduced quantity. Simply adjust the measures.

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  posted at 12:04 PM  
  5 comments



Rockpool Bar & Grill (Melbourne, re-visited)
There has been a lot of buzz about the Crown restaurant precinct as of late and its with good reason I would suggest. The complex now houses many of the big names including: Nobu, The Brasserie, Guiseppe Arnaldo & Sons, Bistro Guillaume and of course, Rockpool Bar and Grill. Craving a good piece of steak, and having not eaten any red meat for many weeks I really could not think of a better place to visit. So I made a booking and wandered down to Rockpool with great anticipation.

I must firstly comment that service seems to have really stepped up since my prior visits earlier in the year. I was warmly greeted and well looked after throughout the entire evening. There seems to be a bit more finesse than there has been in the past and I did not notice any arrogance from the staff, which is definitely an improvement from what myself and others seem to have previosuly experienced.

As I have mentioned before Rockpool Bar & Grill is a large restaurant, seating 150 guests, and more in the bar. The emphasis is on the freshest, best quality produce: featuring house aged steaks hung in a cool room at the front of the premise, live seafood and shellfish kept in tanks and prepared "espresso" to your order. Fish that is dry filleted to maintain freshness and much more. It is all the real deal here, and you can taste it in the food.

On the night I dined I begun with the scallops ceviche ($32): four live scallops, served on the shell with a tangy citrus dressing and a range of the most finely diced condiments including chilli, ginger and cilantro. There is no denying that these were the freshest scallops I have ever had the pleasure of eating, and they certainly provided a sublime tasting experience.


After the sensational scallops I soon received what I had come here for: my steak fix. I decided upon the New York cut ($60) after observing other diners eating this on my last visit and moaning with delight. It proved to be a beautiful piece of meat, which had been aged for 45 days and served cut, along with the bone. Cooked rare, the meat was most enjoyed: tender, full of flavour and perfectly seasoned. Along with a wonderful harissa condiment and the ultra fluffy bernaise and horseradish cream this was a first class meal. I savoured every mouthful.


To go with this special piece of meat I ordered the boiled greens dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil ($8). I was a bit skeptical that they were boiled, rather than steamed but I need not have been. What I got was a perfect bowl of brocolini, cabbage and leek, each with a wonderful crunch and subtle coating of olive oil. A really nice side to the steak.
I should also mention that all of the sides I have had here are exceptionally good: the gratins, mushrooms and salads are each worthy of praise in their own right.


With no room for dessert, and trying to keep the meal moderately healthy I part ways with Rockpool and have my coat retrieved for me; something which has not occured in the past and I leave rather impressed having enjoyed a seemingly simple meal, that was certainly up there with the best that I have had in recent times. I have also decided that whenever I feel like a good steak Rockpool is going to be my first point of call: after all life is way too short to be eating bad meat.

Rockpool Melbourne seems to be going from strength to strength and its success has been proven, with plans well under way for another Rockpool Bar and Grill set to open shortly in Sydney. It takes a lot of work to get a restaurant of this size running well and it looks like Melbourne's Rockpool is just about there.

Rockpool Bar and Grill has previously been reviewed by Melbourne Foodie here

MY RATING: 17/20 - Food 9/10 Ambience: 4/5 Service: 4/5

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  posted at 11:17 AM  
  0 comments



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Name: Jon!

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