Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Taste of Melbourne Part III - Nous Nous Reverrons, Embrasse Review and Nicolas Poelaert

Third post of my Taste of Melbourne 2010 fun is mostly about sitting in for Nicolas Poelaert's Taste Kitchen and trying his menu at the pop-up restaurant of the day, Embrasse!

The crowd was starting to build up 30 minutes before the scheduled cooking class was meant to begin...

The list of Chefs that were participating in the Australia Gourmet Traveller Taste Kitchen

Regal Pure Indulgence, being one of the sponsors provided...

The guests with a delicious king salmon hors d'oeuvres

*nom nom nom*

There were many seats kept "reserved" for VIP guests (who paid extra), but people weren't following orders and were seating on the places anyway... *Tsk* *Tsk*

Ta-dah... Chef Nic is demonstrating how to use a Kitchen Aid to make frangipani (almond meal filling)

How to roll dough (and make fresh)

Chef Nic explaining how to clean fish (and kill bacteria) by soaking it in brine for about 10 minutes (water, salt and some sugar)...

Preparing the herbs and getting ready the sorrel leaves to pass round to the audience...

Voila! 15 minutes and the pear tart is ready!

Because I forgot to take down notes (I KNOW!).. all I remembered was, this was a deconstructed dish of something...

With mussels, king fish, cauliflower, purple cauliflower, sorrel and flowers

Quite beautiful isn't it?

The aftermath...

The people that converged upon the cooking area once the demo was done...

On Sunday, for the first 10 people to get into the Gourmet Traveller Chefs Table, they had Nic in there having an informal chat with wine and canapes and talking about his food and Embrasse...

The crew at Embrasse (Camm, Wife and the whole team, including art work) was at the show!

The crowd waiting to sample the food...

They closed Embrasse for the day to provide their full attention and dedication to catering for the event!

Embrasse was running a competition with the winner getting a free 5 course degustation for 2!!!

John Dory cooked in squid ink served with a burnt carrot puree and heirloom vegetables (10 crowns) - it was the first time I'd eaten anything cooked in squid ink. The flavours were very light and subtle... a great dish to start with...

Mr. Donati's crispy Pork Belly, peas and wild sorrel coulis, purple potato, fromage frais and garden herbs (10 crowns) - super duper good value, and we had a version of this when we dined at Embrasse for their Slow Sunday Lunch

Hazelnut & Chocolate parfait on forest floor (12 crowns)... worth... every... penny!!!

Plus I had an extra one courtesy of Chef Nic =)

For details on how to get to Embrasse, check out my other post on their Sunday Lunch =)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Taste of Melbourne 2010 - Part II - Maze, Izakaya Den, The Palace, Sarti, Charcoal Lane

Part II of my Taste of Melbourne Post concentrates on the majority of the dishes we had whilst working our way through the throng and bustle of the crowd... this is not counting all the other freebies of alcohol, cheese, lamb, chocolate etc...

maze Restaurant & maze Grill

Because we've already been to Maze when they first opened in Melbourne, we were curious to their new menu (well the Boy was more so than I)...

It was disappointing that not many of the head chef's were around and we didn't get to see Josh Emmett

Cured Marlborough king salmon with sweet corn, chorizo and kipfler potato (12 crowns)... the fish looked extremely well done.. but it wasn't.. it was amazingly tender and medium rare... and wonderfully rich in Omega 3!!

The Boy had a delicious Seared Hopkins River beef, with shitake and aged soy dressing (12 crowns)

Izakaya Den

Saturday's Pop-up Restaurant had me running towards it (as I didn't want to miss out)

Embarrassingly, I'd never heard of this Izakaya prior to this event (I know... I am *ashamed*)

The Sweet corn kaki-age served with green tea salt (8 crowns) was interesting and with the green tea salt adding in a delicate flavour to the sweet corn ... not quite worth the crowns though...

The same goes for the Spicy Tuna Tataki (12 crowns), good, but it doesn't stand out from the other Japanese Izakaya's out there...


We didn't actually get to eat this dish from Sarti - although I really wanted too!

Pistachio 'panna cotta' with caramel salted popcorn (8 crowns)

Charcoal Lane

The happy team at Charcoal Lane =)

I only managed to sample 1 out of the 3 dishes on offer, but managed to get pictures for all of them anyway (GO ME!)

So here was the one dish I did try and it was delicious (although slightly salty)

Wallaby Tataki with ginger, soy and horseradish (10 crowns)... I can safely say, I much prefer Kangaroo over Wallaby =)

Their Seared Kingfish, Red Curry, Puffed Rice and Coconut (12 crowns)

Their star dessert of Raspberry & Rosella Flower cannelloni, Strawberry and native mint salad (8 crowns)


I heard that their Salted Western plains pork & prawn sweet rool with pickled vegetables (10 crowns) was very much overpriced and under-taste (a pity)

However, that didn't stop them from drawing a huge crowd.

Longrain was situated just upstairs and had pretty much their very own busy disco and dance spot with a bar and DJ in attendance!

With a bar offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of drinks, it was hard to not want to try their drinks...

The Boy and I both had a Virgin Ping Pong - lychees, passionfruit and fresh lime (8 crowns) and a Virgin Moscow Mule - fresh lime & mint topped with ginger beer (8 crowns) --> the alcoholic versions were 12 crowns

In terms of drinks, I didn't hurry back for a second glass and hurriedly returned to Stokehouse for another Espresso Martini!!!

Read more about Part I of Taste of Melbourne...

Stay tuned for Parts III and IV!!!

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