Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Melbourne Munchings Part 3

Over the weekend, DH was able to tear himself away from business and join me and Baby, so we managed to explore more parts of Melbourne.

We took the yarra river taxi to Docklands (AUD25 for a family day pass, and you take as many trips as you like, there are 8 stops along the yarra river), where there were many waterfront apartments and eateries.

Blue Fire Churrascaria

We thought it would be nice to have a churrascaria by the waterfront, how lovely is that?

The style was a little different. The meats were served by only one passadore, and didn't come out till after they had served (and we were finished with) the grilled flatbreads and dips and the baked vegetables. A sneaky little ploy to make sure we didn't eat more of the high value meats if you ask me.

We ordered oysters to start: 2 each of the following: Tequila with chili and lime (served cold), Kilpatrick (bacon worcester sauce and cheese and baked) and something with salsa (served hot also).

DH had a lime margarita (which he thought would be frozen, ie like a slush, but came with ice cubes in it instead) and I had a lime caipirinha which I thought was very good, there were many wedges of lime and lemon in this thing so it was very tart and refreshing.

The grilled vegs were all very sweet, I tried the sweet potato and the corn. DH took only a tiny bite of each, as he didn't want to waste stomach space, or fall into the sneaky trap of the restaurant.

Didn't take any photos of the meats, because the selection was not as varied as in Singapore (one cut each of lamb, beef, chicken, pork, sausage, swordfish and squid). No chicken hearts and no selection of cuts of beef etc.

Grossi Florentino 80 Bourke Street

This place is considered to be one of the best restaurants in Melbourne, serving fine Italian cuisine.

We came with baby, and I felt a little bad having a little one run around and disturb the rest of the diners. The waitstaff and all were very nice about it though, and even brought me and baby to the kitchen to say hi to Grossi, the chef-owner (He was a very dishy Italian chef, are they all this goodlooking? Or am I just partial to a man who can cook well?)

DH had the degustation menu (AUD150) and I ordered a starter and a main ala carte.

His starter of wagyu carpaccio was very nice, but one couldn't really taste the richness or succulence of the wagyu when it's sliced that thin. Wagyu is best eaten slightly seared i think, to bring out the richness of the fat by melting it a little. sort of like toro, best eaten aburi style. The carpaccio was served with shaved parmesan cheese and also a cold goat's cheese dressing. I liked the taste of the cheeses, very refreshing.

Then DH had langoustines (which is a shellfish, a bit like lobster) and it was, as you can see, very artistically scattered around the plate. It was fresh and succulent and refreshing.

DH's next course of scallop with roast pork was very good. The pork was not the crackling crispy skin type as we would eat here, more like slow roasted (as the skin wasn't at all crispy), but it was very flavourful. The mash is sweet potato? it was sweet.

DH then had their risotto with morton bay bugs (a species of crayfish) and fennel and another herb (saffron?). It was a signature dish here, and it was very well executed. Tender and sweet crayfish paired with firm to bite risotto.

What is this one? I can't really remember, but I think it could have been a quail or bird of some sort.
This one was FANTASTIC. It is slow cooked lamb, with summer vegetables. It was tender, it was not strong smelling, it was flavoursome. Perfect.

I had the duck and porcini mushroom tortellini (stuffed pasta) with rich duck jus. It was very nice, very fragrant, and a little sweet. I am beginning to notice that the chef quite likes to put a sweet tinge to his dishes.

My main of beef fillet was very very tender, and also a little sweet, maybe cos of the caramelised onions. There was foie gras on the top, but not a whole piece, more like shavings of it. It was also very good, although I didn't think it was better than the one at Cantina Cecconi, so I would go for that one, since this one was almost twice the price.

The dessert, which we didn't take any photos of, were eaten in a hurry as by then Baby was getting restless (naturally!). There were 3 types of sorbet ( as a palate cleanser) - lime, blood orange and dunno what else. the first 2 were tart and the last one was sweet.

Then DH's last course was a chocolate lava cake with souffle. very nice. I only had one bite though. I tried a little eensy weensy bit and then took Baby to walk around and came back to find that DH had scoffed the lot. So I guess it must have been good.

All these were eaten whilst Baby was running around, pullling chairs, talking and laughing (it was no easy task, I tell you). We had to take him for walks around the restaurant, to keep him entertained and out of trouble.

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