Saturday, September 27, 2008

Comme Kitchen - Melbourne

I was quite decently excited when my partner said that we were going to a one-hat restaurant with his flatmate and his girlfriend. And that they seemed to swear by the quality of the food at the place.

As we walked into Comme Kitchen, a laid back yet sophisticated ambiance seemed to resonate throughout. However, the ambiance also meant bad quality photos for me and my phone-camera.

Comme Kitchen

My company remembered the restaurant as being a traditional, entree-main-dessert type restaurant and were pleasantly surprised when the waiter recommended ordering dishes to share, probably around 3 tapaz-style dishes per person. Unable to convince my company to order more than 1-2 dishes each, below is the selection my partner and I shared.

The first to come was a small appetiser - air dried tuna with shaved fennel ($7). It was presented so nicely and somewhat delicately, the strong and almost overpowering taste caught us unaware. I think that the lemon-flavoured dressing is meant to detract the overpoweringness of the dish, but fails to do more than add a zesty flavour to it (which isn't a bad thing I suppose).

Air-dried tuna, shaved fennel, preserved lemon dressing - $7

Then came our vegetables - asparagus, potato, bacon and egg ($15). I quite enjoy asparagus and potato, and egg. And my partner quite enjoys bacon. So together, it wasn't a bad combination. However, the dish did, as my partner noteably pointed out by dipping the content in the Bourride sauce (coming up), lack a bit a taste. At least it was no where near as overpowering as the last dish!

Saute of asparagus, pink fur apple potatoes, house cured bacon, pullet egg - $15

Then came my wonderful choice of dory fish with Bourride sauce ($17) which subsequently became the highlight of my partner's evening. The fish was cooked well (not excellently, not badly) and the sauce? To die for. "I'll eat this sauce with anything" were the words which came out from my partner's mouth. And it was a nice sauce - light yet creamy, tasty yet not overpowering, and in general, is just a delicious sauce which really probably will go with just about anything!

John dory fillet, white asparagus, pancetta, sauce Bourride - $17

After such a delectable dish, I was expecting many good things from our last order - rare Wagyu blade in bone-marrow, parmesan, garlic and lemon sauce ($21). I can't say I was disappointed, but I was far from being blown away by the dish. Given the amount of time it took for this dish to come after receiving the fish and vegetables, I did expect more. But, it was simply average, or a little bit better than average. Being rare, it wasn't the 'melt in your mouth' texture, but the sauce (again it's the sauce) did seem to bring a nice touch.

Rare roast Wagyu blade (500 day grain fed), bone marrow, Parmesan, garlic, lemon - $21

In all, the Dory fillet (or rather, the Bourride sauce) seemed to make it for this restaurant. According to my company (who were never once disappointed with this restaurant), this new tapaz-style dining was a disappointment. There used to be a 'to die for' lamb dish which is a standard the new tapaz-style lamb dish is miles from achieving. Well, my company refuses to return to the restaurant until they change back to the traditional type of dining. But I guess for those those who enjoy a chillaxing evening sharing lots of food, this is the restaurant to be. As for whether or not it deserves to be a one-hat restaurant... well, the service could be better, the timing of the dishes coming out can definately be improved... but other than that, the Bourride sauce (to die for) probably pushes into the one-hat zone. However, this is a one-off experience for me being a Sydney-sider. It will be interesting to see whether the quality of the sauce can be kept (or whether it'll just slide into the averageness of the other dishes).

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 6/10
Overall - 29/40

Comme Kitchen
7 Alfred Place
Melbourne, 3000
Tel: (03) 9631 4000

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