Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ezard - Melbourne

We had a booking at Ezard for 9.30pm. We thought that we'd be the only ones dining by this time but we were wrong. The restaurant was still packed out, and there were others like us, with bookings late into the night.

The ambiance here was dark and "romantic?". The food and aromas around us were great, but the service was a bit slow. Bread was given first. The bread was good... but what was better was the trio of powdered accompaniments. One was a sichuan pepper type mix - almost like a 5 spice mixture? Another was this awesome seaweed mix - kind of like jacko rice. And the third...? It was this powdery sweet and spicy mix. My fav was the seaweed one, hubby's favourite was the 5 spice one. Of course, we could also mix it up with the creamy tasty butter.
bread with condiments
The amuse bouche was this tiny crispy tasty thing. I can't for the life of me remember what exactly it was...but there was a bit of chilli stuff and some sashimi stuff and altogether, it was tasty and texturally complex and pleasing.
amuse bouche
We ordered an oyster shooter each. It was japanese inspired with refreshing cucumber, apple and yuzu. Went down in a gulp. But it was a good gulp :)
oyster shooter
Menu-wise, there was a choice between the degustation or the 3 course a-la-carte. After much deliberation, we opted for the three course, with hubby sacrificing his dessert for two entrees. Entree one was a steamed spanner crab dumpling garnished with yarra valley salmon roe and chervil. A really yummy and aromatic coconut tom kha soup was drizzled on top. It was really tasty!
spanner crab dumpling
My entree was the butter poached marron. This perfectly cooked. Tasty, juicy, super sweet. It was served with a foie gras parfait, madeira jelly, chocolate crumbs and bits of candied oranges everywhere. YUM! (but I like all marron :P)
marron with foie gras
Hubby's second entree came probably half an hour after the first? Hubby said it was well worth the wait though - a super tender, really really flavour-packed soy-glazed slow cooked lamb belly. It was soooo lamby. Rubbed with five spice salt and pepper, and served with blood plum and native mint, hubby enjoyed every moment of this dish.
lamb belly
Mains probably came another half an hour later? (yes, service was crazily slow >.<).  Hubby had the wagyu beef (marble score 8). The beef was really really rich and really melt-in-your-mouth tender. It came with white polenta and morels. Accompanied with it was a red wine jam, foie gras and a sticky shallot jus. On top of the beef pile was a mache salad. I thought it was tasty - but it got a bit boring after a while. Hubby likewise liked it, but it lacked any WOW factor.
wagyu beef
My main was pretty good. I initially wanted the john dory - but this was sold out. Instead, I opted for the next best thing - the gold band snapper. This came with tiny crispy golden brown corn croquettes, thinly sliced chorizo, tasty anchovies, dots of garlic aioli and lemon. It exceeded my expectations. The fish was cooked perfectly and with a slight crispy skin. And anchovies and aioli are welcome in my mouth anyday!
The palette cleanser from memory was really good. But I don't remember what it was... I think it was some lime meringue thing? I wish I had better memory :(
palate cleanser
For my actual dessert - I got something AWESOME!!!! It was tasting plate with 6 different dessert minis! There was the pear and poire william parfait, native apples, butterscotch sauce, pear pearls and figs. The whole dish was very very peary. The parfait was rich and smooth. Hubby liked it, I didn't so much... slightly too sweet for my liking. Another dessert was the custard apple mousse served with quandong sorbet, pressed green apple, puff pastry crisp and honey oats. Thirdly, the cheesecake with honey, rosemary and blueberry sorbet and almond crumble. I quite liked the cheesecake. The honeycrunch ice cream was also to my liking. It was served with lightly toasted gingerbread, cinnamon oil and a crisp sugar swirl. There was also a trio of sorbets. But my favourite for the night? This chocolate 'hemisphere' that looked like a half coconut shell. The 'whites' of the coconut shell was a smooth coconut jelly thing. It came with a yummy chocolate sorbet, kaffir lime jelly, almond and hazelnut. Loved it! I think it was the only mini dessert that I completely devoured and finished.
dessert tasting plate
Ezard offered amazingly tasty food. Everything was quite YUM. However, the service was quite abysmal. Our three course meal took 3+ hours (well past midnight)... I shudder to think what would have happened if we got the 8 course degustation? So would I recommend this restaurant? Yeh - but ONLY if you have hours to kill.

Food - 9.5/10
Service -5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

187 Flinders Lane
VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9639 6811

No comments: