131 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000ph : (03) 9639 1296
We celebrated Hubby's birthday by visiting Heirloom for their $79 Living Social Coupon for dinner for 2 last month. The price included champagne, an oyster tasting plate, 2 sashimi entrees, choice of mains from the menu and a macaron tasting plate. Not taking the kids along - priceless! Heirloom is a Japanese - French fusion restaurant, which is a fine line to tread, and as such has received quite a mixed bag of reviews. I like both French and Japanese cuisine so I was keen to try out this combination in the heart of our beautiful Melbourne Town!
The evening started off with a piccolo of Moet & Chandon Champagne, which was enough for two glasses. Cheap drunks that we are, this was quite enough for us.
A trio of breads arrived for us to munch on as we perused the menu for our choices in mains.
The Oyster Tasting Plate ($28) was a dozen oysters prepared 3 ways : Yuzu Foam, Wakame Sesame, and Red Wine Onion. This was quite tasty, my favourite being the interesting Yuzu Foam.
Next we had a Small Sashimi Dish each. The fish was fresh, and I tried scallop sashimi for the first time and was extremely impressed with the delicate taste and texture. Not fishy at all, and quickly became one of my favourites.
We indulged in ordering an extra entree, which was the Miso Glazed Quail Fracie, with pickled mushrooms and miso crumb ($25). I guess this is where the fusion bit comes in? The mushrooms gave the dish an interesting tang and the quail was nicely cooked. Not a fan of the green bits in this dish but otherwise we enjoyed the slightly different combination.
For mains I ordered the 48 hour Pork Belly, served with braised barley, azuki beans, celeriac remoulade, nashi caviar and tonkatsu sauce ($39). Quite nicely done belly pork, although it didn't trigger any gushing praise from either of us. I did however find the accompanying fromage de tete (that fried thing under the greens) very, very interesting. This is literally "head cheese", made from slow cooked pig's head, which was quite tasty considering how disgusting it sounds. A step in the direction of sustainability by cooking the whole beast!
Hubby had the Crispy Skin Hamachi Fillet / Kingfish, accompanied by crushed kipfler, anago, octopus tempura, roast scallop and smoked tomato sauce ($35). He found this too dry and quite bland overall.
We finished off with the Macaron Tasting Plate ($10), which was 6 tiny, ten-cent coin sized macraons in 3 flavours - banana, azuki bean, and another flavour that for the life of me I cannot remember (I think I was pretty tipsy by then!) Nothing to rave about in appearance or taste. The decorations on the dark pink shells were interesting though, and the use of mashed banana as macaron filling was surprisingly more palatable than I thought it would be.
We had a nice night out, and at $79 (without the quail) for 2, this was a very nice dinner. The original price for this meal was advertised to be $194, and I think if we had to pay that I would prefer to pay a little more and dine out at Ezard. There were kids at the restaurant even though we didn't bring ours. One couple brought their 1 year old in a pram, and some older kids accompanied their parents and friends at the lounge/bar area and everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves.
Eat.Play.Shop. Says - Great fresh sashimi, fusion dishes can be hit and miss but pleasant enough, and a great deal when you can find it on one of the coupon deals!