Thursday, June 2, 2011

Eat. @ Ezard

187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne ph : (03) 9639 6811

Hubby and I went to Ezard for a special celebratory dinner the other night.  Firstly let me say this is NOT a place to take your kids - however it's an awesome place for a beautiful meal, in a stylishly decked out restaurant, with a modern ambiance.  Secondly, my phone photos do the meal no justice, but this isn't the sort of place to whip out the aim-and-shoot with a flash.

One of my favourite things about Ezard is their trio of condiments for dipping bread into, along with the Garlic, Parmesan and Rosemary infused olive oil.  My favourite is their chili and rock sugar mix, which gives a surprising heat while the rock sugar delivers a pleasant sweetness.  The prickly ash - spiced salt with szechuan pepper, and the Umami-Bonito mix are also genius combinations.  We have not come across as nice a bread dish as this anywhere else so far.  (You can take home a bottle of the olive oil for $40)

The Japanese inspired Oyster Shooter is a signature starter at Ezard.  The menu proudly discusses the 11 year history this eatery has had in the basement of the Adelphi Hotel.  Unlike so many other "must-try" eateries, it has stood the test of time, and even though there have been new dishes introduced into the mix with their old trusty signatures, the quality has not diminished in anyway.  The mix of sweet and bitey of the mirin, sake and wasabi combined with a fresh oyster is like a little burst of flavour in your mouth.  Even Hubby, who doesn't usually do raw oysters, will always have one here.  The Shooter is chased down by a nori-roll filled with noodles, which neutralises the palate and sets you up for the next shot!

The Open Wagyu Beef Burger, with Foie Gras, Quail egg, Onion jam, Smoked Tomato and Truffle Oil Mayonnaise, is a favourite entree of Hubby's.  I'm always amazed how all those ingredients, which all have very distinctive and individual tastes, can meld so harmoniously together in such a complementary way!

My Five Spiced Bangalow Sweet Pork Belly with Celeriac and Apple Remoulade, Mustard sauce is less exciting but nonetheless a very tasty entree.

We both ordered the Master Stock Fried Pork Hock with Chili Caramel, Spicy Thai Beanshoot Salad and Fragrant Jasmine rice since it's our favourite.  Except for a change of the Salad, I don't think this dish has changed at all over the years.  It still has the melt-in-the-mouth pork, with it's crunchy caramelised skin, flavoured to perfection by the chili caramel that hits you with its distinctive taste.  Highly recommended, and a huge reason why we'd rather have a la carte rather than the degustation, which is also very good, but doesn't have this in its menu.

Pretty full after all that.  I had the Caramelised Apple and Rhubarb Crumble, Vanilla Mousse and Apple Cider Sorbet.  The crumble was delicious, with a coarser, more robust crumble than the usual, offset by the tangy apple cider sorbet.   The dehydrated apple wafers were a highlight.

Hubby decided to try the Duo of Pear and Caramel Parfait, Passionfruit Syrup and Salted Popcorn.  He said that it was lovely and light, after the heavy entrees and mains.

T2 English Breakfast Tea to complement the desserts.  Love me a good tea service!

Ezard offers an 8 course degustation menu for $140, an extra $110 for matching wines.  I'm no drinker, but recommend their lemon squash which is a perfect balance of sweet and tart.  For the a la carte menu on Friday and Saturday nights, 3 courses must be chosen for $95 each.  Awesome food for a special dinner!

For those who drink and have some "spare cash", Hubby spied a $7000 bottle of French Champagne in their wine list :)

Eat. Play. Shop. Recommends : The Oyster Shooters and The Pork Hock.  
Give it a Miss : not for the kiddies, this one! 

Ezard on Urbanspoon

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