Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eat. @ Saint Crispin

300 Smith St, Collingwood 3066 (03) 9419 2202

My brother-in-law and my Sister-in-Law recently came back from the US for a holiday.  I remember asking them when they left Australia where they'd most want to eat when they came back and their answer was Estelle Bar and Kitchen.  We'd recently just eaten there, so Hubby and I decided to take them to Scott Pickett's other venture since they left, which of course is Saint Crispin, one of my favourite little restaurants in Collingwood.

We started off with an amouse bouche of savoury madeleine with an onion foam.  They were really quite delicious, but much like savoury macarons, my brain kept telling me that they should be sweet!

We had to order the Snap, Crackle and Pop ($9) which are crispy pork crackling with the most addictive spicy seasoning.   I bought a bag of these at the Taste of Melbourne last year with the intent of sharing (nods vigorously) but ended up scoffing the whole lot myself!

They are an excellent bar snack.  I don't like beer, and I admit I know zilch about beer. BIL ordered this German one which was so nice tasting I could swear it's not a beer!

We also ordered the smoked eel croquettes ($8 for two pieces) which were tasty little morsels  of potato with with a zingy sauce.

Then it's off to start our 3 course meals ($60 for 3 courses, $50 for 2, matching wines extra).  For entree BIL tried the Marron (+$14) which was served with their 24  month prosciutto, foie parfait and celeriac.  This was a beautiful looking dish and BIL said it was tasty and fresh.

I had the Venison, heirloom beetroot, radish, chestnut and chocolate, which is an intriguing combination of ingredients, and I found delightful and interesting.  The dish was pretty as a picture and the dish has Scott Pickett's signature mix of opposing yet complimentary ingredients, tastes and textures.   And of course gorgeously presented on the lovely Glenn Tebble tableware.

Hubby and SIL both had the Quail, with shaved cuttlefish, shiitake mushroom and kombu.  A bit of a fusion comfort dish packed with umami.

For mains Hubby and BIL had the Wagyu rump and oyster blade, with parsley risotto, stout and carrot (+$20).   A colourful garden of interesting vegies showcasing the two different cuts of meat which were amazingly different in taste.

SIL and I had the Western Plains pork, with miso, beans, charred cabbage and nashi.  Whilst this was not as pretty as the other dishes, the pork was beautifully done and oh so tender, offsetting the crispy pork skin and crunchy fresh vegetables.

Hubby says the best thing about being married is that you always have someone to share dessert with, so you can order more!  Never as true as this night, as I got to try 2 of the loveliest desserts I've had in a while.  The first was a Brillat savarin cheesecake, mandarin meringue and beurre noisette.  Yes, a beautifully looking deconstructed dessert, I loved the tangy flavour contrasting with the sweet, and of course the smooth cheesecake component mixed with the brilliant citrus crunch of the meringue.

Then there was the Hazelnut and honey parfait, with apple, pear and chamomile.  So pretty to look at but again a lovely play of textures and flavours.  I was pretty full by then but couldn't stop eating!

It was a lovely evening of fun conversations and delicious food.  The restaurant is dimly lit and can be quite noisy but has a great atmosphere.  We ended the night like it started, with a little surprise sweet treat, this time of chocolate.  We've been to Saint Crispin quite a few times now and I love that if you just wanted a straight forward 3 course meal, $60 will get you 3 dishes of extremely high quality, well thought out fare and a fantastic evening out.

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