New menu at Ezard

Ezard
187 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9639 6811
Open: Lunch Mon – Fri; Dinner Mon – Sat
Website

So, we’re well into February – and you know that these New Year’s Resolutions don’t just keep themselves – you have to demonstrate commitment, dedication and unwavering focus to ensure you stay the course!  Fortunately, I didn’t have to look very far for my February dining companion – the divine Ms M decided that it was time she revisited Ezard after about a 10 year break! Goodness me – how did she let this happen???? Inconceivable!

Anyway – the good news is that there has been a new menu launched for February, so there were a couple of new dishes to try. Thankfully at Ezard – they never completely ditch the menu in favour of the new and fanciful – they always leave a solid proportion of old faithfuls (such as crab dumplings, pork hock, and honey crunch ice-cream, amongst others). That way – depending on what you feel like you can stay with the tried and the true, or venture into more unexplored territories.

Emboldened by Ms M’s return to the fold – I opted for the completely new menu… so let’s not delay.

Seared Canadian scallops, edamame puree,
miso caramel, betel leaf, sesame salt

The divine Ms M wasted no time – and identified the scallops as her entrée, and they were divine. The miso caramel was gorgeously sweet and earthy, and the scallops were beautifully seared to a bronze crispness – but still unctuous and creamy beneath. The endamame puree added a real softness to the dish, while the crisped betel leaf added a textural crunch to the ensemble. Very nice!

Handmade potato gnocchi, jerusalem artichoke cream,
black garlic, morels, pea foam

I was lured by the hand made gnocchi – which were delicate and plump pillows of goodness, beautifully offset by the sweet peas and the creamy jerusalem artichoke cream.  A real winner in the dish was the black garlic – which is quite sweet.  Whilst I’m not usually a fan of foams, it added a moistness gently perfumed with peas. Really lovely. Great gnocchi.

Salad of baby beetroot, asparagus and iberico jamon,
parmesan custard and black truffle vinaigrette

We were treated to a special tasting plate of the baby beetroot salad which was absolutely gorgeous.  The beetroot was an orb of purple sweetness – beautifully complemented by a smooth and creamy parmesan custard.  I loved the fresh asparagus and the surprise element of the jamon.  A lovely light course that was refreshing and flavourful.

Sesame crusted john dory with saffron kipfler potato,
asparagus, gremolata oil, soft herbs and lemon

The divine Ms M was going to opt for the ocean trout – however, it is served with a spicy salad which was outside her tastebud portfolio.  So, instead she chose to have the John Dory… which was AMAZING!   She explained to me that she was in raptures with the dish – that the fish was beautiful and crisp one side and gloriously soft and yielding underneath.  She was a happy camper!

Pan roasted baby barramundi with caramelised eggplant,
tomato and lime salad, yellow curry dressing

I really veered away from my usual dishes (duck, pork, chicken) – and decided to try the barramundi.  It was simly stunning. I don’t know how they do it – but the skin on the barramundi was completely crisp, without a hint of being tough or leathery, while the fish underneath was delicate and flakey.  The yellow curry sauce is poured for you at the table and is hedonistically good – the flavours are so complex, yet so balanced and delicate – you are in seventh heaven!  And the caramelised eggplant – Oh. My. Goodness.  This is so good you could just eat it by itself.  An incredibly delicious dish.

Ezard Dessert Platter

Oh… and just because we hadn’t had enough… and we couldn’t make up our minds… we decided to share the dessert platter. Actually, I think the divine Ms M was planning to order it just for herself – but I insisted on sharing.  Goodness – was she making up for lost time or something!  Wow.  And here are the close up shots…

Pistachio frangipane, caramelised strawberries, tonka bean ice cream  

This frangipane cake is light, moist and delicious, beautifully perfumed with pistachios and artfully complemented by the tonka bean ice-cream.  Although it looks quite humble, it’s seriously good.

Honeycrunch ice cream, toasted gingerbread and sugar swirl

The signature dessert – very hard to go past this one. Always a winner.  This is comfort food at its best, done in 5 star style.

Mango bavarois, slow cooked peach, sesame seed wafer and raspberry sorbet

Not necessarily one of my favourites – because I don’t like things too wobbly.  However, this was still very good.  I think I was getting pretty full by this stage…

Lychee parfait, salted praline, soft centered meringue, blackberry gel and lemon curd

One of my favourites on the platter – the lychee parfait is uncanny in its flavours. The essence of lychee is so beautifully captured in the creaminess of the parfait.  The raspberry is a beautiful foil and the soft centred meringue adds a bit of crunchy and chewy sweetness.

Summer fruit sable, lemongrass jelly, champagne sorbet

Not such a great one for me – the wobble factor on this dessert was a little too high.  I actually ditched the admittedly gorgeous looking curtain of lemongrass jelly – and honed in on the champagne sorbet and accompanying fruits. Not to worry – the divine Ms M made short work of it and proclaimed the jelly to be absolutely delightful.

Chocolate and passionfruit torte

Another  one of the signature desserts (and one that I often order) – the chocolate torte.  It is subject to variation according to the seasons – and this time it was generously drizzled with a passionfruit sauce.  Never disappointing – it was lovely.

Espresso Martinis

The very naughty Quentin suggested some espresso martinis to finish. He should know better – here I am, at the end of the evening – he knows how suggestible I become after a few drinks. I had been primed already by the enthusiastic consumption of the lovely DeSousa champagne, the Chestnut Hill Pinot Noir, and the Gravas Sauterne from France…. therefore, he quite easily lulled me into hypnotic suggestion and before you know it – we could hear the cocktail shaker going into overdrive.

Now this, my friends, is what I call an after dinner coffee!!! Containing a number of ingredients I have been sworn to secrecy – but can reveal that it contains a shot of espresso, some vanilla infused vodka, as well as a couple of other measures of alcohol. I think things started getting a little silly at this stage. So, it was with some effort that we finally finished up – and forced ourselves to leave this wonderful haven of amazing food, beverages and service!!  We weaved our respective ways home…. with the divine Ms M declaring that Ezard was even better than she remembered and enthusiastically proclaiming she would be back much sooner ….

Stay tuned for the next exciting Ezard instalment – the Sibling Rivalry Dinner – a special Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event with dishes from Ezard, Gingerboy and Black! Which restaurant’s dish will take out the victory?

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