Special Ocassions at The Stokehouse
We were coming to the end of the crazy, whirlwind visit of iMac’s parents and brothers all the way from Scotland… affectionately nicknamed the Crushers (after our patriarch who received the moniker “Crusher” early in life). It was the penultimate night in what was a fabulous tour of Melbourne that took in so many of our culinary and cultural highlights. But this was the night of nights – Mrs Crusher’s 70th Birthday extravaganza upstairs at the Stokehouse!
Testimony to the wine and champagne that was flowing throughout the evening, this post has a rather shambolic and disorganised view of the food that was on offer – but I thought it worthwhile posting anyway, just because the Stokehouse is a brilliant place to enjoy a special occasion! The function menu is simply a smaller version of the normal a la carte offerings – so you certainly get to enjoy some sublime dishes, and full service that makes the Stokehouse so amazing.
Seared Atlantic scallops, green apple and squash salad, macadamias, Serrano ham, lemon aioli
For my entrée, I ordered the scallops – I always find it difficult to go past these beautiful mollusks! They are one of my favourite seafood dishes. In this rendition, they were fabulously partnered with a rich Serrano ham and a gorgeous lemon scented aioli. Luscious!
Rolled lamb shoulder, sautéed cos, goats curd, cauliflower puree, mint and shallot jus
For his entrée, Andrew had the lamb shoulder – which was an amazing dish. The shoulder was shredded and then formed into a patty which had been pan seared to create a caramelised crust! The richness of the meat was counterpointed by a beautiful silky cauliflower puree… just amazing. Worth ordering!
Beef tartare, pickled shimeji mushrooms, oyster cream, fried capers, rye bread
Being seated next to Crusher, I was able to capture his entrée for the night as well. It’s probably fair to say that the beef tartare here is one of the best around – in fact, iMac does declare it to be so – but we often agree to disagree as I believe the Hotel Lincoln version to be superior. I would say that this is the finer dining version of it though – and it is a gorgeous dish! The differentiating factor – those pickled shimenji and the horseradish cream!
Seared Magret duck breast and confit leg, raspberries, lentils, guanciale, truffled honey sauce
I couldn’t go past the duck – even though there were lots of gorgeous offerings in the main section. The duck was beautiful – and it was served on top of some delicious lentils (something I don’t often say about lentils). The truffled honey sauce and raspberries were a surprisingly yummy foil to the richness of the duck.
Collinson (VIC) 220gm pasture fed angus tenderloin served with herb and Gruyere crust, beetroot and horseradish gratin
Both the boys on either side of me, Crusher and Andrew, opted for the steak (surprise, surprise!). I have to admit that this may be where some of the service came unstuck – getting the right steak to the right person. So many people had ordered the steak! Nonetheless, it was worth the confusion with a beautiful piece of meat with perfectly executed side dishes.
Vanilla pannacotta, pineapple, mango, coconut and kaffir lime sorbet
I’m not sure what happened, but apparently I only managed to get a photo of one of the desserts – mine! I’ll blame the pinot noir! I love a great pannacotta – and this one was good. The dish was a great mélange of tropical flavours, and silky smooth creamy pannacotta. Gotta love it!