Wouldn’t it be good to be able to tap into a collective memory? Then you would always have access to important details, and it wouldn’t be a problem if your mind was crowded with useless things like the lyrics to “Deep deep trouble” even though you haven’t heard that song for 15 years. (Oh, is that just me? And yes, I do know the words. I can totally bust it out at any time. HELP I CAN’T FORGET IT.)
Fortunately, I have friends who help me remember things. When I eat out I sometimes can’t recall all the details and will message whoever I ate with: “Hey, do you remember what was in that dish?”
After our lunch at Embrasse, Thanh and I had the following conversation.
“What was the fish again?”
“Ummmm. I can’t remember.”
“It was silver something, wasn’t it?”
“Oh! It was silver dory!”
Food bloggers hive mind win. With our memories combined, we are… one normal person!
As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, many restaurants are holding express lunches, where for $35 you receive two courses and a glass of wine. It’s a excellent way to check out a restaurant at a fraction of the normal price. I had been keen to check out Embrasse for a while, so muscled in on a booking with Thanh, Kat and Thanh’s workmate and wife.
All the restaurants have a limited menu for the express lunches, and for Embrasse, there were two options for each course.
Alastair and I both decided to have an entree and a main for our two courses. His choice was the squid cooked in red wine, parsley, zucchini and family, lemon, bergamot oil. The squid had been slow cooked in the wine and was tender and beautifully presented.
When we were making our choices, I knew that Alastair wouldn’t be going anywhere near the black pudding, so my choice was decided. I didn’t look further at the menu description – black pudding croquette, garden peas, dried bay leaf oil, pickled beetroot. Which is why I was dismayed to see all the ugly peas on my plate. Waaah. You know all know by now my dislike for peas but I sucked it up. Well, sort of. I ate around the bloody things, though I did eat the pea puree.
Okay, enough pea hating. The croquette was lovely – super crunchy with a meaty, savoury centre. The beetroot really helped to cut through some of the meaty richness.
For mains, Alastair had the fish of the day poached in a brown butter, burnt onion, chive, carrot cooked under a pile of mud, grapes, cucumber, cauliflower custard. As mentioned earlier, the food bloggers’ hive mind determined the fish was silver dory. I tried a small piece of his fish. It was tender and perfectly cooked, and despite the menu description of having been poached in brown butter, it wasn’t greasy or super buttery.
My choice was the roasted corn feed chicken, eggs, stone fruits, their own rooftop honey, baked onion. The chicken was a succulent piece of meat – seemingly simple, but so well cooked. I presume the egg was in the very creamy sauce, which worked really well with the sweetness of the dollop of honey and the small baked onion.
We didn’t order dessert, but I snapped a photo of Thanh’s coconut mousse, frangipane, passion fruit, corn, orange blossom (the other option was cheese). He said it was very light and fluffy, and it disappeared into his stomach very quickly.
We finished with coffee and far too soon it was time to leave.
Obviously the purpose of the express lunch is to give a little taste of what the restaurant can offer. Even though the menu was very limited I enjoyed our lunch and it made me keen to try out their normal menu someday.
Express lunch success!
For more on Embrasse, read Kat’s account of our lunch at Spatula, Spoon and Saturday.
And for more on Embrasse’s express lunch this year, see Brunch addict.
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312 Drummond Street
Phone: 03 9347 3312