Sarti: Chapman Hill olive oil

Posted on | August 3, 2012 | 10 Comments

Disclosure: I attended the tasting and dinner at Sarti courtesy of Chapman Hill.

Once upon a time, when I was more naive than I am now, I agreed to accept a bag of fresh olives from a friend.

I had grand aspirations of marinating my own olives. They were going to be great. FOOL. Anyone who has ever dealt with fresh olives will know how much work in involved in preparing them – they need to be soaked in water, changed daily for weeks to leach out the bitterness.

Perhaps, instead of spending weeks babying these stupid olives, I should’ve tried crushing them to extract the oil. Or even better – I should’ve just tossed the olives out, bought myself a bottle of oil, and saved myself the angst.

In what is probably a very awkward segue, recently I was invited to a tasting of the latest Chapman Hill olive oil harvest. Chapman Hill are a Victorian based producer, located on the northern slopes of Central Victoria’s Great Dividing Range. They produce three single varietal extra virgin olive oils – Frantoio, Leccino and New Norcia.

It was interesting tasting the differences in the three oils. Frantoio was rich with herby aromas and a mild pepperiness. Leccino was the most robust of the three, with sweet and complex aromas. It’s tingly and spicy with a medium bitterness. And New Norcia was a full flavoured oil, with a spicy, slightly bitter citrus finish.

The oil tasting was held on Sarti’s outdoor terrace. Sarti is a one hat restaurant serving modern Italian food, and afterwards we moved into the dining room for dinner made with the Chapman Hill oils.

We started with stuzzichini – small Italian appetisers.

These were superb wild mushroom and caprino suppli, which came on an aioli made using the New Norcia extra virgin olive oil. The balls were crunchy and strongly mushroom flavoured – really good.

The tuna carpaccio with mandarins and capers used the Frantoio evoo. Quite citrusy and sweet, the tuna had a lovely texture.

Next was marinated giardiniera with house made capocollo, using the Leccino evoo, containing thinly sliced cured pork, pickled vegetables, and pine mushrooms from Mt Macdeon.

In between dishes, we nibbled on marinated kalamata olives.

My favourite was the melanzane al forno – baked eggplant filled with a mixture of ricotta and bread topped with a rich napoli sauce flavoured with plenty of garlic.

For mains there were big platters of slow braised lamb with artichokes and buffalo mozzarella, which contained the Frantoio evoo. The lamb was great – tender and flavoursome.

It came with a side of Italian greens with blueberries and pine nuts.

We finished with an interesting dessert – salami. Well, not *real* salami, but doesn’t it look like it? We had chocolate and amarena salami that came with marzipan and pistachio “olives” and brioche. The chocolate salami was quite rich, so I only had a small piece and it was the perfect end to the meal. Fun dessert!

Dinner was enjoyable and it was really nice to meet the producers behind Chapman Hill. But I completely missed my opportunity to ask for tips in dealing with olives in case I’m ever foolish enough to accept a bag again.

Chapman Hill Olive Oil

6 Russell Place
Phone: 9639 7822

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10 Responses to “Sarti: Chapman Hill olive oil”

  1. Hannah
    August 4th, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    You are the queen of Melbourne right now! Being sent to restaurants and events willy-nilly! I hope you get a private jet soon.
    Hannah recently posted..Hyatt Farewell Lunching, with Bonus Hide and Seek


    Agnes Reply:

    Yes I’d like a private jet too. And a million squillion dollars. And a crown.


  2. Theragingcook
    August 5th, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    tuna carpaccio and the lamb *drools* yes…
    chocolate salami hahahahaha, now that gives me an idea!!!


    Agnes Reply:

    Oh! I’d be interested to see you take on chocolate salami :)


  3. msihua
    August 5th, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Mmm the memory of that lamb lingers .. Mmmm
    msihua recently posted..Heirloom @ Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD – An Iron Chef Student Takes the Kitchen


    Agnes Reply:

    Lamb was gooooood.


  4. Winston
    August 6th, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    Hahahha… I had no idea they were that much work!! I’d love to taste the different oils side by side to see how they taste differently to know what they each go best with too. Fun dinner! So how many bags of olives do you want from me this time. Two? Three?
    Winston recently posted..Beef Ribs in Tomato Sauce + COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY!!!


  5. CheezyK
    August 6th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    Oh, I love olives! Definitely happy to let the experts deal with them though :D This meal looks delicious, that eggplant in particular has me drooling …
    CheezyK recently posted..Pick Me Up Quotes … and you apparently too


  6. Iron Chef Shellie
    August 6th, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    I loved the eggplant dish too, and I’m not huge on eggplant!

    Note to self, don’t give Agnes a bag of olives…. ever. :P
    Iron Chef Shellie recently posted..Rare Beef with Ginger and Mushroom Noodles


  7. Thanh
    August 6th, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

    Such an awkward segue. Speaking of olives, you the FOOL. What’s that I hear you say, I’m the fool, no, you the fool.
    Thanh recently posted..Eat Street 2012 – Charity With A Delicious Side


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