“And if you think duck three ways is good, you ought to try the lamb four ways, including a fabulous mini-piece of braised shoulder with a caul of the sticky-soft, caramelised fat – lamb’s riposte to pork crackle. The curious potato crisp puffs riding on the sheep’s back deserve their own mention. Ask the waiters – they’ll be ready for it.”
Awarded one chef’s hat and Best New Restaurant, 2013
Awarded two chef’s hats, 2014
“Similar textural goodness arrives with an egg, rice and mushroom dish that sealed a return visit for me. It starts with the slow-cooked pullet egg and runs to sautéed mushrooms both wild and cultivated (slippery Jacks and pines among them), black venere rice, crisp puffed wild rice, parmesan jelly, parmesan foam and mushroom sponge. If they opened for breakfast I’d be lining up in my slippers.”
“A mid-winter example: roasted pheasant breast with chestnuts, a croquette of leg meat, a soft, ink-black puree of burnt carrot, an utterly delicious old-fashioned stock-based sauce, a carb-load of house-made maccheroni, just-cooked broccoli and a finishing confetti of raw Brussels sprout leaves. There are herby crumbs and the lightest snowfall of parmesan. Woohoo.
Or the “salade gourmande” – the prettiest, freshest-looking assembly of coloured leaves, blossoms, savoury gels and powders, revealing things such as pheasant and pistachio ballotine, Wagyu tongue, housemade black pudding, dehydrated egg yolk and a foie gras parfait. And then there’s a poached king salmon entree with a bit of liquor, fresh oysters, shaved calamari and a squid ink cracker made with tapioca. These are all wow moments.”
Awarded Hottest Restaurant, Victoria – Hot 50 Restaurant Awards, 2013
“It starts with the Best. Bar. Snack. Ever. And travels at altitude from there. Since opening in June it’s very much a case of ‘do believe the hype’.
You can’t not order the ‘snap, crackle and pop’ ($9) – the bar snack that puts all others to shame. Like billowy pork clouds, these effortlessly light, blistered crisp crackers are porcine goodness dusted in a sesame dash powered that puts the oooooh into umami. It comes as a generous serve for two, but you’ll still fight over the crumbs.”