For my very first job assignment, I went to Melbourne! :)
The first place I went to as soon as I touched down was Stalactites! A Greek restaurant that serves the most wonderful grilled meat platter and dips with pita bread! As there were only two of us dining, Mr Dw ordered a mix of four dips with pita bread and a mixed giro platter of spring lamb and chicken. My favourite part is wrapping the meat slices up in pita bread, slathering them with my favourite dips beforehand, of course. Out of the four dips, which are tzatziki (yoghurt, garlic & cucumber), hommus (chickpea & sesame), tarama (caviar & lemon), melitzanosalata (eggplant & garlic), Mr Dw’s favourite happens to be the one with the eggplant. Ironically, he hates eating eggplants. I guess mashing and mixing sometimes do work, in terms of making people eat something that they hate. :)
Sigh. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the juiciness of the meat. Maybe it’s the tantalizing taste of the dips. Maybe it’s the way the mixture of meat juices and dips ooze out into your mouth, with the aroma hitting the roof of your mouth and up to your nose, that…that…that..
…made you let out a gentle sigh of satisfaction…
…I really do want to get back to Stalactites, like, right now, to have the same thing again.
I really, really do.
But I guess I really, really can’t. Not now, at least. So let me go on with my story.
After I’m done with dinner, Mr Dw and I headed over to Woolies and I’d gotten myself a beanie with built in headphones before heading back to the hotel where I was bunking in with another colleague, Ms Char. Ms Char was rather impressed when she saw me with my new beanie and guess what?
Yes. We both have matching beanies now. :D Yay! As this was Ms Char’s first visit to Melbourne, Mr Dw became tour guide of the day and brought us around!
And I made Ms Char pose next to my favourite giant marble purse for an obligatory tourist shot.
Then we went to Lindt’s Cafe @ Collin’s Street for my favourite macarons!
Macarons in chocolate, strawberry and champagne flavour! Can’t wait for my Sydney assignment next month!! Must! Must! Must buy a dozen of macarons back! ^_^
Look at Ms Char enjoying her hot dark chocolate on a chilly rainy day! *Bliss*
Now, are you ready for a seven course lunch at…
…Maze by Gordon Ramsay?
We were being offered a choice of either having a 3-course or 4-course lunch. At the beginning we thought of getting two 4-course lunch. But after having a hard time eliminating the choices of dishes, we decided to get ourselves each a chef recommended 7-course lunch instead. :)
Here’s the menu! You might want to click on it to enlarge it for a better view. :)
Oo… I can see Mr Dw’s reflection on my spoon! He’s busy flirting with the waitress. ;)
This is our first dish. I love the colors. It’s marinated beetroot with goat’s curd dressed with Cabernet Sauvignon vinaigrette and toasted pinenuts. I never knew goat’s cheese could taste as nice as this! The combination of the tangy beetroot intertwined with the creaminess of the goat’s cheese gave a very palate awakening sensation.
Our second course is “Tête de cochon”. Now, whereas “cochon” means pig in French, do you know what tête means? Go on. Make a wild guess.
Right. It means “head”. So what we are having here is mashed up and rolled out pig head slices with pickled vegetables on the side and a tiny cube of vegetable fritter. The waitress kindly reassured Mr Dw that no pig brains were used to make this dish. I guess Mr Dw would need such a reassurance ever since the pig-brain-noodle-soup incident. Taste wise, the tête de cochon is savory and nice. I would prefer not to have the vegetables pickled though because it made me go *_* every time I put some in my mouth. Though our waitress recommended eating them with the sourdough bread that was served alongside with this dish. But sadly, I was having some gum-ache and it was very difficult for me to chew.
Our third course, which is also my favourite! Applewood smoked kingfish! I’m not a big fan of smoked fish as I don’t really enjoy the smoky after taste, but this dish is special. Notice the fluffy white matter wedged between the meat? It’s candy floss! Sprinkled with ground star anise, it gives off a subtle sweet and spicy aroma when eaten together with the smoked kingfish. Totally brings out the umami of the kingfish!
Our forth course was what Mr dw was here for: The “fish-dressed-as-chicken” dish. We had our coral trout wrapped with chicken skin, served in lemon thyme consommé. It’s kind of like eating slices of sausage, concept wise. It’s amazing how they can make the chicken skin in such a way that it can wrap so nicely around the fish as though it’s its own skin. I love how this dish is being presented and how the lemon thyme consommé compliments the flavour and texture of the fish. Very vibrant and pleasing to the palate.
I could only say that our fifth course was rather a unique one. It’s venison served with beet root puree and a strip of dark chocolate! I like the unique combination of the sweetness of the chocolate and tanginess of the beet root puree but I don’t quite like the texture of the venison as it reminded me of pig liver.
This wasn’t part of our 7-course lunch, but since Mr Dw love risotto a lot, we decided to give this mega mushroom risotto a try. I love the mixture of grilled mushrooms and herb, but the rice wasn’t gooey enough for our liking! That aside, it’s a must try for all mushroom lovers!
Now, finally, it’s dessert time! Here’s our sixth course: sheep’s yoghurt mousse and walnut ice cream with frozen blackberry and honey & oats crumble. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t find the walnut in my ice cream. :(
Munching on the oats and frozen berries didn’t help my toothache much. But the ice cream and yoghurt acted like a mega palate cleanser, prepping us up for our next and final course!
The grand finale: Madagascan chocolate “Jaffa” and bayleaf sherbet with mandarin marmalade! The jaffa was simply explosive, with flavours of rich chocolate and mandarin orange bursting in your mouth all at once! It kept bursting and exploding until you couldn’t take it anymore, so you scoop yourself a tiny bit of bayleaf sherbet to cool things down just enough for you to take in another mouthful of jaffa and