You my remember that a few months ago, Sandra and I were treated to a magnificent birthday dinner at Vue De Monde by our good friend An. Well, when his birthday rolled around we also wanted to take him to a fabulous restaurant, preferably with a degustation menu. And after much deliberation, we chose...
312 Drummond St
Carlton VIC 3053
Ph: (03) 9347 3312
I had read many good reviews of Embrasse in blogs and newspapers, and was very excited to visit. It is a small, unassuming restaurant, located on a quiet street in Carlton. I was also aware of the protests (and apparent threats of violence) that surrounded their decision to serve horse meat for a very brief period. I didn't quite understand the fuss, or why horses deserve special attention over say, cows, chickens or sheep. Horse meat is often served in other countries - in Germany, for example, Pferdemetzgereis, or horse butchers, are not uncommon.
However, back to the topic at hand:
In addition to an a la carte menu, Embrasse have both 5-course ($95) and an 8-course ($125) degustation options. Being a special occassion, we splashed out on the 8-course option. And because I didn't have to drive (yay!) I also splashed out on matching wines for an extra $95. Sandra and An aren't big drinkers so just ordered a glass of wine each for the meal.
And speaking of splashing out...
|Kir Royale - $26 each|
Before the procession of courses commenced, we were brought some little amuses bouche served on individual spoons.
I was amazed by the intensity and the purity of flavour of those little mouthfuls; a theme that would be repeated throughout the night.
|Beetroot, black sesame seeds, apple|
The butter was perfectly soft and spreadable - a small detail but so important! I loved the cute block for butter and the wooden butter knife too.
Now, let's look at the procession of courses. I'm not going to say too much about each course individually - suffice it to say they were all fabulous and the wine matches were great too! I love how beautifully composed each plate was.
Mmm... rare beef and a crunchy, creamy potato croquette: bliss.
Potatoes in a dessert? A thousand times, yes! The little potato noodles were appealingly mealy (y'all know I love dough), and combined with a lovely smooth yoghurt, crunchy nougatine and little sweet bursts of banana. Just wonderful.
And rounding up the meal was Embrasse's famous forest floor dessert. I've seen and read about it on innumerable blogs, and I was ecstatic when it was brought out!
I know it's a 'forest floor', but I think it also looks a little 'under-the-sea', don't you? My favourite part of this dessert was the 'mushroom' with its meringue stem and chocolate parfait cap. Wow!
And as it was a birthday, our lucky An got a little salted caramel and chocolate petit four.