Prix Fixe: Seven Deadly Sins1/25/2015 11:16:00 PM
First restaurant post of the year! Surprise, surprise... Prix Fixe again! I swear I'm not obsessed...
90 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
The theme at Prix Fixe for January and February is "Seven Deadly Sins", and I was super excited when the menu arrived in my inbox back in December - it looked fantastic, and importantly, it seemed like this was finally a menu that Sandra would be able to enjoy too. You see, for this menu, Philippa has created a course for each of the seven sins, and in order to fit these into Prix Fixe's four course structure, diners are given a choice between two options for courses two to four. It looked like it would be easy for Sandra her to avoid things she doesn't eat (seafood, pâté etc). I forwarded her the menu, and - yay! - she was keen. We decided to make it a special night out - we booked for dinner on a Friday night, I pulled out one of my favourite dresses from my wardrobe, and got my make-up done at Napoleon beforehand. (Any excuse!)
Speaking of making it a special night out... cocktails. I've always been very impressed by the cocktails at Prix Fixe, and the Luxuria was no exception - fun and fizzy from the prosecco, but pleasantly bitter from the Campari and grapefruit bitters. It was really great as an aperitif!
|Luxuria - Plymouth gin, Campari, lemon, cane sugar syrup, grapefruit bitters, prosecco - shaken, served up - $20|
The first course, Envy, was a cold stinging nettle soup, with a sweet and crunchy pine nut and nigella seed praline, a quenelle of Holy Goat "silk" goats curd, "tender, virginal young greens", and asparagus. It sounded good, but I was surprised by just how delicious this was. I literally think this was the best course I've ever had at Prix Fixe. I loved the smooth, pure green soup, the pops of sweetness from the praline, the creamy goats curd and the fresh and tender greens - all the elements complimented each other perfectly, and I inelegantly used the (also excellent) bread to mop up every last drop.
“The grass is always greener…”
Stinging nettle soup, the most tender, virginal young greens; Holy Goat “silk”, pine nut and nigella praline…
The second course was a choice between Wrath and Sloth - no surprise that I chose sloth!
The Sloth came out presented as a single piece of toast...
“Toast” (if we can be bothered...)
Foie gras parfait and boozy raisins
... and hidden inside was a treasure trove of boozy raisins...
...and a ridiculous amount of foie gras parfait. Totally decadent!
|Foie gras parfait|
The Wrath course was completely different to Sloth, in appearance, taste, texture, everything! This "fist of fury" was made up of slow-roasted eggplant, an egg tofu "fist", and "hellfire hot harissa", which was, impressively, actually hot. (I wondered if it might be toned down to match the European style of the rest of the dishes, but it was not). The textures in this dish were great - the eggplant was soft and slightly smoky, and the egg tofu was super smooth on the inside and crisp on the outside. Sandra commented that she thought the dish was a little undersalted, but other than that it was very good.
“Fist of Fury!”
Slow roasted sleeve of eggplant, hell-fire hot harissa, sweet peppers and an egg tofu fist…grrrrr!
The third course was a choice between Greed and Gluttony, and again, we chose one each.
How fabulous does Greed look! I loved the slick of truffle mustard and the dusting of gold. This was one of the more unusual dishes I've ever had. The John Dory was perfectly cooked, and served on a bed of tapioca pearls (yes, the same thing as sago and the pearls in Bubble Tea!), with samphire, oyster mushrooms and diamond clams.
“Diamonds and Pearls”
John Dory, diamond clams, rich tapioca, oyster mushrooms, salsify, gold… (“divine decadence darling”)
The Gluttony dish really lived up to its name - it was huge! Sandra actually couldn't finish it, which meant I got to have some too (muahaha!) A blushing pink lamb cutlet was served on a generous mound of white wine risotto with lamb neck, borlotti beans and tomatoes folded through, with a crumbed and fried clove of confit garlic on the side. Wow! I loved the graininess of the borlotti beans against the toothsome rice grains, and the sweet lamb meat was cooked perfectly. (The lamb neck pieces had that particular strong lamb taste - definitely a dish for those of you who love lamb!)
“Too much is never enough lamb”
Chubby cutlet, risotto of white wine braised lamb neck, belly and shank…tarragon, tomato and loads of garlic
Salad is, of course, not as exciting as gold-dusted John Dory, or lamb-on-lamb action, but it was a very good salad nonetheless.
For dessert, we both chose Lust (make of that what you will...). Initially, I thought we'd order one Lust, and one "fruity as @#*k!!” Pride (a rainbow of sorbets), so that we could try the whole menu between us, but neither of us wanted to back down from having our own chocolate dessert! I know that Philippa is famous for her ice-creams and sorbets, but I think we made the right choice.
Caramel parfait glace, deep dark mousse, salted macadamia caramel, popped cherries, flogged cream…ouch…
Inside that crisp collar were a caramel parfait, dark chocolate mousse, salted crunchy macadamia caramel, flogged cream and a few "popped" cherries. It was rich, but perfectly balanced - I particularly liked the natural-tasting cherries and salty bursts of macadamia caramel.
I love how in this picture, Sandra's fork is poised, ready to attack that dessert!
It was a great evening, and the menu certainly lived up to expectations. Hooray!
Read about my previous experiences at Prix Fixe: