Birthday Dinner at The Point

5/09/2010 09:01:00 PM

Hello everybody! The restaurant of choice for my recent birthday dinner was The Point in Albert Park. Y'all will know how much I love this restaurant, (do you remember the first time?) so I'll keep the text short and sweet, and we can focus on the delicious food!

The Point
Aquatic Drive
Albert Park Lake
VIC 3206
(03) 9682-5566

On the Thursday night when we went, the restaurant was comfortably filled but not too packed. It was a little dark in there though, so we had a bit of trouble reading the menus. I used the good old "mobile phone as a source of light" trick to help me out. Not being massive drinkers, (despite all evidence to the contrary!), we ordered wines by the glass. The Point has a good selection of wines by the glass, with quite a few being under $20 a glass. This is good for me, as I'm a bit noob-ish about wines, and I like to try different ones without committing to a whole bottle.

First off, we received an amuse-bouche:
Beef tataki. Or was it carpaccio? Either way, it was fantastic! Sandra doesn't like beef that is a) cold or b) less than completely well done, so I got to eat hers as well, muahaha.

We'd only ordered mains, because we wanted to save room for dessert, but after the amuse-bouches were cleared away, our waiter came up and asked us if we all eat seafood, because Scotty the Chef (AKA Scott Pickett) wanted to shout us entrees!

4 out of 5 of us eat seafood, and we each got this beautifully presented dish:

Angel hair pasta and Western Australia marron bolognese

Look how prettily the pasta is twirled up: on first glance, I didn't even realise it was pasta. The marrons in question were chopped up and in the tomato sauce, but there was also a larger piece on top, next to that Brussels sprout leaf and under the caviar. The dish was incredible - perfectly cooked pasta, super-fresh marron, salty caviar and rich tomato sauce. Later on we were having a chat to Scott and he told us that his inspiration for this dish was the humble spaghetti marinara.

Our non-seafood eater got the chacuterie plate.

The Point Chacuterie Board

On the board there was: toasted brioche, foie gras mousse, duck rillette, game terrine, soft-boiled quail egg, prosciutto, roast beef with celeriac remoulade, an anchovy, gherkins, a caperberry, and 3 quenelles of sweeter accompaniments. From memory there was quince paste, caramelized onions and an apple/pear combination.

It was a very generous serve, and I think it would be great as a shared entree. And in fact, we did share a lot of the items on the board. As if I could just let foie gras, rillette and terrine just sit there! These are a few of my favourite things.

Now the mains. Unusually for my family, we all pretty much ordered the same thing.

Su and Sandra had steak:

250g grain fed Eye fillet from Clare Valley SA and The Point garnish - $44

The Point garnish includes spinach, a lemon half covered in muslin, and - wow! - roasted bone marrow. There was also a selection of sauces provided: béarnaise, salsa verde and red wine. Su polished off the marrow, but Sandra could feel her arteries clogging as she ate it, so she only tried a little. Out of the 3 sauces, the girls liked the red wine sauce the best, with its deep, rich taste.

My parents and I, on the other hand, all ordered the pheasant special. I love game birds, and it isn't easy to find them in Melbourne, so I jumped at the chance to try this pheasant. (You may or may not remember my adventures with dismembering a whole pheasant and then turning it into a delicious stew).

Pheasant - breast cooked sous vide, confit leg with pumpkin puree and olive tapenade.

For me, the most interesting part of this dish was the confit leg (the dark round shape on the back corner of the plate). It had a deeply savoury, slightly salty flavour and the meat within was so tender that it fell apart with a fork.

The Point doesn't normally do specials, so when we got a chance to talk to Scott, I made sure to ask him why he'd made a special that week. He said he'd got quite a few game birds in and was preparing them and cooking them over the following few weeks. Because they're so seasonal, I don't think they can become a permanent fixture on the menu. For example, the week we were there it was pheasant, this week it was partridge (A-HA!), and I think that pigeon is going to be available for a little longer.

We ordered a few sides as well:

Witlof, nashi pear and hazelnuts - $9

Pine mushrooms - not sure how much these are, as they're not on the menu online, and we didn't order them. (Yup, a little extra freebie!)

Not pictured, but also purchased, were a salad of baby cos lettuce and Roquefort dressing ($9), and a silky smooth dish of creamed potato ($9). My favourite out of all of these were the mushrooms. They had a wonderful woodsy flavour, and I loved the bright colour. I'll be keeping an eye out for pine mushrooms from now on, rather than my usual 'button mushrooms with a touch of porcini' combo.

Between mains and dessert, we got a refreshing little pre-dessert. This one was apple foam, with honeycomb and biscuit crumbs.

It was like an airy version of an apple crumble, with an intense apple flavour and light cinnamon crunch. On a previous visit, the pre-dessert was quite strongly alcoholic, and I must say I preferred this one.

Su ordered the decadent chocolate and marshmallow souffle. Look how impressively high it rose!

Chocolate and marshmallow souffle, brioche doughnut and bitter cocoa sorbet - $16

This not only looked beautiful but tasted great. The souffle was chocolatey but not too sweet, which can often happen with restaurant souffles (*ahem*.. Bistro Guillaume.. *ahem*), and light as air. I think that the real star of this dish, though, was the deep, dark bitter cocoa sorbet, which had a very clean and pure taste. The contrast between the sorbet and light souffle was fantastic.

Sandra ordered a cheese as her dessert.
Lochelan Kaarimba - 75 g portion - $15

I adore cheese, and always mean to order it, but I can't go past sweets.

My parents and I all ordered the same dessert (except they shared one and I got my own. Hey, it was my birthday, ok?)

Salted peanut mousse, banana caramel and popcorn ice-cream - $17

This dessert was a-mazing!!! The mousse itself was light and fluffy, and covered with a decadent criss-cross of caramel. The popcorn ice-cream, funnily enough, tasted like popcorn. I wonder how they got a popcorn flavour in ice-cream form. Hmmm. The banana pieces were covered in a crackly caramel crust, and caramel popcorn pieces were dotted on the plate, some with a tiny perfect mint leaf on top. Peanuts and caramel are SO my thing.

We were too full at this point to even consider having coffees, but Scott brought out a plate of petits fours, with a cute candle in one of the marshmallows! Aww!
Petit Fours

I can't remember exactly what all of these were, but I know there were marshmallows, white-chocolate cookies, some dark chocolate truffles, sugar-jelly cubes and fresh strawberry macaroons (don't hate me Duncan, the waiter called them macarOOns!) I liked the cookies the best (big surprise, I know).

I think I'm getting full just typing this post, haha. I'm so glad I chose The Point for my birthday dinner. Big thanks to my dad for buying us all dinner, and to Scotty and the team for a fabulous meal!

The Point Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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  1. You don't know me, but PLEASE invite me to your next birthday dinner. LOL.


  2. I love souffles too; Le Gourmet is one of my favourites. The Point's looks really really good too.
    Brilliant post Sarah!

  3. The Point food still looks amazing. I can't wait to go back. Invite me to your next birthday dinner too.



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.