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What we're talking about
- Dame Mylene on Late-night shopping for Melbourne It's been legal to open shops late since John Cain. JB was open until 10PM every night until it stopped being profitable. I ... more
- Colin Lacivita on Late-night shopping for Melbourne There is no need to open stores later in the city, the Mayor is out of touch. JB Hi Fi is already open til 9PM weekdays, ... more
- ian on Late-night shopping for Melbourne Gee I feel sorry tor the employees and owners,what tea at 8pm,???? No putting the kids to bed.This is a joke. more
- Saff on Bruce McAvaney's good, isn't he? I agree! He is so talented! more
- Dame Mylene on Sun silenced on 'Lawyer X' Hopefully the producers of Underbelly don't hear about this. That show ran out of goodwill 4 years ago. Underbelly: Lawyer X ... more
- jgl Melb on Sun silenced on 'Lawyer X' Anyone who doesn't know the identity of this,so called,lawyer X has been living in a cave for the last 10 odd years. more
- Gloss on Sun silenced on 'Lawyer X' The Herald Sun obviously know the identity of Lawyer X, how would they feel if his/her name is 'leaked' and he/she is ... more
- Aria Judilla on Scrap spring for sprinter and sprummer: ... Why do we need to label certain times of the year spring or summer or winter or spring anyway? Of what benefit is it? more
- mark on Scrap spring for sprinter and sprummer: ... of course its april the 1st more
- Dame Mylene on Scrap spring for sprinter and sprummer: ... I'm with Tony Abbott. Who needs CSIRO scientists when you've got Dorothea Mackellar (of drought and flooding rains), Neil ... more
- Willow on Bruce McAvaney's good, isn't he? I love Bruces' commentary and the informed info he gives along the way. more
- Gloria on Scrap spring for sprinter and sprummer: ... I have been saying all along that it is not Global Warming we are experiencing, it is Climate Change. I am 74 and the ... more
- Phillip Molly Malone on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... I would be interested how many of the commenters here have kids going through this! I umpired my sons under 10s game and ... more
- Shane W on Bruce McAvaney's good, isn't he? Most unbiased commentator around. Keep it up Bruce. more
- Katie Rantall on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... I'm a tad confused I agree with all the comments Life is all bout winners, losers, perseverence, get knocked down U get back ... more
- Dame Mylene on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... People have to realise there's winners and losers in society. If we can drum it into them before they get to primary school ... more
- Susan on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... They need to do something as numbers are falling every year in junior footy, while Soccer numbers are rising. It's very ... more
- David Tait on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... If parents don't want the kids to win or lose, perhaps riding a bike would be better. The majority of all games are ... more
- Willow on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... What incentive does this give the kids to 'play to win' as there are no winners. They don't have to put all their efforts in ... more
- Sinbad on Footy shake-up to change 'win-lose' ... What a load of crap ! Typical wimp policies from idiotic social engineers who believe everyone is equal and everyone should ... more
Ela Carte checks out Brooks
Brooks - Basement 115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne – www.brooksofmelbourne.com
This downstairs dining room has been transformed yet again, Jamie Oliver has gone and Toby Puttock has fled the scene, two industry names have taken over the reigns and they’ve brought a talented Frenchman with them. Chef Nic Poelart was a bit of a quiet achiever at Embrasse, much lauded and yet I never got to try his wares there - so I was determined to get into Brooks.
First impressions - this joint has a doorman. A man at the door. Who opens it for you and shows you downstairs. Wow.
Once down there, the vibe is surprisingly upbeat. There’s part dark European bistro feel about it, but a brightness in the steady buzz of diners and floorstaff. A huge impressive looking bar, some timber tables in one room and leather banquettes in the other. Staff are smart looking – we’re talking waistcoats and shiny shoes, but they’re pretty relaxed and approachable too. Great knowledge of the food and wine.
So the food, and it’s a pretty eclectic menu to look at in a way. Hors d’ouerves include a variety of oysters, caviar by the 30 grams, and cheese and crackers “Brooks style”. The “seasonal” stuff ranges in price and size, I think if you can do it probably the best way to explore things is via the chef’s five course tasting menu at 80 per person – they’ll give you the best stuff they’ve got.
Meli Melo. (Photo: Kate Stevenson)
Without a doubt Poelart’s signature dish is the Meli Melo – upwards of 25 different types of vegetables arranged carefully on a big white plate. No other word to describe this but “pretty”. Seriously a stunning arrangement, but also just great fun on the palate. Some things are steamed, others sautéed, they’re boiled, pureed and dehydrated. Blobs of raspberry, chunks of broccoli, gingerly placed herbs and the odd flower.
Cray dish. (Photo: Kate Stevenson)
You’ll get the option of including two cray dishes in your five courses (we took it up at $20 extra per head), the bisque is quintessentially French – dark and rich, with soft baby leeks, and sweet marron meat. The second instalment was the marron tail, served with a cauliflower puree, potato, pickled grapes.
Forest floor. (Photo: Kate Stevenson)
There was some succulent beef in there too, but it was hard afterward to talk about anything but dessert. Staff generously brought us two different options for variety’s sake – certainly the cheesecake with tart plum sorbet, berries and beet meringue was a joy, but nothing would compare to the wonder that was “The Forest Floor”. Straight out of a Tim Burton film, it was a storybook on a plate. Chocolate soil, almond dust, sorrel granite, and chocolate ganache form the vegetation which grows underneath the main attraction mushroom of meringue stem and perfectly shaped hazelnut parfait “cap”. As fun as it was delectable.
The Brooks menu changes regularly, which I love, and you can book which makes them even more likeable.
It ain’t cheap, the $80 a head creeps up if you choose the cray and add a dish like the stunning potato with smoked hens yolk that we devoured, then include some wine. But, this is seriously impressive food, right up there with some of the best offerings in Melbourne, and definitely worthy of a special occasion.
Brook's basement might be pricey but that could be a bonus of sorts! At least you wouldn't have to run into those people who do the irritating ads and in-your-ear-drums voiceovers for the Pancake Parlour too many times a day on 3AW! Includes that harping nephew and his favourite 'Aunty' - she of the raucous voice - who've taken over from the old glutton 'Harry' whom they would have had us believe literally stuffed his face breakfast, noon and night at their PP restaurants on a daily basis. Heâ??d have been so bulbous in the end he wouldnâ??t have made it up and down the Brookeâ??s stairs anyway! Good.Cathy Friday 1 February, 2013 - 3:51 PM