- Royal prank DJ quits radio
- New Royal Children's Hospital 'too small'
- Trucks explode in fiery collision
- Australian students falling behind global counterparts
- Rolling Stones add five concert dates to Australia tour
- TAC launches Safer P Platers campaign
- Upset Bieber fans want their money back
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What we're talking about
- Lisa on 2013 Pancake Parlour Challenge Hugh is gorgeous!!!! more
- Jim on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... What has happened to the old hospital? Can't it still be used to treat patients more
- Dan from Wheelers Hill on Trucks explode in fiery collision I love it when all of these anti-truck nutters come out and start bagging the entire industry just because they perceive ... more
- mylene on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... In opposition Ted said it was too small but he still stood next to the Queen when she opened it. more
- Christine on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... What incompetent fools were in charge of this project? more
- Damien Tyl on Trucks explode in fiery collision Quick judgement by a pack of morons that hav no road sense whatsoever to even comment the way u hav on such a tragedy u ... more
- Garry on New Royal Children's Hospital 'too ... When this New Hospital was being built, I am sure I remember Neilo having a story that the new U Beaut hospital was going to ... more
- tony elsworthy on Trucks explode in fiery collision well I drove this highway for 10 yrs most of it was over night express so wot half of yous gona call me a cowboy coz I did ... more
- Craig on Rolling Stones add five concert dates ... Dont know how i am going to afford it, but i wont miss the Stones for anything. Saw them in 95, 03 & 06. They actually get ... more
- Craig on Trucks explode in fiery collision Time the state/Federal Government got off their ass and spent some money and make this a divided road...they have it...stop ... more
- Kenny Moore on Trucks explode in fiery collision All I really have to say is all the do gooders that are canning truck drivers , how about they get actual fact before ... more
- DORIS on Trucks explode in fiery collision Is is sad to hear. On all negative comments about the truck drivers remember who put the food in the supermarkets! About ... more
- wayne on Trucks explode in fiery collision roger, why didn't you slow down a little when you can plainly see that the truck is coming up to pass in the overtaking ... more
- Dave From Great Western on Trucks explode in fiery collision This latest accident occurred just a couple of Km's from my town where more than 3000 trucks pass through,each day on the ... more
- Sean on Trucks explode in fiery collision I am sick and tired of seeing a blame game on truck drivers.As soon as there is a report of an incident it is always the ... more
- Denise Butler on Trucks explode in fiery collision I travel this road without any problems with trucki. In fact when I come up behind a truck I usually stay behind the, ... more
- Lukey J on Trucks explode in fiery collision Roger, I myself drive trucks for a living. I'm all for everyone to have the right to one's opinion. But there are some bad ... more
- Michael Real on Trucks explode in fiery collision I agree with Roger's comments. Out on the Princes Freeway east of Melb you are tailgated, intimidated and overtaken by ... more
- Jed Maxwell on Trucks explode in fiery collision I travelled that area of Victoria for a few weeks last month. Many of the truck drivers apper to be complete nutters, ... more
- Tristan on Trucks explode in fiery collision Roger with all due respect a I'm speaking for most truck drivers not all because there are some bad ones . Most car speedos ... more
Ela Carte climbs up into the Attica
Attica – 74 Glen Eira Road Ripponlea – www.attica.com.au
Well, I’m pretty slow off the mark, but there’s one experience I can now tick off the bucket list. After sampling some phenomenal European restaurants over winter, I felt lazy in a way for not having visited what is roundly agreed to be Melbourne’s best (and number 63 on the San Pellegrino world list).
Now all of this, of course, doesn’t make it the most affordable restaurant in town, but there are still ways to enjoy Attica without going for the full eight course menu at $175.
Perhaps the most inexpensive, and adventurous, way to do it is to book in for the regular Tuesday night “Chef’s Table” evenings, which gives you five courses at a much more pocket-pleasing $95.
Plus, it’s a way to experience chef and owner Ben Shrewy at his creative best – the Chef’s Table is all about the team trying new ideas with the most fresh seasonal produce to hand. It might be challenging at times, but it’s also wildly gratifying when they get it right. It’s certainly full of inspired ideas, the rough menu is written by Ben on Monday evening, then workshopped with the kitchen early on Tuesday. Generally it’s finalised by 3pm, and the front of house team is briefed by 6pm.
If it’s a really special occasion, you can take up matched wines for an extra $70 per person, and it’s well worth it for the quality of wines and care taken to match them to the unusual dishes on offer.
All of the dishes were thought-provoking, some were outstanding – and the brilliance starts with something as simple as the bread and condiments. It starts with house baked bread, but all the adulation was for the accompanying house-churned, uncultured butter (made from Jersey crème fraiche, thank you very much) with sea salt and the smoked olive oil emulsion. Full points for the never ending top of bread, butter and emulsion – plus you only had to finish a slice to have all three replaced.
The meal started with a light serving of Crystal Bay prawns accompanied with finger lime and wrapped in sorrel leaves. The prawns were dainty, the finger lime provided a great zing, the leaves themselves were pretty thick and a little confronting, but with a decent sweet wine or the perfectly matched sake it all came together.
The second dish was a revelation. Somewhat mysterious on first presentation, at the table the pretty assortment of frozen asparagus shards, society garlic flowers, goat’s curd and crunchy pistachios was covered with a combination of chilled cucumber and green tomato juice, with a hint of ginger and chilli – and it became the perfect summer dish. Seriously mindblowing, a perfect combination of flavours and textures, the crisp pistachios and brittle frozen asparagus, against the soft curd and pungent flowers.
The salad to follow featured matchsticks of white asparagus, shredded poached chicken, mounds of mud crab, bitey mustard greens and a simple chicken broth. An entirely subtle dish, with the slivers of mustard greens doing their bit to add a wasabi-like punch.
Next, thin slices of Stockyard-sourced F1 wagyu (the first cross between a black angus cow and wagyu cow) were oven roasted and sliced, the deep pink inside pairing beautifully with scarlet shavings of baby beetroot, and magenta quandong halves – I know, I had no idea what it was either, but it’s a native Australian fruit that they’ve pickled in red vinegar, and it’s as pretty as it is tastily tart. The finishing touch comes from leek ash – salty shavings of leek that have been chargrilled almost to the point of becoming charcoal – yum.
I didn’t hold out too much hope for an experimental dessert, but there was no better way to end the meal. Dessert was unforgettable – simply titled “Strawberry Ice”, it was made up of two different ice textures – a simple vanilla ice, covered with one made from chunky strawberry pulp. These sit over Meredith sheeps milk yoghurt that’s been studded with cherry tomatoes, peeled, and compressed in strawberry juice. Scattered over the lot is crunchy, sweet, caramelised white chocolate.
For a restaurant with such an esteemed reputation, Attica was distinctly lacking in pretension, the myriad of staff were friendly and decidedly unstuffy. Service was prompt but not rushed, and they even managed a birthday surprise for Mr Carte.
For an insight into the imagination of one of this country’s most creative and respected chefs, the Tuesday night Chef’s Tables at Attica can’t be beat. That said, they’re done for the year, with the remainder of this busy summer season reserved solely for 8 course diners, but it’s worth getting in now for next year and staking your place, the first available booking are for February.