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Ela Carte reviews Saint Urban

MML

Saint Urban ? 213 Swan Street Richmond ? www.sainturban.com.au

Sometimes a place just feels right. Feels lived in. And comfortable. And welcoming. Saint Urban is one of those places.

It makes sense. The people behind Saint Urban already have the very successful Punch Lane, set out to open a bistro and wine bar with high quality food but an ambience and menu that would also provide a relaxed midweek dinner. They’ve achieve it.

I just love it. You’re in Europe, there’s no doubt.

Our waiter was a card. Cheeky, fun, but knowledgable enough that he got away with it. We felt like this was OUR local. Wished it was.

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It’s a brilliant menu, one that makes you want to order everything. We pushed it as far as we could.

From the specials, couldn’t go past the ‘Duck ham with foie gras’. Duck Breasts are cured in salt, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaves, & fennel seeds for 72 hours, then hung and dried for 72 hours before being sliced. They come on the plate with rich, smooth foie gras custard, fresh black figs, delice de poitou (aged goats cheese), chicory and witlof, with a touch of truffle oil and chardonnay vinegar. Stunning.

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My benchmark dish – the one I order if it’s on the menu and judge the kitchen accordingly – well, it’s a steak tartare and it was marvellous. Fine diced eye fillet, diced shallots, cornichon, capers, and a dressing of tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, tabasco, brandy, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice. It’s finished with the obligatory egg yolk, black salt, espelette pepper, and fresh horseradish. A very generous serve, and we savoured every mouthful.

 

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Cauliflower Panna Cotta is exactly what it sounds like, packed with flavour it’s dished up with baby beetroots, hazelnut dukkah, mustard cress and red vein sorrel.

 

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For the mains, the rump cap was great. Plenty of flavour and cooked as requested to rare it comes atop a garlic puree with cafe du paris butter and a charred cucumber.

 

We couldn’t fit in dessert, but that was okay. I didn’t want to lose the flavours we’d already enjoyed.

A great selection of wine, although not cheap when there are none under $10 a glass, but you’ll get bottles starting at $35.

There’s just a certain something about Saint Urban, that mix of a neighbourhood feel with seriously good food, it’s the place you want in your street, but that you’d also travel for.

This Saint is simply heavenly.

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