The day finally arrived where our entire department went out for lunch, I suppose it was our manager's way of rewarding the team for the challenges we've faced this year.
Everyone knows, when food and people are involved, we enter dangerous territory, and the selection process for the restaurant was no exception. Anyway, Embrasse Restaurant won out as one of my colleagues was adamant that it was phenomenal and the majority voted for it. For $45, you get 3 courses and a glass of wine, with coffee and petit fours to finish. To me, anything under $50 is freaken amazing value.
Set in Drummond St in Carlton, I didn't love the location. Parking would be a b****, but we caught a taxi so it wasn't so much of an issue (*note that I said WOULD be). The restaurant itself however, is solidly designed. In fact, it has homey feel to it, and is a perfect destination for a winter's day.
We were placed upstairs, in the private dining room, however, there was no one else upstairs. Service, was for a big group, pretty good, but there wasn't much to it really. However, it is what you'd really expect from any half decent restaurant.
For starters, I had the Daylesford beetroots with cured ham and burnt carrot puree. Four pieces of beautifully cooked beetroots (different varieties of beetroot), set on a smear of carrot puree. The cured ham bursts with flavour with amazing depth and complexity.
For main, I had Bendigo chicken with mushrooms - succulent and tender and simple. Nothing more to be said. Aligot and Cos lettuce sides were also ordered. The aligot is a cheesy, stringy, gooey, unfreaken believable mash. Think winter warmers, think comfort, think cosy, think anti-depressant food, that is what the aligot is - I simply need to find out how its made and make it. * Note, this will probably break your daily calorie intake in 2 mouthfuls.
Dessert, however, was superb. I had the chocolate parfait with meringue, gateaux and mint. I was expecting your typical parfait - nothing amazing. But this, I repeat, this, was brilliant. Crumbs of gateaux, setting the landscape of the ground, with the meringue sitting as the stem of the "mushroom" and the parfait the cap. Crisp biscuits adding to the landscape of twigs and logs. Green granita made from mint, representing the moss of the forest.
As it was lunch, we were limited in our menu selections. From the offering, however, I am so so excited, about when I visit for dinner. I can't wait to revisit Embrasse for their full menu.
Embrasse Restaurant, 312 Drummond St, Carlton