Monday, August 22, 2011


Finally, a delicious meal.

I had been pining for a delicious meal for quite some time. I mean, perhaps the notion of a delicious meal in itself is slightly contentious as it is such a personal thing. For what is delicious to me, could be intolerable to someone else. But to me, it's simple, delicious is eating well, being happy and knowing that it is what you needed at that very moment. Sometimes, it could be a freshly picked apple, or sometimes, the fifth coffee, but not tonight. Tonight it was Mercer's degustation.

After years of driving past Mercer's in Eltham, it was about time that I finally decided to eat there.
We opted for the degustation, which seemingly quite a bargain given the quality of food we received. We started with an amuse bouche of tomato and cardamon soup with a parsley foam. Deliciously warm on a still chilly night.
 The first dish was a terrine of roasted vegetables and a winter salad with whipped feta. This was a really a great light dish to start the meal. My only comment is that I'm not quite sure how tomato features in a winter salad. But that's a minor thing, as I note, I do have a few tomato plants that somehow germinated in late summer, and survived the winter...Should I pull them out as I have no further information on their genesis, their cultivar, or their potential performance in high summer. Space this year will be a premium. Anyway, I digress.

The next dish was a garfish filled with prawn fried in a tempura batter. Before dinner at Mercer's I had never tried garfish before. What a beautifully textured fish. The construction was also impressive with the dipping sauce perfectly complimenting the fish.

We opted for the duck as our mains. The duck breast itself was a bit dry, but the composition of the dish, with the polenta and confit sausage seemed to somewhat mask this minor fault. What more can I say? It was pretty damn good.

The first of the "desserts" was a "warmed Jean Perrin raclette cheese", which was like a sharp cheddar in my opinion. The bread was disappointing however, it was rock hard. I think it was meant to be rock hard, but I didn't want to be the subject of a mid-dinner drama.

The dessert plate was a meli melo of sorbet, ice cream, souffle, chocolate cake, custard and brulee. The custard was uber smooth and how can you not smile, when you taste the crispness of a pineapple sorbet. A hello from the summer to come.

Mercer's, 732 Main Road, Eltham
Mercer's on Urbanspoon

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