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Surprise! Tuesday night chef’s table at Attica

Ben had told me we were having dinner with his parents on Tuesday night… Tuesday night was public holiday eve again! Woot! I got home from work and asked where we were going… “Not sure but probably a pizza place on Glenferrie Rd”… Excellent, some pizza and a few glasses of wine with the in-laws to be! 15 minutes later I was ready to go… Ben looked up and said “A bit casual aren’t we?”… Uuummm…. For a pizza place on Glenferrie Rd?? And more to the point… I was dressed perfectly fine! “Excuse me?! I would dress like this for Vu De Monde!”… Wowsers, a fight before we even got out the door… I was seriously grumpy as I drove towards Glenferrie Rd, when Ben started directing me in the opposite direction… I began to think something funny was going on…. and when I parked near the corner of Kooyong Rd and Glen Eira Rd I suddenly understood the irony of my earlier comeback! We weren’t going to Vue De Monde but rather Attica! Melbourne’s best restaurant according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and the location of my favourite meal ever. Good Tuesday night surprise Benny! Especially on a public holiday eve! Double Woot!

butter, whipped olive oil & table decoration

Tuesday night is Chef’s Night at Attica. This is when Ben Shewry and his team test and develop new menu items. It costs $95 a head for five courses and you can match wine for an additional $70. I have added a photo of the evening’s menu.. it’s not very descriptive. In fact, it’s hard to imagine what you will be eating from the list of ingredients describing each course.

That’s the beauty of it! The shiitake broth flavour was INCREDIBLE. I knew I could smell mushrooms cooking when we walked in. They must have been cooking hundreds of them to get the depth of flavour that was happening in this tiny bowl of clear broth with eleven types of basil leaves and a liquorice leaf floating in it. No photo of the first couple of courses as I felt a little funny taking pics for some reason (until I’d had a few wines of course). Each course was very small but blew me away with the flavour combinations. Really hard to describe too. I had to keep telling myself to slow down and really enjoy each little plate of food. For once I was happy to keep nibbling on the delish bread between courses as I wasn’t afraid of getting too full!

Roasted pigeon with thinly sliced turnip and black cabbage
shredded radish & watermelon on granita with liquorice leaf

The dessert was slightly too strange when it first came out but as the granita melted it became more enjoyable. I was really hoping for a final treat like the last time we came and my wish came true when the bird nest arrived with four gorgeous caramel filled eggs to really finish the meal!

caramel filled chocolate eggs

Attica again lived up to the hype as Melbourne’s best… I can’t wait to go again on a Tuesday and see what new dishes are coming out of that genius kitchen!
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2011 part 1 – Attica

I kinda lied about it being in 2011, as it was actually Dec 2010 but as it is my favourite meal of all time, it’s fitting to start with it.

Attica, in Ripponlea, Melbourne. Pretty funny location really, out of the city, in the ‘burbs. At the time rated the 4th best restaurant in Australia according to San Pel Best Restaurant Awards. It is now rated number 3 after bumping off Tetsuya’s. We found an unassuming entrance and cool, understated interior. Perfect birthday dinner for Ben and I. We had decided to stay at The Olsen for a super special night, which is pretty funny as Attica is actually closer to our house than the hotel… We started the evening with a glass or two of Roederer at the hotel before a short taxi ride to the restaurant. Remembering now how full of both food and wine we were at the end, it might have been smarter to skip the champagne to start.

We had the 8 course set menu and everything that went into my mouth was unusual and incredible. Nothing was too scary either. The set menu price was extremely reasonable when compared to similar calibre restaurants and the matched wine was said to be excellent by the boy in the know. A really interesting selection from many different regions around the world and matched perfectly.

This meal has stuck in my memory and I cant wait to go back… once I have finished trying every other restaurant in melbourne… hhmmm…

Here’s some piccies and I have sort of remembered what everything was:

Attica, 74 Glen Eira Road  Ripponlea VIC 3185, (03) 9530 0111 www.attica.com.au

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