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!
Attica on Urbanspoon

French Felix fun in sunny Sydney…

Another wedding… another plane trip… this time to Sydney… The wedding was actually on the NSW Central Coast however Ben was doing a wine event at Ivy Bar on the evening before so I also flew in for a little wine tasting… or so I thought… ‘little’ would be the wrong word to describe the HUGE event Merivale put on with over 700 peeps tasting wine from a number of regions around the country… the problem was that it was so bloody busy that Ben had no time to talk to me and the other folks that I knew didn’t arrive until 8:30pm… I arrived at 6:30pm… uh oh… I’m assuming you can guess what happened… I tried to disguise my slipping sobriety by writing tasting notes as I ticked off each winery on what I called Frank’s Australian Riesling Tour… As the crowd dwindled, it occurred to me I should put some food into my tummy to try to soak up some of the riesling… The next day was going to be busy (and filled with Ben’s family) and the last thing I needed was a hangover! 

We traipsed downstairs to Felix Bar & Bistro and sat on one of the ‘laneway’ tables. Ben ordered more wine… and more wine… and I ordered a bottle of mineral water – sparkling! We feasted french style…. three course of course… starting with my favourite french dish – steak tartare…

Steak Tartare

Old fashioned seafood cocktail

Beetroot and goats cheese salad

For main I order the spatchcock. It was super simple and perfectly accompanied by quite a number of french fries.

Spatchcock with iceberg lettuce & lemon

For dessert we shared profiteroles and the bombe alaska…

Profiteroles

We crashed into bed close to midnight, fed and watered (especially me) and awoke to clear heads for the sunny, special wedding day ahead of us!

Felix - Bistro and Bar on Urbanspoon

Dinner with the pregnant peeps…

This could be anyone in my life at the mo as it really does feel like EVERYONE is pregnant! The majority of the food was fetus-friendly, except for the prosciutto platter. Our host took influence for the simple platter from Jamie Oliver and served it on a wooden chopping board inscribed with Jamie’s name. A coincidence we were told. ha!

A delicious BBQ followed and it wasn’t cooked to well-done much to everyone’s delight including the mums-to-be!

Thanks guys for a perfect saturday BBQ before wedding season kicks into gear again.