On my final night in Melbourne, I decided to treat myself to a degustation menu. I did my research and booked Bluestone for its proximity to my hotel (walking distance), the price, and the reviews – generally good.
# – The entrance.
I reached at 7pm sharp and was their very first diner. A very pleasant middle-aged man whose name has now escaped me showed me my table, and asked if I would like some wines. I asked for tap water instead and it was served to me with a smile.
# – Bluestone Restaurant.
I was also served some freshly made bread with extra virgin olive oil and this curious thing that was beetroot infused salt.
# – Bread dipped in evoo and beetroot infused salt. Unusual but tasty.
My first course soon came. I was slightly disappointed with the portion but then I remembered I had 7 more dishes to come. Haih, asians!
# – Hiramasa kingfish sashimi with wasabi emulsion, finger lime and pickled radish.
I wasn’t particularly wowed. To me, there were too many tart ingredients (even the wasabi emulsion was sour) for such a small of amount of fish. I could hardly enjoy the natural taste of the fish, and to my untrained palate, it might as well be chicken. I was looking forward to the next dish…also fish.
# – Pan seared ocean trout with blood orange sorbet.
What a winner! Flaky, fatty fish with still crispy skin. Absolutely delicious with the mild blood orange sorbet. I love hot & cold dishes and this was one of my favourites of the night.
Then, it was poultry time!
# – Smoked duck breast with sprouts and berries.
Look at how pink the duck breast was – loved it. This was also a favourite of mine, the duck was neither over nor underdone. The sweet berries complimented the savoury duck while the sprouts sneaked in now and then to keep flavours from getting too overwhelming. GORGEOUS!
# – Brocollini sorbet.
I had to look up “brocollini”. Apparently it’s a cross between brocolli and kailan. And it did taste like a mixture of both vegetables! Very refreshing and made a wonderful palate cleanser.
Next up, the crustacean.
# – Grilled Morton Bay Bug with buddha’s hand sabayon.
I was looking forward to this dish the entire night. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the least favourite of mine. I think it had something to do with the restaurant having a really busy night. The lobster was ghastly overcooked and the sabayon was so salty it no longer held any citrus flavour of buddha’s hand :(
I did tell the staff what I thought. He later came back and told me that they’ve tasted it and agreed it was too salty even for a savoury sabayon.
Well, 1 out of 8 isn’t bad at all. I prefer to focus on the good dishes.
# – Flinders Island Wallaby with bush pepper & capsicum paint and chard parcel.
Loved every single element on its own and together. It was my first time eating wallaby and I could only describe it as buttery, melt-in-your-mouth beef like meat without the beef odour. Someone showed me a picture of a wallaby which is like a small kangaroo…so cute. But it’s so delicious!!!
The next dish was gazpacho, made with strawberries instead of tomatoes. Hmmm.
# – Strawberry gazpacho laced with balsamic reduction.
I wasn’t expecting so much sweetness it being a gazpacho and all but who am I kidding, it is strawberries we’re talking about! The sweetness from the fruit was cleverly calmed down by the balsamic reduction though. I enjoyed it very much and thought it’s a wonderful prelude to the next dish – DESSERT!
# – Rosella cheesecake with baby wild limes and macademias.
HOLEEEEEEEEEEE MOLEEEE! The highlight of my night! I thought the deconstruction of the cheesecake was brilliant, especially great for people like me who dig cheese more than the base. The cheesecake was so smooth and luxurious, the crushed macademias a perfect companion with sweet & fragrant roselle syrup and tart baby wild limes. What a combination. I was eating this so slowly trying to maximise my enjoyment. Later, I regretted not ordering an extra plate.
Finished my fantastic dinner with a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, which should be drank with everything. I love earl grey tea, I drink it everyday but Gareth thinks it tastes like dishwashing liquid. Different strokes for different folks.
# – Like an Earl.
At AUD$99 for 8 courses without wines ($160 with matching wines), I thought it was very reasonably priced. The other restaurants I looked at all mostly started from AUD$110 without wines.
Overall, I had a very enjoyable time. Although I was alone and it was full house, I was never short of attention. Yes, service was a little slow due to the crowd and they had only 3 frontliners that night but my glass was never empty and that says a lot I think.
349, Flinders Lane,