Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Seaside Special

Once in a while H has an urgent need to get out of the city. The last time was March labour day weekend. We had a great day at the red hill wineries then spent the night fighting back flood waters!

A few weeks ago H felt the urge again and suggested we head to the Bellarine Peninsula to have lunch at Loam in Drysdale - a restaurant that has been receiving a lot of good press lately. Our booking was made quite last minute and we were really lucky to secure a table in the dining room.

Loam is run by chef and owner Aaron Turner and his wife Astrid. It is a small, intimate dining room overlooking the Lighthouse Olive Grove and Queenscliff. Once we were seated we were presented with a list of in season produce, asked if there was anything we didn't eat and how many courses we would like. We went all out and asked for seven courses (for $90.00, two and four course options also available). In the end we were presented with nine courses - it helps to be in the industry! That same day there were staff from Attica and Pearl also enjoying a coastal Sunday. I think it was just the following Sunday that the entire Attica staff descended on Loam (one of the waitresses is the girlfriend of one of the chefs who works with H so I heard all about it last weekend at the winery).

We were there for five hours, a long, luxurious lunch presented to us by friendly, knowledgeable staff. Astrid was a wonderful hostess and it was lovely to chat to her while H checked out the kitchen and picked Aaron's brain for a moment.

At the end of the meal we were presented with a print out of our courses. Looking around us other tables received different dishes so it was wonderful to be able to remember exactly what we here's the blow by blow:

1. HEN'S EGG, JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE, BREAD CRUMBS, MISO - perfectly slow cooked egg, creamy artichoke, crunchy bread crumbs and salty miso broth made this rich dish a perfect start to our epic lunch.

2. PINE MUSHROOM, GARDEN SILVERBEAT, PINE NEEDLE YOGHURT - This was one of my favourites. Perfectly seasoned mushrooms with the tart yoghurt. Just yummy!

3. KINGFISH, PINK GRAPEFRUIT, WILD RICE, PONZU - very impressed with the ponzu noodle!

4. SAND CRAB, HORSERADISH, NASHI, CAULIFLOWER - I could have done without the cauliflower on this one but by no means did I dislike it.

5. SOUSED SNAPPER, CUCUMBER, SEAWATER CHEESE, MUSSEL - This was to die for. Beautifully cooked snapper. Fresh flavours of the sea, just the sort of thing I like!

6. BEEF TONGUE, GARLIC, HEIRLOOM TOMATO, QUINOA - Believe it or not I had never eaten tongue before. It sort of freaks me out. I think it's the whole 'it's tasting me while I'm tasting it' thing BUT it was heaven. H was bowled over by this one. the tongue was like the most tender beef I had ever tasted. drooooool.

7. VEAL RUMP, SPINACH, PEARL ONION, WAKAME, BLACK GARLIC - I'm not sure about the whole black garlic thing. H is a big fan but I'm not so sure! Having said that this dish was another winner.

8. OSSAU IRATY - RUBBLE - The cheese course, a very interesting version. Great cheese.

9. MANDARIN PEEL, COCONUT, ALMOND, OLIVE OIL - Loved the mandarin peel sorbet but the coconut cream and olive oil powder gave the dessert a slight fattiness that was mildly unappealing.

Overall Aaron and Astrid have something very special here and we will be time we'll make a weekend of it!

1 comment:

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