Friday, 11 November 2011

Garagistes reprise

OK, I’ll put my hand up and admit to being a Garagistes disciple. I had THE best meal ever at Garagistes on Wednesday night. True to form, Luke and his kitchen team produced food worthy of all the plaudits they have received to date. Katrina’s floor crew equally met the challenge of an ever-swelling number of customers as they arrived: meeting and greeting them at the door, directing them to seats at the long communal tables, and immediately plying them with tap water which was maintained throughout the evening.

Four of us dined, so each selected a dish they fancied off the menu, to which we added a single steamed oyster serving for each person to begin with.

I have pasted below a copy of the menu that Garagistes currently have on their website, complete with the detailed descriptions of what ingredients were in each dish. Our meal for Wednesday night was most similar, with a few variations. I didn’t write down any details, or take any photos, so transported into culinary heaven was I!

steamed bruny island oyster, apple cider emulsion, walnut oil, lemon balm 4
potato crostini, braised onion + tea smoked yogurt, herbs + flowers 4
grilled lamb ribs, barrel aged vinegar, black mustard seeds, chive flowers 12
piment d’espelette braised tripe, purple broccoli, cured duck breast, young garlic 13
garagistes’ salumi 16
salt roasted celeriac, celeriac sabayon, shaved raw mushrooms, watercress 17
roasted pink eyes, mussels, mussel + whey sauce, crisp onion + potato, bay oil 19
char-grilled octopus, poached calamari, wild olive emulsion, toasted quinoa 25
roast sweetbreads, white asparagus, pepita purée, bulrush, lettuce, buckwheat 23
charred berkshire pork neck + leeks, caper leaves, salted turnip, prunes + raisins 32
brie de meaux (cow’s milk, france) 14
ossau iraty (sheep’s milk, france) 13
livarot (cow’s milk, france) 13
belstone gouda (goat’s milk, tasmania) 12
burnt cream, shortcake, citrus meringue, rhubarb granita + oxalis jelly 14

The plates in the middle of our table comprised:
garagistes salumi
char grilled octopus, poached calamari
steamed ling, resting on a bed of the most delicious onion sauce with the consistency of hollandaise (had to have been blended in the Thermomix!)
chawan mushi – a Japanese style savoury steamed egg custard dish. I think this one was my most favourite, although that is a tough call. The custard was the smoothest and creamiest you could ever imagine. Probably to the layman, it sounds like it would be a horrible dish and you wouldn’t even want it in your mouth, but let me hasten to assure you that if you were adventurous enough to sample it (with an open mind), you would be hard pressed to find fault with it!

We then moved onto one of each of the 4 cheeses (approx $14 each) on offer for the evening, and topped the faultless meal off with a serving of the burnt cream, shortcake, citrus meringue, rhubarb granita and oxalis jelly ($14) which to me seemed like Luke's sophisticated version of an Eton Mess dessert. It was gorgeous.

Luke’s technique and instinctive flair for taste combination and flavours, combined with the physical appearance of the food on the plate provided this restaurant with the well deserved award of Australia’s best new restaurant.

The bill for the four of us to eat and drink freely, without looking at costs, came out at approximately $300, which, all things considered, was damn cheap for what we got. At the beginning of the evening when our elected wine selector was perusing the most extensive wine list, her comment was “Where is Roger McShane when you need him!” When it came time to select the third carafe for the evening, and she was poring over the wine list yet again, I asked her to repeat what she had said as she tried to decide on her original selection. I then drew her attention to the fact that aforementioned Roger McShane had just arrived with Sue Dyson, and was sitting behind her! So – she did the obvious and went over to get Roger’s opinion on what wine to order next – as you would!

I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Garagistes, and found Luke’s latent culinary skills, which obviously didn’t get a true workout whilst he was cooking at Grandvewe when they first arrived in Tasmania, have emerged to ensure he goes down in the annals of Tasmanian cooking.
Posted on by Rita
1 comment


lemon curd said...

So glad you got back for dinner!! It's such a different place of a night..

I went back just a few weeks ago, and it was really great - we had the steamed oysters which were so lovely, and the beetroot salad - beautiful sweet and sour flavours.

Also had the burnt cream - oh la la :P