Sunday, April 13, 2014

Taste@Rutherglen















121b Main St 
Rutherglen VIC 3685

I think at times my biggest challenge when dining out is to be surprised, especially if the word to precede surprised is pleasantly. However, pleasantly surprised is how I would sum up my experience at Taste@Rutherglen.

Heading up to Rutherglen for the weekend, research indicated Taste@Rutherglen was the new shining star. The unassuming street frontage which looks more cafe than fine dining is where executive chef Gavin Swalwell operates a small but excellent restaurant.

Taste offers both an a la carte menu and a tasting menu. Feeling indulgent, the tasting menu it was and possibly the best value degustation menu followed.

 


After a complimentary oyster amuse bouche, the first course kicked off with Lobster & scampi. Even though Rutherglen is not exactly seaside, it was a great start. Perfectly cooked with a cauliflower cream and butter was a great show of restraint and showed off the ingredients in all their glory. Similarly the scallops with leeks and champagne cream were delicious.

 


Following the first two seafood courses, the uber rich gnocchi and mushrooms changed pace. There was a lot of earthiness in this dish and was a very generous portion. Some could argue a bit too generous, but it was hard not to finish them off, light, fluffy and tasty.

The final savoury course of eye fillet paired with a Warrabilla shiraz was a carnivores delight and the only negative was the fondant potato which was cooked ok, but wasn't really crispy.

Creme brulee for dessert with a Stanton and Killeen topaque finished the meal, my enthusiasm got the better of me and i dove in before taking a photo. Crunchy topping and creamy custard was a great way to finish a very nice dinner indeed.

At $80 for the 5 courses and generously poured matched wines at $50, Taste@Rutherglen is exceptional value for exceptional food.  Service was also attentive and friendly, Gavin walked the floor at the end of the meal and chatted which was also a nice touch.

If only it were not 4 hours drive away.....

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