Well you've got to support 3 young brothers that open a 20 seat restaurant in Beaconsfield in the middle of winter!
With a passion for growing their own produce, fine dining & risqué modern Art. Think pigs head with bleeding eyes!
Eyes continue the theme by way of mosaic in the boy's toilets with a cheeky sign saying no tossers allowed! Are these fellows mad? Or are they just young talents expressing themselves & having fun! Something which is disappearing in a tough, cynical industry.
Whatever your view you can't deny the enthusiasm from these brothers starting with youngest, 19 the head waiter, who's passion for beer is evident with fine examples from Lebanon, Moo brewery Tasmania & Gippsland Grand Ridge Estate.
The wine list & menu are compact with local drops and food essentials covered, rib eye, chicken, lamb, fish of the day (this time Spanish Mackerel) and vegetarian options are all terrific & enticing.
The degustation (some yawn!!), I must confess I am at odds with this word because it reminds me of my training, stuffy Mayfair hotels, puff pastry feuilletes, beef tournedos, cloches & so forth.
What does it mean today? Wikipedia states it's a culinary term meaning careful appreciative tasting of various foods. I think it means the chefs like cooking! At $75 dollars for 5 courses plus an appetiser & pre dessert, so 7 courses total at OH MY, it also means great value & an insight into the chef's best work!
The menu, we are told, changes daily & starts with the chef brothers darting from the kitchen, in Noma like fashion, explaining dishes perfectly.
Honest homemade bread & butter arrives with a pile of good sea salt.
Pickled Watermelon cubes with balsamic gel refreshing & a nice way to start with D'Angelo's 2008 oily viscous Pinot Grigio.
They say you can judge a chef by the way he treats an egg!
The team's adventurous & creative spirit is evident with a century old looking egg, a Chinese technique of staining the cracks of the egg shell to add age & character to its appearance.
The chilled egg is surrounded by garden peas & pea sauce, homemade bacon, pea flowers & dried powdered egg crumbs, colourful, seasonal, bright & fresh served with a flinty crisp Riesling, delicious from Valere 2012 Riesling, Yarra Valley.
Probably the best way of seeing where these young chefs are heading.
It was a harmonious dish of roasted prawns with various preparations of young spring root vegetables all perfectly prepared & presented. Time well spent on the garnish section of a Michelin starred kitchen no doubt!
The Prawns were good, perhaps seared too hard, for 30 seconds too long! But fine detail which is only a chef's feedback on a great dish of sweet, savoury textures with an inspired & generous serve of Ota Shuzo Dokan Hyogo.
A nugget of sweet, moist Spanish Mackerel (QLD) one of Australia's best fish to catch & eat, a long way from home but in perfect condition.
Served with more Jerusalem artichoke, celery & celeriac. The fish was bathed in brown butter, now who wouldn't enjoy that! With a crunchy salad of shaved & fried artichoke chips, celery, lemon gel & wild leaves.
The fish was given equal star billing on the plate to what appeared to be an earth baked Jerusalem artichoke, approach with caution & enjoy the creamy sweet centre not the earthy skin!
This dish would be at home in any top Melbourne restaurant & was served with well balanced local chardonnay.
Service slowed for 10 minutes because the kitchen was serving a table of 8 we were told & good to see. There was another table of 2 x 2's & a 7 which was the full house, the kitchen never missed a beat. The a la carte mains looked terrific, generous & great value & were met with a fan fare of excitement from the locals!
This course was my favourite, a cross cultural dish of Mediterranean flavours & Asian presentation Young sorrel leaves rolled like rice papers, filled with lemony chicken with the texture of perfectly cooked crab meat, a perfect sweet & sour textural tartiness which cleansed the palette brilliantly.
6th course was a 24 hour slow cooked shoulder of Lamb with cauliflower puree, new season garlic chips, fried sage, confit potatoes & a simple sauce, the lamb was cooked in Vogue sous vide, which some love & some loath. It was soft tasty lamb with a ballsy garnish & very nice too!!
Lamb shoulder is one of those braising cuts I think needs more debate, e.g. on the bone, rubbed with garlic, herbs, wood fire, caramelised, deglazed with aged vinegar, Tempranillo wine reduced or to pop into a bag with some friendly flavourings & warm Jacuzzi for 24 hours there both terrific methods partnered with Wickam's Rd 2012 Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula.
6th course was followed with a pre-dessert & sadly the computer says "No" for me!
Liquorice filled strawberries have potential with some restraint, liquorice is another en vogue ingredient.
I debated with my wife if we ever had an aniseed combination, we celebrated, we pondered. Yes! Chinese master stock & star anise was my feedback to our waiter for the kitchen to consider!
Our final course was perfectly executed Buttermilk panna cotta scented with rosemary & lemon sherbet. It had all the bells & wobbles you celebrate in a panna cotta surrounded by precisely cut colourful fruit and crunchy lavender meringues. It was fairground finish & perfect match with the Mitchell 2012 Noble Semillon, Clare Valley.
What followed was another gift from the kitchen, a speakeasy glass of homemade lemonade spiked with limon cello liquer. This was a refreshing & cleansing end to a terrific meal!
I urge the town of Beaconsfield & the south eastern suburbs to get behind these talented & passionate young men, who are on a fun & fabulous crusade whilst learning & celebrating within a sometimes challenging industry which was uplifting & great to see.
What the Chef's says - My food is local & inspired by nature and the garden.
What Wilson says - Brave, fun, fledging local heroes.
When can we go - Closed Mon - Tues, Open Wed – Sun for Dinner only. Breakfast at the weekends.