Most of the restaurants I visit are reasonably cheap & I normally just go to higher priced restaurants on special occasions. A couple of months back when discussing where to go for my boyfriend’s birthday we looked through the Good Food Guide and decided on Ezard. We’ve both heard great things about it from friends and the online reviews were generally very positive. Last year for his birthday we went to Flower Drum so Ezard had big shoes to fill.
We ventured down the stairs to the restaurant and first impressions were it looked very classy. We had a 6pm booking so at this stage it was very empty, in fact we were the first table seated.
In the week leading up to the dinner we were undecided on whether we would go with the 8 course degustation option. There were two dishes on that menu that I thought I wouldn’t enjoy (I don’t like raw fish or pork belly unfortunately), so in the end we decided to create our own little degustation.
We ordered 3 entree dishes and mentioned that we would like to share it, and we didn’t realise that they divided the entree dishes to two separate plates. Initially we thought they might have misunderstood what we meant and would be charging us twice for each dish but this was not the case! Having said that though it would have been awkward to share these dishes so are very glad the way this ended up.
The bread that arrived at the start came with olive oil and a trio of dipping spices. From what I remember they were szechuan pepper, chilli powder and ground sugar and something that included rosemary. I can’t exactly remember what the rosemary one was but that was my favourite.
The first entree dish is a Japanese inspired oyster shooter. This was a very delicate dish and we both loved it. The side dish was a small prawn and fruit salad with coconut cream and a cute soba noodle sushi roll. The oyster came in a shot glass with sake and wasabi flavours were infused in there as well. It tasted that good we considered ordering another one but we had plenty of food to come so decided not to.
Second entree is steamed spanner crab dumplings with yarra valley salmon roe, celery cress and tom kha. This was definitely my favourite entree, loved the crab and the tom kha soup instantly made me think I was back in Thailand.
Next up was the seared Canadian scallops, spiced pumpkin puree, cumin caramel, pomegranate, chorizo and crispy Chinese broccoli. This dish was very flavourful, it was a bit on the sweet side but was a good follow up dish to have after the tangy tom kha soup. The scallop itself was juicy and tasted extremely fresh as could be expected.
Our final entree was the char-siu quail with mandarin pancake, lime and cucumber salad and roasted rice. The dish kind of reminded me of a peking duck, mainly due to the pancake it is served with., The skin was crispy and the meat was tender and juicy. It was served with coriander which I’m not a fan of at all but it was easy enough to put to the side.
Now it’s time for the main courses. We chose the crispy skin baby barramundi with caramelised eggplant, tomato and lime salad, yellow curry dressing and eight score sher wagyu beef, potato terrine, garlic and red wine jam, mushroom soil, bordelaise jus. Adding to this we also had a side of wok fried Asian greens.
Overall the barramundi dish was incredible. The skin was crispy, the yellow curry was the best I’ve ever tasted and as an added bonus it came with rice, even though the menu did not say that. I am so glad I chose to have this!
The wagyu beef did not disappoint. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked and the garlic and red wine jam was a perfect compliment to the beef. The side of Asian greens were very good also, it seemed to be stir fried with XO sauce which gave it a beautiful smoky flavour.
All of the desserts on the menu sounded appealing so it was an easy decision to order the dessert tasting menu to share. It included:
espresso chocolate marquise, soft meringue, raspberry gel, blood orange sorbet
mango bavarois, slow cooked peach, sesame seed wafer, passionfruit sorbet
pistachio frangipane, crystallised raspberry and tonka bean ice cream
honeycrunch ice cream, toasted gingerbread and sugar swirl
fromage frais and strawberry cheesecake, basil pearls, lime syrup and champagne sorbet
salted caramel parfait, chocolate peanut butter crunch, pressed paw paw and blackberry syrup
It was a great decision to order this as everything was divine. Our favourites were the espresso chocolate marquise and the salted caramel parfait.
Service was excellent, waiters and waitresses were very friendly and explained to us all the dishes. The dishes arrived with just the right amount of time between each and in the end we were both extremely satisfied.
Overall I absolutely recommend Ezard to anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little bit extra on their dining experience – it is certainly not cheap. But for a special occasion, it’s definitely a great place to go.