Driving to Melbourne for a two week holiday we wanted to ensure the journey was an enjoyable part of the holiday and not a chore. We had made our way down Grand Pacific Drive, through the picturesque Royal National Park, over to Berry, back up to Bowral and then down to Canberra, sampling some of the state’s finest produce along the way. With an eight hour drive from Canberra to Melbourne ahead of us, we decided to further break the trip up with a stop over in Albury. The decision to stop in Albury was quite simple; it lies half way between Canberra and Melbourne and has a restaurant we had heard many great things about, sourcedining.
sourcedining is located at the quiet end of the main street of Albury, in a small nondescript building. The dining room is quite narrow and unpretentious. Chef Jodie Jones and front of house Steve Carne combine their wealth of experience and local produce to showcase the best of the region and win us over in the process.
Cream of mushroom soup with truffle foam and handmade cheese sable (complimentary).
The amuse bouche was definitely one of the highlights of the night. I expected the soup to be quite thick and was surprised with its broth like consistency. The subtleness of the mushroom soup was a start contrast to the richness of the truffle foam, the flavours were exquisite. With our taste buds alive, the amuse bouche succeeded in teasing us with a little display of Jodie’s skills and what the rest of the night may bring. Absolutely beautiful.
Rye sourdough, poppy seed bread, house churned butter (complimentary).
Both breads were nom nom nom!
Chicken and chestnut boudin, sprout petals, taleggio cheese puffs and French onion soup ($22.00).
The waiter placed the plate in front of me and carefully poured the consommé around the boudin, as he did so I got a whiff of the gorgeous aroma and was anxious to get stuck into this dish. The consommé on its own was just lovely, quite a robust soup. I was disappointed with the cheese puffs and felt they were a little overdone – hollow and lacking in flare. The boudin however was perfectly seasoned, the chicken and chestnuts bursting with flavour, combining so well with the soup and perfectly positioned sprout petals (though I would have thoroughly enjoyed a few more petals).
Rare seared tuna, pickled fennel, potato and heart of palm salad, tarragon oil ($22.00).
Dylan’s entree of rare seared tuna was exquisite. The tuna was top grade, melt in your mouth and superbly seared giving a great contrast between the cooked and raw meat. It was served with pickled fennel that was not too overpowering, nice and mellow just the way Dylan likes it. The tuna was matched so well with the tarragon oil and fennel making a real harmony with all of the ingredients.
Pan fried Murray cod fillet and tiger prawn, aromatic mushrooms and porcini broth (flavoured with orange and coriander) ($35.00).
I’ve never been a huge fan of cod but I really felt like some fish so I thought I would give it a go. I’m afraid to say I felt the cod and prawns were overdone and bland. The mushrooms and porcini broth were divine but such earthy flavours could have been more at home on a plate of red meat. This dish missed the spot with me.
Sticky braised pork hock, turnip, black bean and tamarind (omelette wrapped beans) ($36.00).
Dylan’s pork hock was heavily Thai influenced. The pork was succulent and cooked so well it just fell apart. The stickiness of the tamarind and black bean gave a nice fullness whilst the omelette and beans cut through the richness of the sauce and balanced the dish.
Steamed broccolini with blue cheese vinaigrette and shaved almonds ($9.00).
With a choice of sides we both leant towards the broccolini as it’s always a staple at home and we thought it would be nice to see what little touch of magic Jodie could give it. It was pleasant, but I was hoping for a little more blue cheese and a little less vinaigrette. Turned out to be not a Lex style side.
Sticky banana pudding, salted macadamia crumble and whipped quark ($15.00).
My banana pudding was to die for. Dazzling to look at and divine to eat. By far the best banana dessert I have ever eaten. The miniature pieces of banana pudding were packed full of banana and drizzled with a perfect amount of caramel sauce. The creaminess of the quark cut through the sugary sweet caramel sauce that, dare I say it, alone could have been quite intense. Oh and who doesn’t love a little ball of candied sugar. I’m drooling just thinking about this dessert.
Lavender blancmange, warm crostolli, muscat ice cream, lavender blossoms and spiced pear ($15.00).
Dylan’s blancmange was overpowered by lavender; the soap connotations were too much for him. The crostoli on the other hand were warm, soft and brittle with a lovely cinnamon flavour and the spiced pear was also lovely. The muscat ice cream again let the dish down as it was frozen rock solid in the centre and Dylan was left with an average dessert (it probably didn’t help my dessert was so awesome!).
Macchiato and salted dark caramel fudge.
Salted caramel – yum! Dylan isn’t a huge fan of salted caramel but this fudge was like a little piece of heaven to me.
Warrabilla 2005 Parola’s Limited Release Shiraz.
Dylan has got me on the red wine and we both love Shiraz. This one had beautiful chocolatey tones and was a lovely drop.
664 Dean Street
Albury NSW 2640
(02) 6041 1288