We had not heard very much about Jacques Reymond before doing a little reading and planning for our Melbourne road trip. Looking over the menu and hearing of Jacques’ philosophies on food we knew we had to dine there. Being widely known as Melbourne’s best restaurant had us buzzing with anticipation to see if Melbourne’s best could knock Sydney’s best off the top of our list.
“Jacques Reymond has designed a unique menu featuring the finest of Australian produce to reflect the flavours of the season.”
‘A Taste of our Degustation Menu’ – $170.00 without wine / $265.00 with wine
- Lemongrass, spinach and rock lobster soup, fragrant Tiger prawn, sweet potato and turmeric ice cream (2004 Tyrrell’s HVD Semillon, Single Vineyard, Hunter Valley, NSW)
- Sandwich of spanner crab, mirin and fresh wasabi jelly, lacquered Petuna ocean trout, black bean and sweetcorn dressing
- Wild barramundi, almond and bush mountain pepper caramel, yoghurt and black garlic, kaffir lime and lemongrass espuma (2009 Toolangi Estate ‘Jacques Reymond Selection’ Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, Vic)
- Pekin duck and Hervey bay scallops, peking juices, spiced marshmallow like a crêpe, ginger sesame and pandan oil (2007 Bass Phillip ‘Jacques Reymond Selection’ Pinot Noir, SE Gippsland, Vic)
- Highland venison like a warm carpaccio, horseradish mustard dressing, butternut pumpkin with honey and bitter chocolate beignet (2006 Dalwhinnie ‘Jacques Reymond Selection’ Shiraz, Pyrenees, Vic)
- Western plains suckling pig and tamarind, celeriac and bitter almond, dashi apple veil, dancing bonito flakes and rosella chutney salad, cavalo nero (2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Clos du Mont Olivet, Les Fils de Joseph Sabon, Rhône Valley, France)
- Pacific Rim martini of pineapple, passionfruit and banana, liquorice ice cream and honeycomb
- Millefeuilles of chocolate: white chocolate mousse, pure Caribbean chilli ice cream, dark chocolate mousse and praline ice cream (NV SeppeltsField Grand Tokay (Topaque), Barossa Valley, SA)
- Coffee and petits fours
Lemongrass, spinach and rock lobster soup, fragrant Tiger prawn, sweet potato and turmeric ice cream.
The entrée of the year. The moment I took my first taste of this course I knew putting it in to words would be quite hard. Such an amazing combination of flavours taking us straight back to Thailand. The depth of flavour in the soup was amazing, the gorgeous prawn accompanied by the soft micro herbs and finishing with a quenelle of sweet potato ice cream.
Sandwich of spanner crab, mirin and fresh wasabi jelly, lacquered Petuna ocean trout, black bean and sweetcorn dressing.
We are told this is Jacques’ take on a crab sandwich. Although we took a moment to see the likeness it never imposed on the outcome of this dish. Soft fresh crab meat beside a beautifully cooked and presented slice of ocean trout and adorned with three different elements. The jelly was quite mild but gave such a nice contrast to the crisp ‘toast’ and the sweetness of the corn. A very nice way to infuse Asian styles and flavours into French Cuisine.
Wild barramundi, almond and bush mountain pepper caramel, yoghurt and black garlic, kaffir lime and lemongrass espuma.
The kaffir and lemongrass foam (espuma) took a prominent position on the plate almost completely engulfing the barramundi. The brunoise was a sight of culinary perfection with no single piece looking out of place. Moist and flaking away with ease the fish was so fresh and carried all of the flavours of the dish without being overpowered. This was Lex’s favourite dish of the night and rated quite highly for myself also.
Pekin duck and Hervey bay scallops, peking juices, spiced marshmallow like a crêpe, ginger sesame and pandan oil.
The enoki mushrooms took centre stage, surrounded by the Pekin duck (a breed of duck, not to be confused with the famous Beijing Peking Duck dish) and hiding the succulent scallops. The marshmallow looking somewhat like a sash across the sliced duck. A quite odd assortment of visual elements lead way to a very conflicting view on this dish. The mushroom tempura was an impressive anchor to the succulent duck and whilst the marshmallow was a definite first it didn’t feel out of place. Hints of sesame, ginger and pandan throughout gave such depth and always kept each bite unique.
Highland venison like a warm carpaccio, horseradish mustard dressing, butternut pumpkin with honey and bitter chocolate beignet.
The course we had been waiting for with much anticipation – the black truffles we had been shown earlier in the evening looking plump and innocent on the silver platter. And now they were lavishly shaved across our venison dish, drizzled with horseradish mustard. Lex doesn’t like condiments and really really does not like mustard, but the rich flavour of the venison and truffles overcame her disdain for condiments. Lean and wonderfully cooked the venison and the truffles were amazing together. The butternut pumpkin and the fluffy fried ball of dough finished off the dish nicely.
Western plains suckling pig and tamarind, celeriac and bitter almond, dashi apple veil, dancing bonito flakes and rosella chutney salad, cavalo nero.
Once again the level of detail in the presentation was amazing. Like most of the other dishes the subtle Asian influence was present and whilst this paired well with other courses this just seemed left out. The soft meat was melt in your mouth, the tamarind sweet and slightly sour flavour was quite complimentary but I just felt it didn’t suit all of the other elements presented on the plate. I felt that there seemed to be too many elements that were unnecassary.
Pacific Rim martini of pineapple, passionfruit and banana, liquorice ice cream and honeycomb.
Disappointing. One of those dishes that a single word could describe quite easily, yet deserves a little more gratitude. My real issue with the dessert was the extreme level of sweetness, it just took over in every way. It may be the perfect dish for others but sadly it was not for me.
Millefeuilles of chocolate: white chocolate mousse, pure Caribbean chilli ice cream, dark chocolate mousse and praline ice cream.
Feeling a little let down by the previous dish my expectations had dipped but only slightly. A chocolate dessert doesn’t usually pique my interest often but this looked quite a treat. Four quenelles hidden beneath a thin sheet of chocolate seemed a little reserved compared to the plating of other dishes but what they hid was worth investigating. I still don’t know which of the four was my favourite, each was indulgent yet refined and each went with each other and stood well alone. Easily my second favourite chocolate dessert.
Coffee and petits fours
The 5 mini petit fours came out on a little plate with ‘Happy Anniversary’ written in chocolate. A nice little ending to our 5th anniversary dinner.
Even though we felt some of the dishes were not perfect this is really just a reflection of the level of scrutiny we put the meal under. Even my least favourite the ‘Martini’ dessert was still a great dish in its own right. The dining room was impressive and the ambiance of the whole room reflected the level of detail put into the restaurant.
Being a print producer, Lex was fascinated by the wine menu (she often spends so much time looking at the way the menu was produced she runs out of time to actually read it and has to ask the waiter for more time). Produced of cork with a gold foil deboss, Lex felt the simplicity and suitability was perfect.
Jacques Reymond – Cuisine du Temps
78 Williams Road
Prahran VIC 3181
(03) 9525 2178
Jacques Reymond Website