New Autumn Menu : No. 8 By John Lawson

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I was so lucky and excited to be invited to taste the new autumn menu at No. 8 by John Lawson a few weeks back. Don’t know if you can remember my first tasting done there and I absolutely loved it! So when another opportunity came to dine back at No. 8, I couldn’t say no hehe If you don’t remember John Lawson, his dishes are driven & inspired by the fresh produce he has around him. In fact, his cooking revolves around sustainably produced ingredients that he can find around locally from Victorian farmers. 

Before I share with you the new menu, I just want to thank John Lawson, the chefs and the staff for accommodating to this expectant woman. hehe Cannot be more thankful that I am still able to dine comfortably and have delicious food! (:

Whole wheat and beer sourdough

So like always, the night starts with beautiful slices of bread made by Eds Breads! If you follow me on instagram, you would know that I often buy my breads from him and have them for my breakfast! Unfortunately, I was late due to work, so I didn’t get to try the newly created – whole wheat and beer sourdough. But lucky for me, we were all given a loaf to bring home! YAY! hehe Love the crunchy outer crust and a soft centre. There isn’t one loaf of his I could fault!

Wheat berry and baby carrot salad

The first course was the salad course : wheat berry and baby carrot salad ! I absolutely love the wheat berries. They have a nutty flavour to them and really good bite too! This was also served with jerusalem artichokes turnips and sunflower shoots! A really colourful and refreshing start to the night! This was paired with a gin & tonic, which I didn’t have, of course. But I can imagine what a good match it would be! hehe

Mildura yabbies, hervey bay scallops and pine mushrooms

The next dish was a show-stopper in my opinion! When it arrived in front of me, I could feel my jaw drop! How pretty is that? Perfectly cooked Mildura yabbies, that were so fresh and sweet with Hervey Bay scallops and pine mushrooms! What a great entree! Every seafood I love on a plate! Actually on a gorgeous scallop shell! Absolutely loved this dish.

Slippery Jack mushroom risotto

And the dishes just gets better and better! When I looked through the menu before dinner started, this was the dish I was really looking forward to! Risotto, when cooked perfectly, is my weakness. I could have a huge plate of it and still want more. hehe This, my dear readers, was absolutely delish! Every mouthful I had was bursting with mushroomy flavours, and the rice was creamy and cheesy! SO GOOD! Ticked all the right boxes! Hands down my favourite dish of the night! NOMS!

Milawa duck breast

The main for the new autumn menu was Milawa duck breast! As it was cooked medium rare to medium, I couldn’t have it. But from the sounds made by everyone sitting around me, I knew it was as good as the first time I had it! This time it was served with pear, brussel sprouts and foie gras sauce. How good does that sound? hehe Have to head back another time to try it! hehe

Flat iron steak

Lucky me though, a special dish was cooked for me – flat iron steak! I’ve not had this cut of steak before, but it was so tender and though it looked like it hasn’t been cooked through, it was! Every piece just melts in my mouth and goes so well with the slices of beet root! AMAZEBALLS! I was trying to savour it slowly, but I found myself finishing it before I knew it! haha

baked potato with cheddar and crispy pig

We were also served a side of baked potato with cheddar and crispy pig! Holy moly! This was everything I was craving for in my pregnancy! Lucky thing we shared among the 4 of us, or else I would have smothered my face in it! Don’t worry there was also a side of cosberg, kale and mustard leaf, but I was so engrossed in eating the potato and steak, I forgot to snap it! hehe

72% Cocoa and coffee fondant

Now, time for the sweets! Though I was already quite stuffed, but there is always room for dessert right? hehe There were two on offer again tonight, and this was the one I didn’t have cause they were worried the chocolate wasn’t pasteurised. 72% Cocoa & coffee fondant! Let me tell you though, the smell of the chocolate filled the table as they were being served! So delicately plated too!

Gooey middle

Of course, when you are served a fondant, the money shot would be when you cut it open! Sorry the photo is a tad dark, but can you see the shiny bit of chocolate oozing out? Definitely a perfectly cooked fondant!

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I had the slow poached quince, spiced crumb and yoghurt! The last time I was at No. 8 I had a yoghurt dessert too! Such a good way to end the night though. Light, refreshing with the sweetness of the poached quince! I definitely wanted more! Mmmm (:

Occelli testun in foglie di castagno

Something new was a fromage course : Occeelli Testun in Foglie di Castagno! haha The name was a tongue twister and I have to admit I googled just to see what it was! hehe It’s a cow and sheep milk cheese that is wrapped in chestnut leaves for 18 months! My constant craving has always been cheese this whole pregnancy, but sadly I couldn’t have this cause it was soft cheese! The smell was divine though! It was matched with a Grey Box honey from Castlemaine. Sweet and salty – match made in heaven I’m sure!

Chocolate and passionfruit truffle

Last but definitely not the least, we were given beautiful chocolate and passionfruit truffles to end the night (: Dark chocolate that is subtly bitter contrasting with a sweet passionfruit filling!

Once again, the food was outstanding and I highly recommend you to head down to No. 8 at Crown Melbourne to give the new menu a go! You definitely won’t regret it! (:

Disclaimer : I was invited to the launch  by Hatch Communications and No. 8 By John Lawson. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience and opportunity yet again!

No. 8 by John Lawson (number 8) on Urbanspoon

{Preview Event} Is Fine Dining Finished ?

Is Fine Dining Finished?

The Good Food Month by The Age is happening now and I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview event of Is Fine Dining Finished at The Point Albert Park. I was very excited as it was my first time dining at The Point and the weather we had that night was just glorious!

The view from The Point Albert Park

I couldn’t help but snap a few panoramic shots when we were invited to have some cocktails at the balcony. It was just breath-taking!

Karpouzi Kup

In the midst of catching up with every one, we were served with the prettiest drink I’ve had in a long time – The Karpouzi Kup by Gazi Restaurant. It was a cocktail of aperol, gin, lemon juice, soda water and fresh mint! I’m a sucker for gin, so give me anything with gin in it and I would be happy girl! And I definitely was smiling, while sipping on those cute candy cane straws!

Karpouzi Kup by Gazi

So refreshing and perfect for the sunny hot day! Soon after, we were led into the wine cellar that had a large communal table where we would be dining for the night. It was beautiful and I couldn’t wait till I get to try the food!

Recently, casual, shared, street food is taking over the food scene, so the purpose of the night was to discuss if fine dining is finished? Hosted by The Age’s Dani Valent, the dinner presented contrasting dishes from two very talented chefs : Justin Wise who is The Point’s Executive Chef, and Luke Croston of Gazi, who has travelled the road from fine dining to street food. The food was matched with wine and cocktails and the table was open to all opinions about the future of dining in Melbourne. All views shared, none judged!

Street food is definitely gaining popularity and the first course of Gazi has proven why. For me, I love casual dining as food could be conveniently consumed, and sometimes we could even eat standing up!! With a more relaxed atmosphere, I feel less concerned about being prim and proper when enjoying my food.

Soft shell crab souvlakakia

The soft shell crab souvlakakia was AMAZEBALLS. My first time having soft shell crab in pita bread. It was delicious with huge pieces of crispy soft shell crab, and the flesh was so fresh and sweet! The sauce had subtle flavours of honey and fish sauce! George Calombaris told us that Greek food use to utilise lots of fish sauce, but it is use less now. Definitely learnt something new that night! hehe The freshly made pita bread was also light and fluffy!

Beef brisket souvlakakia

The beef brisket souvlakakia was also really amazing. Melt-in-your-mouth pieces of beef brisket with chips (yes, chips!), red onion and fresh coriander. This was matched with another glass of Karpouzi Kup! Yum!

Then comes the fine dining courses by Justin Wise.

pan seared foie gras

Pan-seared foie gras with poached pear. This was luxury brought to another level! It’s probably my second having such a huge piece of foie gras, but this is truly the best one I’ve had! Crispy exterior, with a rich and creamy texture. This is definitely a dish that I would come back to dine for.

Foie gras paired with 2007 Max Ferd Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese, Mosel Germany

This was paired with a 2007 Max Ferd Richter Braunerberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Auslese, from Mosel Germany, which was a sweet white wine which cuts the richness of the foie gras. Definitely a great match and I loved the wine, which was no surprise, cause I cannot say no to a glass of sweet wine! hehe

Mackeay Valley rabbit, guanciale, pithier and broad beans

The next dish was the Macleay Valley rabbit, guanciale, pithier and broad beans. How amazing does it look? Plated exquisitely, the rabbit dish was nothing short of perfection and the epitome of what fine dining is about. Beautifully plated, with the finishing touches done at table side.

Pouring the jus

There’s just something about pouring jus, to complete the dish, at table side that excites every foodie. Every component of the fish was cooked to perfection, and matched harmoniously with the 2010 Domaine Geantet Pansiot Bourgogne Rouge, Cote d’Or France.

Decanter in the shape of a snake

The wine was poured using the coolest decanter in a shape of a snake! hehe and yes, I sneaked a shot of George Calombaris cause he was sitting just opposite me!

loukoumades

These loukoumi, loukoumades are golden and crispy greek donuts coated with honey and sprinkled with sunflower seeds. Not overly sweet and soft & fluffy on the inside! The best thing is that they were served hot!

mastic musk sticks

To go with the loukoumades were these mastic musk sticks.

Dessert

petit four

The final touches that a fine dining experience won’t be complete with : a plate of petit four and a cup of tea. Green tea to be exact. Lime jelly, chocolates and shortbread. Just divine.

Green tea

So is fine dining really finished? Not in my books! Though I do love my casual street food, there will always still be a time and place for such enjoyments in my life. The Mr and I love celebrating our special occasions (birthdays & anniversaries in particular) at fine dining restaurants. It’s like a little treat for us, a few times a year.

There are a few things I do love about fine dining :

Freshly baked bread with butter

The freshly baked bread/rolls with some of the best butters I’ve had! hehe Of course, this isn’t the most important reason. To me, dining at a fine dining restaurant is a time for the mr and I to feel just that little bit more special, and being treated like royalty for that hour or two! hehe Just being in our own world and enjoying the great ambience and views the restaurants have to offer.

We do deserve such pampering once in a while, don’t we?

Is fine dining finished?

So what do you think? Is fine dining finished? Book yourself in for the event and share your thoughts!

Venue : The Point Albert Park

Date & Time : 26th November, Tuesday, at 6.30pm

Cost : $145 per person for a four course menu matched with cocktails and wine. Tickets can be purchased here.

For more reads and discussions, please head to :

Never Too Sweet For Me

Iron Chef Shellie

I Eat Therefore I Am

Disclaimer : I dined at The Point Albert Park as a guest of TinkPR and The Point. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!