Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Town Mouse (Melbourne, AUSTRALIA) ★★★☆☆

We had just one full day in Melbourne so we decided to put it into good use. Early in the morning, we had the pleasure of visiting the Melbourne Museum and we followed that up with a full head of steam, and hopped over to Carlton for a greatly anticipated lunch at the highly esteemed The Town Mouse.

The Town Mouse is the brainchild of New Zealand born chef Dave Verheul, a Chef of the Year finalist in Melbourne who honed his skills in UK where he worked at Savoy Grill (by Marcus Wareing) and The Fat Duck. But it was his time cooking alongside Brent Savage, co-owner of Sydney’s hatted The Bentley Restaurant and Bar that truly saw him putting things together as a chef. After a brief stint back home in New Zealand, chef Verheul came back to Australia opening The Town Mouse with a partner in 2013 and since then, the place continues to receive critical acclaim drawing a loyal fanbase.

This bar (or bistro) setting has a very warm feeling to it. I love it~

First up for us was some homemade country bread served with anchovy butter that was seriously good.

Sea bream, avocado, celery and wild watercress (AUD$15) - The lunch menu was full of modern Australian dishes that was carved up with fresh local produce. I kicked things off with a beautifully plated dish of raw sea bream.

The diced sea bream was arranged in the shape of a ring along with avocado cubes and watercress and finished with an aromatic celery oil. That was a pretty refreshing dish.

Beef tartare, mushroom, baked potato and grilled parsley (AUD$16) - Next we had the beef tartare, again wonderfully prepared with mushrooms, potatoes and grilled parsley on top. I like the combination of flavors there although there were lumps of raw beef that was a little chewy at times.

Chicken breast, sour cream, hazelnut, chicory and lavender (AUD$29) - I enjoyed both of our main dishes very much. I thought more successful was the roasted chicken breast. 

That was very very tender and juicy as if it's been first slow-cooked and then roasted on the side. The hazelnut and chicory provided a little different texture while the sour cream and lavender added more contrasting flavors to the mix. A very well designed dish indeed.

Aged duck leg, ratatouille, wild rocket and caramelized yogurt (AUD$34) - Another impressive dish from the kitchen, featuring aged duck leg which was very crispy working well with the acidity from the caramelized yogurt.

I still got room for dessert but instead of having it here, we decided to check out what's available in Carlton so we settled the bill and went hunting for our sweet treat.

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: 312 Drummond Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Australia
Tel: +61 3-9347-3312

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