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Ezard at Adelphi
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9639 6811
Prices: Degustation $235/$135 with/without wines
Style: Australian free-style cuisine, Influences from Japan, China and Thailand
22nd Mar 2018

Our top 5's:

Dave and Alicia's Best :
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  2 : Attica
  3 : Vue de Monde
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  2 : Jacques Reymond
  3 : The Lake House
  4 : Pearl
  5 : Matteo's

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Review by Lachie
The Ezard Experience

Set in a long, narrow dining room beneath the Adelphi hotel in Flinders Lane, Ezard has a reputation for innovative food. From our dining experience it was easy to see why. If I had to come up with a single word to describe the dishes it would be creative, and definitely in a good way.

After we were shown to our table we immediately went for the wine list and selected a Lacache sparkling rose from Margaret River, WA ($72) to start and settled in to peruse the menu. We were then informed about the seasonings on the table which included a fantastic garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, and three other dry herb concoctions combining ingredients like Szeshuan pepper, Japanese trout flakes, a Chinese sugar and multiple other things which have since escaped my mind.

We decided to go for the 8 course degustation, but decided against the matched wines in favour of choosing a few bottles throughout the night. Dave and Alicia also took the option of the wagyu beef course in place of the duck (with a $20 surcharge). Also worth mentioning was that the menu was effortlessly altered to account for my dietary requirements, with some dishes replaced with other menu items when that particular course was not appropriate.

As with any degustation menu it is probably best that I do not write a run down of every dish, the menu can be found at the right of this review. I will mention a few stand-outs however. A huge surprise to me was one of the vegetarian courses, a spring salad with Persian feta, asparagus and quail egg, the flavours were wonderfully combined into a very refreshing dish. Another worth mentioning was the chicken wonton in coconut, chilli and lime broth; the chilli was definitely present but extremely well balanced. Sarah loved her salmon sashimi and I was also impressed with the beer-battered stuffed zucchini flower (normally a special from the a-la-carte menu).

All of the dishes were meticulously assembled, with intriguing choices of ingredients adding many surprising flavours to every course. Each arrives looking like a small work of edible art (disclaimer: the photos we took do not do justice to the presentation of the courses). The service was equally impressive, always remembering who was drinking sparkling and who was drinking still mineral water. Also bringing new cutlery and napkins when required (listen to the podcast for details on that one).

We finished with an amuse-bouche of strawberry slices in a shot glass filled with a rhubarb foam and peanut praline. It was a nice introduction to the chocolate torte and blood orange sorbet that was to follow. Also a couple of white and dark chocolate truffles with T2 teas and coffee.

Ezard certainly lived up to its reputation, and while the food was spectacular it sometimes felt like we were there more for an experience than a meal. Having said that, it was definitely an enjoyable evening, and one that I would happily recommend to others.

For a more in depth review, check out the podcast.

We ate:
- Japanese inspired oyster shooter
- Asparagus, witlof and persian fetta salad with quail egg and roasted hazelnuts
- Tuna sashimi with blue swimmer crab remoulade, pickled daikon, miso caramel and tobbiko
- Organic chicken wonton dumpling with coconut, chilli and lime broth
- Coconut grilled ocean trout with asian gazpacho, fennel, mint and avacado salad, creme fraiche
- Rice crusted kurobuta pork cheek with spiced apples, yellow bean soy and peanuts
- Sichuan peppered duck with coconut rice, stir fried garlic shoots, tumeric and coconut dressing, OR Wagyu beef with spiced Tamarind, coconut sauce
- Bitter sweet dark chocolate torte with blood orange sorbet

We drank:
Lacache 2003 Sparkling rose (Margaret river, WA, $72)
Olssens 2004 Riesling (NZ, $77)
Highbank 2002 Basket Pressed Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra, $110)


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