Friday, June 25, 2010

I've completed the Maze.

Hi all, this is the vain pot speaking. ;)

Yours truly has always been that lazy worm when it comes to applying make-up. I don't do make-up on a daily basis, so whenever I take the effort to do so, it's for a particular occasion.

And well, I guess Maze by Gordon Ramsay at Crown was 'special' enough an occasion. Good food always is. ;)

You have no idea how excited my tummy was. ;P

At the reception, we were greeted by this really cute wait staff who had this strong UK accent. He then led us through a maze of walls and sections before we arrive at our table.

The first waiter came over with a wine list and said that he'd be taking care of our drinks. Another waiter then popped over not long later, introducing himself as Sebastian. Just as he was introducing the menu to us, I interrupted... "Erm, we're actually here for the degustation menu."

"Oh, that's the other section of the restaurant," Sebastian explained. "Maze is divided into two sections; this is Maze Grill and the degustation menu is only available at the Maze Fine Dining."

Clearly, I had no idea that there were two sections in Maze so when I made the bookings online, I did not even bother to double check. Sebastian must have noticed the change of look on my face, he excused himself to check if there are any tables available at the fine dining area.

A couple of minutes later, he came back and said, "We're fully booked at the moment." I almost cried *exaggerating duh!* until he continued, "But we can accommodate you after half an hour. Do you mind waiting?"

Embarrassingly, I shook my head. Sebastian then escorted us to the waiting lounge while they arranged for us to be next on the waiting list.

The half an hour felt so long because it was already 8.45pm then and we were both starving. We had a drink, chatted for a fair bit and then poor guy had to put up with me complaining a whole lot about my grumbling tummy, and well...

We also took massive loads of narcissistic pictures of which I shall not bore you with. Just one will do. ;)

At 9.20pm, a friendly waitress walked over to bring us to our table. Upon seating, the waitress explained the Maze menu concept. We had the option of choosing the chef's 7 course degustation menu at $95 or to DIY our own. I managed to get a swap for the non-alternative dishes from the DIY list, so that we can try as much as we could. ;)

I love how the cutlery set holder is so novel with the spoon, fork and knife slotted into their respective compartments and between every course, the set is replaced with new ones.

Pretty not? ;P

The house-made bread served with seaweed butter which was really fragrant. It was so good that I requested for a second helping and I'm salivating looking at my picture now. I said in a whisper, "Bread has never tasted this good."

A while later, they brought out our first entree. Served on the thin cushion of pressed watermelon is Queensland mud crab which was topped with pickled ginger and rock melon sorbet. I swapped this with the marinated beetroot as I wasn't a big fan and I'm glad I did. It was cold, refreshing and simply yums.

When I go for sashimi at Japs, I don't appreciate tuna as much as I do salmon, but I totally adored this seared yellow fin tuna. It was accompanied with white radish, baby enoki mushrooms, yuzu and black garlic. It's not only a visual delight, it was also gourmet delight. And may I say that I'm now a converted tuna-lover. ;)

Kev opted for the applewood smoked kingfish with fennel puree, pickled celery *gasps*, globe artichoke, and finger limes. The smokeyness and texture of the fish was really amazing, I wished if only he offered me another piece. :P

My juicy pan-seared scallops dressed with champagne foam was simply mind-blowing. The tiny mussels curled up with the caramelised kelp and sugar snap peas made a perfect combination. This has gotta be my favourite dish of the night!

This is the seared leg of rabbit that Kev chose. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked with a hint of almond and fragrant brown butter vinaigrette; the centre portion particularly rested on jicama and green olive. I could tell that he was having foodgasm at this point. He admitted at the end of the night when asked, saying this was his fav dish.

The next course on the list was the pan-roasted barramundi served with butternut squash, compressed cucumber and pumpkin seeds. The skin was crispy and the pumpkin complimented the fish just right.

There wasn't an alternative choice to the barramundi, but I requested for a swap with the coral trout. The small portion of fish was wrapped in crispy chicken skin which I knew Kev absolutely adored considering his love for chicken skin. It was served also with trompette royal (which is a type of mushroom), fennel, and a shower of lemon thyme consomme to complete the dish.

The final savoury course I chose was the lamb, where the jus was poured at the table when served. I started off with the medium-rare cannon loin and cauliflower puree + anchovy on the left, then proceeded with the slow-roasted shoulder that melted on the palette of my tastebuds. The dish was also accompanied with stinging nettles that was decorated with a cauliflower floret which I didn't really appreciate.

Kev's ox "tongue & cheek" swam in the strong red wine induced jus that was also poured at the table. It came with a herbed carrot piece, and a small serving of horseradish pomme puree that isn't in the picture. The cheek was gelatinously rich and as for the tongue, I must admit it was my first time trying an ox tongue and I must say it was grilled to perfection.

Our pre-dessert was the meringue served in a sea of exotic fruit vacherin which was accompanied by passionfruit and banana sorbet. This isn't the type of dessert that was OMMPH enough to blow me off my feet.

But the Maze lamington was. The chocolate cake ganache was sprinkled with desiccated coconut and it was almost as light as a sponge cake. Eaten with the coconut sorbet, rosella jam, sponge and tuille that sat above the cake, boy, it was fan-bloody-tastic both in taste and texture!

Thinking that the lamington was perfect enough to end my meal, we were served with a complimentary petit four of white chocolate balls filled with strawberry ice cream. And may I say that this was THE BOMB? Pop it into your mouth and let it melt on your tongue: PERFECT.

"There you go, sir," the waitress cheekily placed the bill before Kev. She turn then to me and placed this small pack of chocolates before me. "And this is for you, madam." Inside the pack were chocolate freckles, coconut marshmallows, and pineapple jelly candy.

And there, after the hearty dinner, you have a really satisfied girl. ;)

Oh, and I am narcissistic like that. *giggles* ;)

Thank you my dear friend, for the amazing dinner and company! (:

Maze Melbourne on Urbanspoon


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

WAH i want also too! aud140? man, do you have like female versions of this fren of urs? hehehe (dont think tell jing fei)..

Anonymous said...

omg yum?! am sooo gonna try when i get back to melb :D


:D wt!

- m i c h e l l e - said...

Hahaha wt, you MUST okay! And yes i know that's on my list, but it's a bit exp so gotta save for a bit first. :P

- m i c h e l l e - said...

Lol kor kor joe, the A$140 is Taxi one not maze. But siow meh if 140 sure i wun let him pay la.

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