The thing that really caught my interest was the "Chefz Table Experience", where you get to specify a list of ingredients that you like and dislike, favoured cooking techniques, your budget and number of courses. The team at the restaurant then devise a meal personalised to your tastes. So the next few days were spent adding and crossing off ingredients from our list to send to the restaurant. Our (somewhat ambitious) final list was:
- Fatty beef steak (e.g. wagyu) /beef cheeks/oxtail
- Marron or Yabbies
- Japanese mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, oyster etc.)
- Sweet potato
- Mussels or Clams
- Chicken wings
- Pork Belly
- Buffalo Mozzarella
- Raw tuna
- Lamb/other “gamey” meats (venison, goat etc.)
- Liver/Kidney/other offal
- Whitebait, Sardines, other small fish with bones in
- Chicken breast
- Field or common white champignon mushrooms
We settled on a budget of $150pp, excluding drinks, for 5 courses. We also got $50 off because of the Entertainment book voucher.
Our first course, the amuse bouche, was a Pork Croquette sitting in a small bowl of celery and apple soup. Pork and Apple is a pretty standard flavour combination, but the Celery lent a certain sourness to the dish that set it apart.
Next up was our first dish, Saffron Poached Mussel & Clam, Pork Belly, Bacon Foam, Vanilla Tomato Dressing.
The Mussels and Clams were a little underwhelming, and I couldn't really taste the Bacon foam. But the pork belly and crackling were fantastic, and the tomato and vanilla combination was very novel and really made the dish stand out in my mind.
Marron Thermidor, White Bean Cassoulet, Beetroot Tapioca, Smoked Pecans
The Marron was fantastic, very flavourful and cooked well. I didn't think the beans worked that well with the dish but C disagreed. I loved the smoked Pecans.
Quail, Eggplant Caviar, Orange Wheat Berries, Hazelnut Puree
The Quail was perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth delicious. The Eggplant had a very strong flavour which I loved, and there was a house-made savoury Granola included that gave added a great crunchy texture to the meal.
Seared Beef Fillet, Slow Cooked Shin, King Oyster Mushroom, Sweet Potato, Olive
The Beef fillet was pretty standard restaurant Beef, nothing exciting. The star of this plate was the Beef Shin wrapped in Cucumbers, mixed in with Asian Mushrooms.
Mango & Passionfruit Parfait, Soft Meringue, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Peppercorn Caramel
The services was friendly, attentive, professional, non-intrusive, and all of our food was well explained.
The bartender will take requests for custom mocktails/cocktails too; I asked for something with Lime that's a little bit bitter, and we both enjoyed it so much we promptly ordered another so we wouldn't have to share.
Overall we felt that it was worth the money to be able to choose our own ingredients and get a personalised dish, but had we gotten the same dishes at an a la carte restaurant we would have felt it was over-priced. I have to commend the chefs for taking chances on cooking new un-tested dishes every night.