Monday, February 3, 2014

La Cassolette, CBD

Situated just by the Yarra River across from Crown Casino... 

Complimentary starter

Crab Salad and Quinoa Taboule - $16

Seared Scallops & Creamy Sauce - $25

Flambéed with cognac or ricard at your table, served with homemade mash potatoes, parmesan and green salad

Cooked right at the table -- awesome!

Amazing final product!


More, please. *hic*

Scotch Fillet Black Angus 200g with Blue Cheese Sauce - $25

Ratatouille - $8

Fish Casserole & Aioli Sauce - $22

Banana Panna Cotta with Berry Coulis - $12

Pear Chocolate Fondant - $12


Thank you Mickael and team for being such wonderful hosts!

Without sounding too ungrateful, I generally prefer not to attend too many invites these days as I have found 2013 to be a seriously tiring year for me what with all the constant and heavy work/social life commitments. Also the main reason why I'm not actually very ambitious when it comes to blogging. I have no ambition to be at a certain ranking or hit any numbers at all. I don't intentionally set out to get opportunities or change certain things about this blog even though I've been advised it would "make me better" as my plate is full enough and I don't want anything to get in the way of spending time with the people I care about. If it happens, it happens. I'm really not fussed. Blogging, to me, is still a hobby or creative outlet more than anything. It's fun. That said, I have truly appreciated the fact that I do get so many fun opportunities that comes my way, despite this "not caring" or defiant attitude.

Even though I was having a blast, I did get really worn out last year so I'm hoping to take things much easier this year. On the other hand, these invites were also a good opportunity for me to take friends or family out for a free meal to catchup, especially if I haven't seen them in a while. Which is what I have been doing. Sort of killing two birds with one stone, really. Also, I really do enjoy the fact that with opportunities from blogging, I can always share these gifts I'm receiving with others as well. Trust me, I would've normally just stayed home and rest if I couldn't share the experiences with others and use it as a time for us to bond...

...which was exactly what I did when I was invited to dine at La Cassolette last year and brought my good mates Josh and Aaron along. 

The location was tricky, I must say. But, it was actually closer than people think and had a stunning view of Crown Casino and the Yarra River. I was greeted by a friendly and cheerful Frenchman by the name of Mickael at the door. As soon as we sat down, he brought over some sparkling water, white wine and cured meats to kick off as we looked through the menu. What a great start, I thought.

Our first dish was the crab and quinoa taboule -- which my friends and I thought was a GREAT starter. Such an interesting combo of flavour and texture and golly were they generous with the crab or what. Definitely signature dish worthy. Another specialty here was the flambéed dishes, which were cooked right at the table. Amazing! The scallops were utterly divine and again, I noticed how generous they were with them as well. Theatrics and flavour. I like. 

We enjoyed the rest of the meal that evening as well. Fish casserole was so fresh and perfectly seasoned. Steak was juicy and tender but the only suggestion I would make is that they should probably let it rest a little longer before putting it on the plate as the plate got rather wet from the liquid that was released during the meal. Otherwise, it was still really tasty. To finish, banana pannacotta probably wasn't my favourite flavour but was still well made and the chocolate fondant was seriously fantastic. I'm not a dessert person but I could inhale the whole thing to myself.

Overall, it was a really enjoyable meal from start to finish. The staff and host were incredibly hospitable to us. Besides that, getting to hear more about Mickael's background in the food scene, his food aspirations and also his inspirations behind La Cassolette really made my respect his vision for the restaurant even more. I liked how he shared about his experience of dining in various establishments in Melbourne, from Indian to French, dine in or takeaway, cheap to expensive to give him ideas about the identity he wishes to portray. It was also interesting how he mentioned that he was getting such portions in so many places in Melbourne that he almost found it "offensive". It was an interesting point of view and I respected him for it.

To sum up, I think La Cassolette is a great place for delicious French food that is value for money. My friends and I enjoyed every dish that evening and can totally see ourselves coming back too. Great work to the team and I wish you all the best with La Cassolette. Look forward to seeing everyone there again soon.

La Cassolette on Urbanspoon

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