Monday, June 23, 2014

Annie Smithers Bistrot, Kyneton

It was one day just before Mum was due to fly back to Malaysia after being in Melbourne for just over a month. We decided we'd take a trip to a regional town, somewhere to explore the area and enjoy a nice lunch. My friend Aaron had suggested Kyneton when he and a few friends came over for dinner the night before. 

It was only an hour from Melbourne anyway, easy drive, so Kyneton it was. We had no idea where to eat that day so just picked the first place that caught our attention on Google: Anne Smithers Bistrot

That's the brandied cumquats that they make in house and use in some of their desserts and drinks... Delicious

As soon as we walked in, I found the setting to be seriously pleasant. A soft ambience filled the entire restaurant and it felt very relaxed and comfortable. Everything from the fitout, to the tone of the restaurant and even how the people were in there. Lots of happy couples and families having a lovely time together. Nicely spread out, high ceilings and not noisy at all. Very beautiful. The wooden tables were polished and had very slender legs, which made it quite elegant whilst maintaining its country charm. Soft country music in background. Nice use of china. Great friendly service. There really was a lot to take in. Stunning.

Twice cooked Gruyere cheese souffle, nashi, tatoi, gorgonzola and local walnut salad - $18

Pan seared scallops, jerusalem artichoke puree, artichoke chips, pear, sorrel, prosciutto - $18

Grilled spice marinated quail, quinoa, cauliflower & pomegranate salad, yoghurt - $18

The entrees were a great start. Loved the multiple layers of flavours. Various ingredients that complements the tastes too. The cheese soufflé was so light and flavourful, with earthy nuts and crunchy sweet pears. Scallops were one of the best ever. It showed so much integrity for the beautiful scallops by cooking it to perfection. The purée and prosciutto chips together were a fantastic. combination. The quails was coated with a spice rub but contrasted with sweet pomegranates, crunchy quinoa and a sweet glaze. 

So much flavour without being overly complicated. You taste everything on the plate individually and hten together as whole with the rest of the elements. Still, no element wasn't overpowering the other. Very good.

Aged Sidonia Hills beef, dauphinois potato, roast carrots, horseradish creme, jus - $36

The beef was beautiful. The knife glided through the beef like butter, when we sliced into it. The horseradish played an underlaying and subtle tone throughout the dish. 

Market fresh fish (snapper), creamed leek, cauliflower beignets, herb salad

Fish was done really well too. Crispy skin with moist, tender flesh. The leek cream was lip-smackingly good and the fluffy fried cauliflowers on the side definitely excited our palates. Mum said it was the best fish dish she's had in Australia. 

Ricotta gnocchi, sauteed mushrooms, kale, poached egg, truffled pecorino - $36 

Finally, the richest dish of the day was surprisingly the vego gnocchi but it was so bold in flavours it was delicious! Great for mushroom lovers.

Vanilla bean panna cotta, brandied cumquats, cumquat brandy, gingerbread, sheeps milk yoghurt sorbet - $16

We were so full already by this point but just could not pass up dessert. Sis could not stop raving about the yoghurt. A good balance of sharpness and sweetness. The brandied cumquats were awesome and added a different depth. It went so well with the crushed spiced cake. 

White chocolate mousse, slow roasted quince, quince jelly, pedro ximenex ice cream, meringue - $16 

The sweet mousse, sour quince, fragrant PX ice cream and crunchy meringue could not have been a better combo. Enjoyed them both muchly.

Overall, it was honestly a really lovely meal with my family at Annie Smithers Bistrot from start to finish. To think, we picked this place by chance on Google too. What luck. Understated and tasteful touch everywhere in this country style restaurant. Beautiful food, setting and service. Impeccable quality. Only just realised after the meal that it was awarded 1 Chef Hat too, what a well deserved accolade.

We're so glad we took the hour drive here. Kyneton is such a foodie regional town, with so many eateries in the area. Definitely want to come back and explore this place a little bit more.

Annie Smithers Bistrot & Produce on Urbanspoon

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