Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Grand Richmond

Disclaimer: Winston dined as a guest of The Grand Richmond and Zomato Australia. All opinions are honest and based on my own experience at the time.

An incredible evening celebrating the 130th Birthday for The Grand Richmond

Following drinks and canapes, we were each given a rolling pin and asked to enter one of the dining rooms where they had this set up waiting for us...

Turns out we were going to each make our own fish baked in terracotta as one of the dishes we'd be eating later that night -- fun!

For mine, I put spring onions, olives, garlic, potatoes, rosemary, chillies, carrots, lemon slices and lemon zest

Next, we moved onto the other dining room where we were greeted by the most stunning display of cakes and lollies made my event planners The Three Piece Suit... WOW!

Pepper Crusted Venison Carpaccio, Goat Cheese Mousse and Beetroot

Agrodolce Quail with Porcini Mushroom Puree, Brussel Sprouts, Quail Egg and Black Truffles

Broad Bean, Pecorino & Mint Risotto

Mortadella Cappelletti In Brodo

My fish is ready!

The big reveal (so cool)...

Cone Bay Barramundi cooked in Terracotta
Ooooh yeahh....

Lemon Delizia -- Lemon Parfait with Soft Sponge Centre, Almond Crumble, Limoncello Gelee, Candied Lemons

So, it's been a while since I've been to a blogging event. Mainly because it's just been so insanely hectic at work so I've just been quite mentally exhausted from that. Most days, I prefer to just de-stress by exercising after work instead. That said, I saw the invite for this event about The Grand Richmond celebrating its 130th Birthday, was intrigued when I checked out the menu so decided to come join the party! And let's just say that I was very glad I did.

The event was a rather intimate dinner with the owners David, Katie, Barnie and Tiur were there to entertain and keep us company throughout the evening. It was great chatting with them that evening -- such lovely people. Now, on to the food...

We started off with the venison carpaccio, which I thought was prepared very well. Nice pepper crust against the tender, paper thin meat. Delicious. Then, we had the most succulent quail on a bed a velvety smooth and utterly unctuous mushroom puree. WOW. I thought they knocked it out of the park with this dish and I absolutely loved the Italian sweet and sour sauce (agrodolce) that it was cooked with. It had a very savoury, umami base with a sweet aftertaste. Plus, I did not mind that there was black truffles on there at all too. Was very happy with this dish.

Then, we moved onto what seemed like a very simple risotto but tasted nothing short of outstanding. You could hear a lot of "mmmmm" sounds being made from the table by this dish. Then, we had the mortadella cappalletti dish. I've never had this type of pasta before but really enjoyed the bite sized morsels. Filling was a little too salty for me but I did enjoy the light, clear broth that it came with.

Next, we had our terracotta fish and honestly, it was a lot more delicious than I thought. I used to make fish en papillotte (or in parchment) which was a similar concept to this one baked in clay but man, the fish that evening was SENSATIONAL. First of all, the fish was cooked to absolute perfection. The flavours and ingredients that it was paired with worked really well together too, if I do say so myself. But, the best part about this dish really was the fish itself. I've had Barramundi many a times but none of them tasted like this. It was very clean, fresh and you could actually taste a slight hint of natural saltiness. Most Barramundis can be quite bad and stinky but this wasn't the case at all. I later realised after talking to David and Katie that they only get their Barramunis from the Cone Bay fish mongers. Their Barramundis are caught straight from the ocean and not farmed or imported like how most ones are. No wonder........

Finally, we had a really sublime lemon dessert to cap off the evening. Most people know that I haven't got a sweet tooth myself but if I had to pick, I'd always go with a citrus dessert. This one was delicious and quite interactive to eat because there were so many different elements on the plate to taste so you constantly find yourself trying one after the other. It's fun.

Overall, I was very impressed by the food at The Grand. What sets them apart is that they are so good at presenting classic Italian food but with a very modern take. Lots of interesting ingredients (like the agrodolce) and ways of showcasing them in way that was very new and exciting for me to experience. It was a delicious meal from start to finish. The setting is so casual and relaxing too, which I like.

Other things I learned about The Grand is that they are the only pub in Victoria with a Chef's Hat accolade... Cool!  Plus, David and Katie were also telling us about some of the dinner party events that they throw at the restaurant from time to time. The themes that they have sound like so much fun and the tickets for them normally sell out pretty quickly too. Just based on this evening alone, I can tell that they are very good at hosting dinner events, which would be a fun thing to do instead of just going to a restaurant for an ordinary dinner. Oh and did you know that if you subscribe to their mailing list on the website you actually get to enjoy a 6 course degustation dinner (normally costs $85 per head) free of charge. Too cool! 

Again, had a great experience here at The Grand and I can't wait to take my Mum here when she visits from Malaysia next month. When was the last time you got to enjoy a beautiful 6 course dinner for $85! 

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