Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Ezard for me
Last week I took a trip to Melbourne to have lunch at Ezard in Flinders Lane. The first highlight was seeing Bert and Patti Newton parked out the front in their swish Mercedes - Australian entertainment royalty I suppose!

The dining room is contemporary but not austere - lots of natural earthy colours interspersed with bright, clear greens. The restaurant is downstairs but high windows let in light so it doesn't feel too enclosed. We were seated at a table with a banquette - perfect for a leisurely (long) lunch. We started with a glass of French sparkling rosé - Gosset Grande Rosé, which was followed by a stunning array of French Champagnes throughout the day.

First course for me was the steamed blue swimmer crab wonton dumplings with coconut and lemongrass laksa ($24.50). There was something magical about this dish - the lemongrass broth was so refreshing and light. I chose the Wagyu beef with sake roasted mushrooms and shallot glaze for my main course ($65). Wow. It may be a big call, but I would seriously suggest this was the best beef dish I had ever had. The flavours were intoxicating and despite the fact I was quickly becoming very full, I just could not stop eating - it was amazing.

My three lunch partners and I shared all of the desserts (each around the $22 mark) because we just couldn't decide. My favourite was the honeycrunch icecream with toasted gingerbread - mmmmm. A lovely selection of cheeses ($26) saw us off for the day - four hours later and incredibly satisfied. The service was very attentive and the food, well, fantastic.

They seat up to 80 guests and regularly host weddings so do consider giving them a call or visiting their website when planning your reception. The central-city location makes it very convenient - the Westin Hotel is literally seconds away, along with many of the other big name hotels.

Images from their website to whet the appetite

All in all, a brilliant day.

Posted by Jane Cameron.