Embrasse Express Lunching

14 Mar

First Saturday off in FOREVER! So needless to say, I take this rare opportunity to part take in some Saturday leisurely lunching with my 2 favourite ladies N and Z.  Yep.  A Lady (Ladies) of Leisure! With all the time in the world… or at least a whole leisurely hour and 20 minutes, until we must vacate the table to allow for the next sitting.

I’d always heard about how AMAZING the food at Embrasse was, and for some reason I remember the brunch offering being highly celebrated.  Well Apparently not?  Well not this month anyway! It seems they are only doing the express lunch (2 course meal, with glass of wine and tea and coffee $35)!  I’m not sure if it was part of the Food and Wine Festival or a permanent change, but happy to try none the less.  Judging by the fast filling reservations (we were lucky to squeeze ourselves in for the 12pm booking) peoples high regard for Embrasse had not changed. Nothing like a sense of urgency to make you want something all the more.

fresh baked multi seed roll


The dining room is pleasant enough, the table cloth covered tables and clean surrounds creating a pleasant, clean ambiance.  Service is quick and efficient and within 30 seconds of being seated, I am offered water (tick) and wine (double tick…and a GOLD STAR).  Love being waited on.  Hate waiting to be waited on.

So shortly after our wine is poured we order (ladies of leisure but with a time limit) and bread is served! As soon as I was seated the first thing I noticed was that luscious looking perfectly sculpted blob of butter.  The bread was fresh and perfectly soft on the inside encased in a slightly harder outside.  A wonderful accompaniment to the creamy lashings of butter … or is it the other way around? Either way. YUM!

Kingfish lightly steamed, peas, seaweed, sea water froth

Shortly after, entrees were presented.  I ordered the Kingfish which was surprisingly satisfying given my habit of instinctively ordering every meat offering on a menu.  Plus I love peas! The Fish was steamed just enough so it wasn’t dry, and the textured crumbed encasing added the perfect balance.  Could have done without the Uber fancy sea water froth, but the seaweed and pea mash was a wonderful accompaniment.  N ordered the other entree on offer (we always make sure we order something different so we can do swapsies) of the Pork Belly.

Crispy Pork Belly, burnt carrot, pickled corn, apple/olive oil

The pork itself was to me, a little dry, but the apple oil and burnt carrot we well matched to give it some life again.  It wasn’t a bad dish, but the pork belly was very lean and so when deep fried, it lost that amazing fat-to-meat taste explosion that normally occurs when eaten.  You won’t hear me say this often, but glad I went with the seafood option over the meat…

Confit cornfed Bendigo Chicken Breast, beetroots, golden raisins, soy milk

Onto mains.  I went with the chicken (again, a day of exceptions.  I rarely choose chicken breast.  Breast to me equates to overcooked and dry…).  Now gotta say.  Embrasse gets presentation to a tee.  How can one not be a little excited when that is put in front of them, the beetroot ribbon glistening in all its glory.  Taste wise, this was good enough.  But I think that was largely due to the beetroot and raisin accompaniment.  So lesson learned.  Chicken breast ain’t my thing! N went with the other mains option of the Dory (she on the other hand will almost go the fish 87% of the time)

Dory cooked in rocket, cauliflower, rice, maharaja spice, radish, carrot

Having had a little taster (got to love being raised in the habit of sharing) I actually got a little (… a lot!) food envy.  The Dory was pan fried to perfection, slightly crisp on the top and succulently sweet in the center.  The rice was cooked really well and carried a slight sweetness which had so much flavour, could stand alone as a dish in itself.

So short lived this ‘Lady who Lunches’ experience!  Given the exceptional company, and good food, I wish we could have lingered.  But maybe that is also part of the reason it was so enjoyable.  We always long for the things that we can’t have….


312 Drummond Street




2 Responses to “Embrasse Express Lunching”

  1. hamish March 19, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    That looks amazing!
    except the portions look like a tease. You would just want the rest of that pork that got left in the kitchen.

    • doubledutchoven March 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

      SUCH a tease! 2 full courses of ‘reasonably’ portioned delicacies. How does one deal!!

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