Thursday, 31 October 2013

Tasty tasty Taste {Taste Restaurant at Rutherglen}

In Rutherglen for the weekend and where to go for a special dinner? There are a few options in this little foodie orientated town but there was something about 'Taste' that caught my eye when I was researching a month ago. Open during the day for breakfast and lunch, it is a bright functional space that transitions from casual brunch to fine-dining dinner.

They do an $80 five-course degustation ($50 for matching wines) so our decision was easy. The wine list is largely local so it is a nice opportunity to try some Rutherglen wines at the same time.

The meal started with an Amuse-bouche- a very delicate beef carpaccio. Great ingredients prepared well, it was a taste of things to follow. Puns abound.

The first course was Slipper lobster roasted in garlic and chilli butter with broiled scampi and creamed cauliflower (with Balnarring pinot grigio/fruliano). A very elegant, perfectly balanced dish. Rich buttery sauce and just enough heat from the chilli to highlight the seafood without overwhelming it. As far as I'm concerned, creamed cauliflower is underused in today's society.

Seared scallops with creamed celeriac, prosciutto and white balsamic praline (with Campbell's Limited Release Chardonnay). I'm pretty sure the food gods created this dish just for us. The Bookworm LOVES scallops and I am addicted to salty cured meat, especially when it is served super crispy. The scallops were super fresh and tender and just gorgeous. The wine was gorgeous, rich stonefruit and really well integrated oak, it complemented the food perfectly.

House-made gnocchi with new season asparagus, five mushrooms and baby peas (with Morris sparkling shiraz/durif). I think this was my favourite dish, although the competition is fierce. Plump silky parcels of potato-goodness with a rich slightly salty, buttery, very moreish sauce. There really were 5 different types of mushrooms, the peas were missing but no-one cared. I was a bit sceptical about serving this with a sparkling red but the wine was rich and delicious with notes of blackcurrant, wine gums (it really did have that jubeyness), licorice and an earthiness that high-fived the mushrooms.

Lamb loin with confit shallots, garlic, mushrooms, kassler, saute potatoes, peas (with Chapel Hill il vescovo Tempranillo). A little bit of meat and three veg. We debated the value of this in a degustation but it is comforting to have something easy and recognisable. Particularly when it is so tasty. Simple food done very well. The wine wasn't a standout. The tempranillo had fairly grippy tannin without much fruit. It went well with the lamb but I wasn't that enamoured.

Cremé Brulée- coconut, lime and raspberry served with lemon curd and salted caramel crumble (With Stanton & Killeen Topaque). I am not a huge fan of Cremé Brulée. I often find it too rich and creamy without much flavour and feel a bit ill afterwards. This was different, rich? yes, but balanced by tanginess from the lime and raspberries. I really appreciate a good lemon curd and this was delicious. I wanted to lick the plate. The Bookworm is a massive fan of Cremé Brulée. He missed the overwhelming creamy richness of the standard variety but still agreed it was a good dish. The topaque was a lovely match. It is a fairly fresh fortified with some limey notes that worked really well.

After our meal Gavin (the chef and co-owner) came out and chatted to us. He was exceptionally friendly and we discussed which wineries we should visit the next day. He even offered us a lift back to our accommodation but we needed the walk to temper the food coma. The service throughout the evening was friendly and efficient. Last time we had a degustation (elsewhere) we felt rushed, with wine and food coming at us before we had barely finished the previous course. At the beginning of the evening we mentioned we wanted to take our time and the staff were excellent in adapting to our request.

Whilst the restaurant wasn't full the night we went, it doesn't hurt to book because if something special is on in town everything can get very busy. The weekend we were here the pub had shut due to a wedding which caused a bit of a local uproar.

'Taste' has only been open a little over a year but already has a great reputation with locals for elegant, well-priced, top quality food. My only regret is that we don't live closer to come here more often.

Taste @ Rutherglen on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments, whether you agree or disagree with me I would love to hear what you think.