Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spring 2010 Menu

It’s that time again… New menu time! It’s time to tempt you all with our new dishes and Travis’ beautiful photographs (to see the menu click here).

On returning from Melbourne we wrote a mostly new menu but included a couple of favourites that we weren’t keen to see the end of yet. Since our last menu we have managed to get our hands on quite a few new plates so a couple of old dishes have been re-vamped to suit.

We will start with Raw yellowtail Kingfish with ginger and watermelon. Quite simple as it sounds, raw sliced king fish with fresh watermelon - but we have also added tiny pieces of lime, cabbage shoots, a little bit of green chilli oil (which is invisible on the black plate until it touches the white Kingfish). The ginger is in a pipette, along with corn syrup, yuzu juice and light soy sauce to be applied to the dish to the diner’s taste.

The good old Vegetable salad with Meredith’s marinated feta remains (although technically there is some fruit on the plate too). This dish changes quite often as different veggies come in and out of season, but the dish is always tied together with the combination of hazelnuts and the wonderful Meredith’s goats’ cheese. Some of the vegetable items are cooked sous vide, some are blanched and some simply raw. Textures vary from soft to crispy and, as there are so many differing elements, each mouthful is different in both flavour and texture.

The Local white fish with various onions and roasted onion essence is another dish that has been on Piccalilly’s menu in the past. The onions prepared in various ways: caramelised brown onion puree; confit garlic; raw, crispy and sous vide shallots; glazed spring onions; pickled white onions; raw red onions and chives with a couple of slices of red radish. The roasted onion essence uses red onions and the principles of ice clarification to extract only the sweetest juices. The onion essence contains so much pectin that it sets quite firmly in the refrigerator. The fish in this case is latchet however it changes from day-to-day. All our fish comes from Mako Fresh Fish.

Chicken liver and cinnamon parfait with wood sorrel and pickled beetroot is our nod to all the livers we ate when last in Melbourne. The parfait is created from chicken livers, salt, red wine vinegar and the obligatory butter; then set into cylinders and coated in cinnamon and honey jelly. Pickled beetroot retains its crunch and colour through the pickling process in Pendleton red wine vinegar. We forage wood sorrel and wood sorrel flowers from a couple of local Battery Point gardens. We also have yuzu panagratta, dehydrated orange zest, Cypriot salt and salted cinnamon biscotti.

White rabbit with pea and ham veloute and turtle beans is a simple dish of green pea puree let out with ham stock to a silky consistency. We then add rabbit, in this case rack, loin, kidney and liver (but we also use hind and fore legs as well as the belly and flank of the rabbit). A piece of golden-fried ham and buttery black turtle beans top the pea sauce with roasted carrot oil and chervil shoots to complete the dish. We will allow you to make up your own mind as to what it all represents.

 In our Mount Gnomon rare-breed pork shoulder with sweet corn mousse and carrot syrup dish the pork is cooked in butter and its own juices for around 30 hours. We mousse fresh sweet corn using algae and again use ice clarification to extract the essence of organic carrots, which on top of which the corn mousse floats. Pork crackling and South Australian caper berries add crunch and acid to cut the silky richness of the mousse and the pork. Click here to see Mount Gnomon's blog

Our Baked mushrooms with mushroom tea and confit egg yolk dish has appeared on several menus over the last couple of years, however this time it has had a re-working. There are no longer sauté mushrooms on the plate as they are now baked to allow their individual textures to come through and we have added thyme and avocado puree to the base of the dish for richness and an interesting favour combination. The mushroom tea is clarified mushroom essence infused with parsley, thyme and sage and poured at the table. The egg yolk is confit in olive oil at 62.4°C for 120 minutes and topped with Cypriot salt. Read about one of our local mushroom suppliers here

For the Slow-cooked goat shoulder with grains and chic pea puree dish the goat shoulder is cooked at 70°C for 40 hours before being crisped in a very hot pan and seasoned. It sits on top of black rice, soybeans, farroh, bhurgal, and barley, black, white and red quinoa and millet each cooked individually before being mixed with preserved lemon and vinegar. Chic pea and garlic puree and house-made labneh add moisture to the dish while toasted almonds add crunch, and fresh mint and cucumber foam add freshness. We use Boer goat meat from Rivendale Boer Goat Stud in Craddock, Huon Valley click here.

Rolled duck breast with duck leg Bolognese and prune puree was a dish we created for a VIP who had never tasted duck before, so we tried to do something a little bit different and also to try and use the whole duck. The breast is trussed before being cooked at 85°C for 4 minutes before being rested. It is then rolled in salt and herbs. For the Bolognese we mince duck leg meat by hand before caramelising it in a hot pan and deglazing it with fresh tomato puree and cooking it down until it is almost dry. We then add carrot and onion for sweetness. On top is a duck cracker, much like a prawn cracker but made with duck mousse set in the oven and shallow-fired until it is puffy and crisp. Prunes are rehydrated and cooked with caramelised onion before being pureed with a little bit of stock to create a silky puree, and a splash of brown chicken sauce floods the bottom of the bowl.

Dry-aged Longford eye fillet with umami and horseradish includes the dry-aged fillet has been a staple on the menu since the day we opened but this is the first time it has been plated without piccalilly (the relish) being involved. Instead we have added an umami (click here for more information) rich dashi stock for its strong savoury flavour. Dashi is the base of most Japanese cooking and comprises kombu seaweed and bonito dried tuna flakes. It is rich in umami, which is the 5th distinguishable flavour on the human tongue otherwise known as “savoury”. The many Asian cultures have known about umami for a long time but we in the west have only just really discovered it. It is found naturally in high quantities in foods like tomatoes, parmesan and Thai fish sauce - and lots in bacon and in a refined form in MSG. The umami stock is added at the table over a blob of spiced orange bitters jelly, which melts and becomes part of the sauce. Horseradish and beef are old friends and I think that this too adds a savouriness to the beef. Lastly there is a cube of 40-hour beef cheek just in case the dish wasn’t rich enough.

Textures of Tasmanian apples is the first of our sweet dishes. We use Jonathan and Granny Smith apples and prepare them in various different ways without adding much at all apart from a little bit of sugar and a bit of algae. We have dehydrated apple, apple sorbet, apple marshmallow, apple juice, apple foam, apple jelly, raw apple and poached apple. Simple.

To make Mock coconut pina colada we produce a little mock coconut through a long process of setting coconut sorbet into hemisphere moulds, scooping out the center, filling it with liquid frozen Lark’s Island Rum Syrup, sticking two halves together and sealing the seam, then brushing a couple of layers of chocolate onto the outside. It is delivered to the table with two salads, one made with the flesh and jellied liquid of an immature coconut along with pineapple compote, dehydrated pineapple and mint; and the other a salad made from the flesh and jellied liquid of a mature coconut with mint and pineapple. The two fresh coconuts have very different flavors and textures and it’s a nice expression of the same product at different stages of its life.

Untraditional black forest gateau  is chocolate and hazelnut sponge batter cooked to order so it is still warm which is then soaked in kirsch and plated along side sour cherries, sour cherry gel, kirsch cream and aerated crushed chocolate. All the elements of a black forest cake are present but in an untraditional way.

The process of preparing Soft centered chocolate and violet mousse with crystalised blossoms begins by adding another algae-based compound that is commonly used in commercial confectionery (and also in Hollywood movies) to slightly thicken a French violet liquor before it is frozen into disks. We then set each disk into the centre of a larger dish of dark chocolate mousse so that when the mousse is disturbed the violet liquid will run out. We top the mousse with a little chocolate nest made using ice and chocolate and crystalised blooms - in this case violets, pansies and nasturtiums.

If you would like any more information on any of the ingredients or dishes we have mentioned here please let us know. Otherwise we look forward to seeing you at Piccalilly to see it all for yourself…

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