Following my previous post, the birthday celebrations continued with a lunch at Taxi Dining Room to celebrate Ms G’s birthday and my own birthday along with Ms G and Mr D’s engagement. Mr H and Ms K joined us for the festivities as a surprise. It was great catching up with everyone to celebrate together.
We all chose to have the special Bento set which consisted of 4 courses for $48.50. We all thought this was a good deal and the food looked quite appealing so we all decided to go with this. The only option that we needed to pick was the main course. We all decided to share each main with each other so that we could taste both options. The food whilst being small in portion was really lovely and the presentation of each dish was impeccable. My only complaint about the lunch would be that I did not indulge in enough dessert as the dessert portion was small and having a massive sweet tooth I was craving more dessert after the meal…but I couldn’t be too greedy as I knew I’d be indulging in much more dessert at dinner. The white wine was flowing throughout the lunch and everyone at the table started sharing funny stories they remembered about each other or friends we knew. The laughter was endless and the stories were plentiful. We were all eager to find out how Mr D proposed to Ms G and as they told us their story, it was very romantic – involving a hand made story book about the couple. Congratulations Ms G and Mr D…I’m looking forward to when Ms G becomes Mrs GDRZ ;P
Photos from the lunch:
The Bento Menu
Seeded Wholemeal Bread Roll
1st and 2nd course: Market fresh salmon sashimi with Taxi dressing and Shinshu miso soup with shimeji mushrooms and spring onion
3rd Course: Confit chicken raviolo with parmesan, asparagus and macadamia – this was a really nice dish!
3rd Course: Roasted John Dory with Spring vegetables, sage and crab tortellini
4th Course: Dessert – Yarra Valley berries with goat’s curd sorbet and strawberry consomme
After resting up before dinner, I got ready to go out again for another food adventure. This time it was to Ezard for a degustation in which I went into a food coma. I think dessert pushed me over the edge and I was slightly cursing my sweet tooth for indulging so much into dessert. I have been to Black by Ezard in Sydney twice and have always enjoyed my meal there. They do great steaks and have really nice desserts. I celebrated my birthday last year with my family at Black and they all enjoyed their meals. I have also been to Gingerboy twice in Melbourne and have enjoyed their hawker style Asian street food. I remember eating this fabulous white chocolate tofu cheesecake there one time and it was really amazing that I wished I could go back to just order that one dessert dish. Unfortunately it’s no longer on the menu but it will be forever reminisced as one of my favourite restaurant dessert dishes. I have never been to Ezard before so I was keen to try this restaurant and it recently was awarded “The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Diner’s Choice Award” so it made me even more curious to see what the food was like. I opted for a vegetarian degustation as I usually do while Mr Muscles opted for the normal degustation.
Each degustation is an 8 course tasting menu with each course having a lot of Asian influence through each dish. I can say that I didn’t dislike any course and each one was very enjoyable. Mr Muscles seemed to also enjoy each course as well. My favourite dish of the night had to be the polenta dish. Polenta served with mushrooms, peas, a mini poached egg, parmesan crisp and truffle oil. While polenta can be quite heavy, as this was a small portion it was very enjoyable. Mr Muscle’s favourite dish of the night was the citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt with tangerine vinaigrette dish. He couldn’t stop raving on about the flavours and the texture of the dish that it was consumed within minutes. And of course we decided to order the dessert tasting platter which was quite a large serving of desserts and when it was placed on our table, a huge smile swept across my face as I couldn’t wait to try each one. My favourite dessert dish was the pannacotta as I always choose pannacotta if it’s on the menu for dessert and also the honeycomb ice cream with toasted gingerbread. Even though they were small portions, I was getting very full at this point but it’s as if my stomach decided to open up even more space somewhere deep inside to allow me to eat these desserts. Some of these desserts were too good to share and you would often here me say to Mr Muscles “Oh but you don’t like pannacotta…Oh you don’t like honeycomb..” to which he would just stare at me in amazement and confusion but often letting me try most of the desserts anyway =)
Photos from dinner at Ezard:
Different Flavoured Salt and Pepper for the bread. This was really nice and I usually don’t like pepper but once the bread was dipped in the rosemary olive oil along with the different salts and peppers, the flavours worked well together.
VEGETARIAN: sweet corn and basil soup with red curry oil with a tofu shooter – I really loved the soup which was served warm. It appears to look heavy but was actaully very light. The tofu shooter however wasn’t as enjoyable as it looked as the flavours didn’t really go with the tofu and the strong sake flavour was probably more suited to the oyster which was the original dish.
japanese inspired oyster shooter
VEGETARIAN: salad of baby beetroot, asparagus, parmesan custard, white truffle vinaigrette – I really enjoyed this dish as I love beetroot. Very fresh and light.
citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt, tangerine vinaigrette – Mr Muscles couldn’t stop raving about this dish so I’ll have to take his word for it.
VEGETARIAN: steamed spiced tofu with chilli, fragrant oils and crispy sweet potato – I liked this dish as I really enjoy eating tofu. Tofu is a big staple for me in my diet and I loved how the crispy sweet potato strings contrasted the very smooth silken tofu. It was also surprisingly not too chilli as I have a very low tolerance to chilli in food but was glad that it was more mild than hot.
steamed blue swimmer crab dumpling with yarra valley salmon roe, celery cress and tom kha – I tried a bit of this as I was curious to see what the flavours were like. I enjoyed this dish and wished there was a bigger portion. The crab dumpling was very flavoursome but when added with the tom kha soup, there was even more layers of flavour and added some spice and richness to the dish.
VEGETARIAN: soft white polenta with sauteed mushrooms, peas, poached egg, parmesan crisp, truffle oil – This was my most favourite dish of the night and not just because I love polenta but it was soft, rich and moreish that I wanted to have a main course size of this. The mushrooms worked well together with the mini poached egg that was placed on top of the polenta. The parmesan crisp gave it a nice crunch to contrast the soft and smooth flavour of the polenta. YUM ;P
salad of baby beetroot, asparagus and serrano jamon, parmesan custard and black truffle vinaigrette – similar to the vegetarian version I had but with serrano jamon.
VEGETARIAN: roasted jerusalem artichoke, celeriac cream, asparagus, soft herbs and chive oil – I’m not a big fan of artichoke so I didn’t really enjoy this dish as much. The flavours were nice but it felt a bit heavy for me. I started to regret loading up on the bread in the beginning of the meal at this stage.
pan roasted baby barramundi with caramelised eggplant, tomato and lime salad, yellow curry dressing
VEGETARIAN: sesame rice noodle roll with asian mushrooms, soy mirin broth, black bean crumbs – I was looking forward to this dish as I had seen photos from other people’s blogs about this dish and also because I love rice noodles, however this dish was way too rich for me. The broth whilst very fragant, was too rich and very salty for my liking so I left most of the broth in my bowl. I did enjoy the rice noodle rolls and the mushrooms but it would have been better with a less saltier broth.
slow cooked bangalow pork belly, apple pudding, fennel, celeriac and calvados jus – Mr Muscles only qualm about this dish is that pork belly should have crackling and the dish was lacking this crunch factor.
VEGETARIAN: handmade potato gnocchi, manchego, dried olive, cauliflower, raisins and toasted brioche crumble – I’m not really a fan of potato gnocchi and by this stage I was starting to get quite full. The dish was really heavy and the cheese and the toasted brioche made the dish feel even more heavier when eaten. I passed most of this off to Mr Muscles to finish off as I couldn’t finish the serving myself. He agreed that this dish was very heavy. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night.
eight score sher wagyu beef, potato terrine, garlic and red wine jam, mushroom soil, bordelaise jus
AND now to the much anticipated dessert tasting platter:
Dessert Tasting Platter to Share consisting of:
- espresso chocolate marquise, soft meringue, raspberry gel, blood orange sorbet – I did not really enjoy this as it was very rich and bitter and I am not a fan of anything with coffee in it
- fromage frais pannacotta, poached rhubarb, strawberry water, saffron fairy floss – I really enjoyed this and the pannacotta paired well with the rhubarb and strawberry water
- pistachio frangipane, caramelised strawberries, tonka bean ice cream – This was a dense type of cake but I didn’t mind it and the ice cream gave it another texture when eaten together.
- honeycrunch ice cream, toasted gingerbread and sugar swirl – I loved this dish as the ice cream was really scrumptuous and you would get tiny pieces of honeycomb when you bit into the ice cream. Ice cream + gingerbread = success!
- sable of apple and pear, earl grey tea creme brulee, lemongrass jelly, cider sorbet – I only tried a bit of this as I had gorged out on all the other desserts. I loved the earl grey tea creme brulee as I love earl grey in desserts. It reminded me of a time I ate at Arras in Walsh Bay in Sydney and they had an earl grey dessert that was so good I wanted more. The sable was very nice and had a good crunch to it in contrast to the smoothness of the creme brulee.
- salted caramel parfait, chocolate peanut butter crunch, pressed paw paw and blackberry syrup – I didn’t try this as I’m not much of a fan of salted caramel or peanut butter in my desserts but Mr Muscles told me this was quite a good dessert after demolishing it.
I was super full after the dessert and was in a serious food coma but it was really worth it. I would definitely go back to Ezard especially for their desserts.
We ended up having a few drinks after dinner with friends to celebrate further. I was so full though at this point that I could not enjoy the cocktails as much. However it was a great way to cap off the birthday celebrations – lots of fun and laughter throughout the day, indulging in food and just enjoying the atmosphere of melbourne with great company.
Some Syringe Cocktails we had to celebrate 😉 What an awesome and creative gimmick!
Taxi Dining Room
Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square
Cnr Flinders Street and Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
187 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9639 6811
Lunch Mon-Fri 12:00pm-2:30pm
Dinner Mon-Sat 6:00pm-10:30pm
Till next time!