Gordon NSW 2072
02 9498 8575
It's not often that we find a good modern Australian cuisine restaurant out in the suburbs. There's one in the leafy north shore suburb of Gordon, although how long this place remains leafy is yet to be seen, no thanks to the massive medium density development that's going on at the moment. But let's talk less about the sorry state of NSW's real estate and generally suburbia-related planning issues and get back to talking about the main point, which is the food.
A & I walk past this restaurant very often, en route to and from the station. It's a little unassuming restaurant. It doesn't stand out, and its darkish decor certainly doesn't scream out for attention. Really the only reason we see it is because we walk past it so often. Otherwise we would not know of its existence.
They have a small blackboard outside which changes from time to time, informing passers by of the latest promotions that they have, and this latest one felt like it was good enough to take up, finally taking the plunge to visit this little place so close to home. So, one fateful night, rather than saying that "we should try this place sometimes" we said, "let's go try this place tonight." Before taking the plunge, of course, I do my due diligence and I turn to my trusty o' Google to see what others (if any) have said about this restaurant. Of course, like most restaurant reviews, it's either really good or really bad, but the overall impression and score was quite good, so my confidence rose a little.
I should point out that on the numerous occassions that I have passed by this place, the number of patrons has varied from zilch to full, so it is very misleading and perhaps, a little disconcerting. Meaning it's either very bad and people only ever come just the once, or, it has its core group of regulars that comes every so often, and the other nights are just.. well... empty...
We decided to go on a Saturday night. Being a Saturday night you'd think that the place should be relatively full, but for some strange reason, I confidently told A that there's no need to book. We'll just go when we're ready. Which we did.
You know, if you ever want to book out an entire restaurant for that special dinner with that special someone, lemme offer you an alternative. Try your luck at Melange. We enjoyed a special dinner for 2 people, just the 2 of us, without any other annoying or noisy tables disturbing us. No screaming kids or crying babies. No drunken groups of teenagers making a rukus. just a gorgeous, quiet dinner for 2, with very attentive service just for us. Had I known it was going to be so special I would've planned it to be more than just a dinner.
It's a full house...
Should I talk about the food then? To see if it warrants another visit?
We went for the dinner special, which was $39 per person 3 course meal. Entree was a shared platter, and we each got to choose our own main and dessert.
It certainly is different. I'm not sure if I'd describe it as modern Australian though...
Entrée share platter: salt & pepper squid, crepe and spring rolls
The Entree: There was salt and pepper squid, mushroom crepe, and a spring roll look-alike number. The crepe was quite good. nicely balanced flavours. I can't say the same about the salt and pepper squid, which was more salt than pepper or squid, and the spring roll really was just that- a spring roll.
Steak with mushroom sauce and potatoes
I have to admit though, that my steak was brilliantly cooked, a perfect medium rare, and with excellent texture. It was a little on the plain side, however. The sauce and the mushroom, on the other hand, were how should I put it? Not much difference from tasting sea water. This was not that big a deal, as I continued to eat the steak as is... it appears that my palate has moved towards the lighter side of the spectrum anyways. Until, with only a few more bites to go, I realised that by having the potato, a bit of the steak and a reasonable amount of mushroom sauce altogether, it actually meshed quite well! Looks like this is a dish I cannot eat Masterchef style - ie, tasting everything separately, but rather, to enjoy the dish as a whole. I may need to go back and try this again...
Excuse the bad photo- the steak is just the way I like it
A ordered the special off the blackboard - the blue salmon et al. I think she thought the flavours were a bit thin. I had a bite and thought it was not too shabby.
Blue Salmon with mushroom tortellini, veloute sauce, ginger, garlic and shallots
They were quite... um... pedestrian... The sticky date pudding had a strange texture... I'm not sure if it was meant to be done this way but it was.. erm.... chewy... which felt... wrong.
Sticky date pudding
Chocolate and hazelnut torte
The wine that I brought to accompany the meal was a 2005 Mclaren Vale Cockfighter's Ghost Shiraz. I'm pretty damn sure both the 2003 and 2004 were excellent. Maybe 2005 was not a good year for the Shiraz... Unfortunately, it really was unpleasant and really only went well when I had a mouthful of steak/mushroom sauce/potatoes. I really didn't like it... I'm hoping that it was an one-off and I just happened on a dud bottle...
2005 Mclaren Vale Cockfighter's Ghost Shiraz
The accompanying watch for the night was an Omega Speedmaster Professional Caliber 321 from the late 60s. This watch is the same generation as the ones that were worn on the moon. Yes the watch is older than me by a couple of decades, but a classic design will always be that- a classic design. Omega has not changed the design of this watch at all for the past 50 years, and if they know what's good for them, they'll leave this design untouched for the next 50.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Cal 321
I suppose I should ask myself this one question about Melange. Would I go back again? Hmmm... probably not... I think there are better places for the money, but at least when I pass by the place now I would no longer need to wonder.