To marrow. To marrow. I love you. Oh marrow.
If Annie had discovered the divine pleasures of bone marrow, surely she would have sung a different tune.
Marrow is the only thing on our minds when we head to BLACK by ezard, the latest venture by Melbourne chef Teage Ezard, opening at The Star casino. Ezard is the creative force behind two hat restaurant ezard and Asian street food diner Gingerboy.
BLACK dining room
BLACK signals a new direction for Ezard, delivering an Australian grill menu that focuses on beef and seafood. The venue is cool and slick, a mix of elegant booth seating and leather upholstered seats, fronted by floor-to-ceiling glass windows that look onto Pyrmont Bay.
Waterbath, toasting brioche burger buns, booth seating and cooking a lamb rack on the grill
The open kitchen provides a complimentary floor show for patrons. We note the water bath bubbling merrily away, used to cook all steaks sous vide according to the menu.
The bar at BLACK
Complimentary brioche with butter and volcanic black salt
Complimentary loaves of brioche are a decadent way to start the meal, and even though the bread is already yellow from the amount of butter used, it's hard not to slather on a little more, especially when it allows you to sprinkle on flakes of volcanic black salt too. Staff happily provide more brioche when we polish two mini loaves in a flash.
Organic farm egg $34
Potato cream, white Alba truffles, Iberico ham and herb salad
When faced with a dilemma over what to order, the best thing to do is share. We engineer a three-course degustation of entrees which allows us to sample everything we'd been eying lustfully on the menu. The organic farm egg is a buried within a nest of crunchy potato twigs, eventually spilling its runny yolk over a bed of potato cream.
Thin shavings of white Alba truffles are rather subdued in flavour but we relish the melting fattiness of the Iberico ham.
Beef tartare $25
Heirloom beets, mustard ice cream and puffed wild rice
The beef tartare is barely recognisable at first, hidden beneath a glossy red blanket of beetroot jelly. We find a pillow of tartare beneath the jelly - pre-mixed but seasoned well. I find the beetroot tends to overwhelm this dish with its earthiness but the grains of puffed wild rice give a pleasant textural contrast.
It's the marrow flan we'd all been looking forward, an artful arrangement of miniature brioche toasts topped with sauteed king brown mushrooms and globules of glistening marrow. It's a sinfully rewarding entree, from the quivering tower of celeriac cream, to the miniature fried quail egg and the eye-rolling fattiness of marrow treasure.
Rump cap grain fed wagyu MBS 9+ 250g $75
with marrow and shallot sauce $4
This isn't cheap dining. You can find a main at $29 for homemade gnocchi but the rest move upwards from $42. Steaks on the woodfire grill start at $45 for the grass fed 200g Angus fillet and top out at $140 for the dry aged grain fed one kilogram Angus T-bone (recommended to share among the table).
Lex's rump cap is one of the more unusual cuts available. Commonly available at Brazilian churrasco and known as picanha, the rump cap is one of the juiciest cuts you can get. It's soft, fatty and flavoursome, made even better with a splash of marrow and shallot sauce that is poured at the table.
Scotch fillet grain fed Angus MBS 4+ 300g $65
with truffle butter $8
Suze has the scotch fillet with truffle butter - we find the butter tastes more of mushroom than truffle. On a side note, although the use of sous vide does mean consistently tender meat, do others find a hollow trade off with texture? Sous vide often seems to involve a loss in toothsome chewiness that is half the carnivorous pleasure in eating meat.
Rib eye dry aged grass fed Angus 400g $52
with marrow and shallot sauce $4
I'd gone for the 400g dry aged grass fed Angus rib eye, a satisfying slab of meat cooked and served on the bone. It's cooked to perfection, although the fattiness of the meat combined with the extra marrow in the sauce causes some shallow breathing at one point.
Wood grilled vegetables with Romesco sauce $9; buttered potato puree $10;
We share a mix of side dishes - the potato gratin is perhaps a little strongly flavoured with dill and the pieces of chorizo in the cos salad are tiny. The wood grilled vegetables include cauliflower, eggplant and zucchini smothered in Romesco sauce and toasted almonds. We unanimously love the buttered potato puree which is thick and creamy with butter, and silky smooth on the tongue.
Apple pound cake $19
Calvados ice cream, walnut crumble and golden raisin syrup
Desserts range in price from $18 to $22. There is heated debate at our table as to whether a pound cake should be described as 'heavy' or 'light' which leads us to order the apple pound cake so we can settle the argument. Although we obliterate the syrup soaked pound cake and the boozy Calvados ice cream, it still doesn't lead to any clear resolution.
Clover honey parfait, ginger biscuit, honeycomb and cinnamon
Honeycrunch is an elegant presentation of clover honey parfait coated in fine crumbs of ginger biscuits. The shard of honeycomb is delicately bubbled but it's the white powder beneath it that has us puzzled. Only clarification from the waiter confirms it as cinnamon powder much to Noods' delight, who guessed correctly.
Warm couverture ganache, banana ice cream and hazelnut mousse
The description of the chocolate dessert on the menu fails to adequately convey the spectacle involved with this dish. It arrives as an orb of chocolate over which the waiter pours a warm couverture ganache. In a scene somewhat similar to the eight texture chocolate cake at Quay, we watch the chocolate slowly melt and fall in upon itself.
The chocolate shell caves in upon itself to reveal the scoop of banana ice cream inside. It's a fun dessert that tastes like a molten Ferrero Rocher dessert, particularly with the rubble of hazelnuts at the bottom of the dish.
End scene and fade to black.
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BLACK by Ezard
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Steak - Chophouse, Sydney (1.7kg tomahawk)
Steak - Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney
Steak - Steersons, Sydney (1kg T-bone)
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11/28/2011 01:49:00 a.m.