J & I recently celebrated our anniversary with an 8-course degustation at Piccalilly in Battery Point. They are offering a winter deal for this menu: only $86 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights (instead of the usual $122) - fantastic value.
Coconut and wasabi salad: this amuse dish was very mild, with slices of coconut meat plus a coconut jelly and wasabi sprinkles, I couldn't taste the wasabi in mine. I've read online of other wonderful amuse dishes at Piccalilly and I think we might have been a bit unlucky with the offering on the night we were there.
Bread: we were offered a choice of sourdough or linseed, and a choice of salted butter, olive oil or French butter. The sourdough was lovely and soft, with a deliciously salty crust and subtly sour interior.
Yellowtail kingfish ceviche with miso and pickled white radish: the radish and fish were draped with the miso jelly, and the end of a pipette peeks out. The pipette contained yuzu, chardonnay vinegar and olive oil and you squeeze it out to cure the fish. The presentation of the dish was just gorgeous, but it wasn't one of my favourites, as I think it was a little bit overwhelmed by the astringency of either the pickled radish or the vinegar in the pipette.
You can see a picture of this dish on the Piccalilly blog here.
Vegetable salad with Meredith's marinated fetta: this was completely and utterly amazing. The fetta was slightly warm and soft and melted on your tongue. The vegetables were mostly baby, and were cooked to perfection. From memory, there were carrots, beetroot, brussel sprouts, snow peas, and a couple of others that I have forgotten, all set on a bed of sliced fennel. Beautiful, and one of my favourite courses.
Fish with various onions and roasted onion essence: this dish can also be seen on the Piccalilly blog. We had latchet, and it was cooked perfectly with an terrifically crunchy batter considering how thin it was. I tend to avoid onions, but all components of this were lovely, particularly the caramelised and pureed brown onions - so sweet. The other onion preparations included crispy shallots, pickled white onions, confit garlic and glazed spring onions.
Mount Gnomon Farm Wessex Saddleback pork shoulder mornay with egg yolk pasta, crackling and sweet corn puree: this can be seen here. The pork was wonderfully tender. The bechamel sauce had me tempted to lick the plate, and the cracking was expectedly delicious with an unexpected (yet nice!) hint of a marzipan-like flavour.
Fizzy raspberry palate cleanser: a little shot glass of raspberry cordial was presented with two little white rocks that we were instructed to drop into the glass to dissolve for a minute. I tasted the cordial before and after adding the fizz, and interestingly although it added a tingle to the cordial, it also mellowed the pure and tart flavour of the raspberries.
Slow cooked goat shoulder with grains, chickpea puree and cucumber foam, which can be seen here. My other favourite course - the textures and flavours in this dish were divine. The combination of ingredients worked beautifully, and I loved the mixture of the grains, which included black rice, pearl barley, burghul, faro and quinoa. Stunning.
Dry-aged Longford eye fillet with piccalilly and cured red cabbage: this dish can be seen here. The beef cheek was beautifully rare and full of flavour, and I loved the crispiness of the edges (although J was less keen on this). The pastry on the miniature beef Wellington was melt-in-the-mouth.
Goat's cheese, bread and quince: definitely my least favourite course - I just can't handle the flavour of goat cheese no matter how much I try! The cheese was a soft style with a white mould rind, and had been warmed so that the insides were wonderfully gooey. It was served with a very thinly sliced fruit and nut bread and segments of poached quince.
Dark chocolate ice-cream with honey and 30 second hazelnut sponge: this is pictured here. It was fantastic - each component was very tasty on their own and when combined together... delicious! The ice-cream was deceptively rich and chocolatey despite the pale colour. The fizzy honey jelly balanced the richness perfectly.
What a meal!
We also decided to indulge in some wine for the occasion, and started with a bottle of 2008 Tiberio Pecorino ($55/bottle), and this sat very nicely against the first half of our meal. We then had some red wine for the red meat dishes, and the Storm Bay Merlot ($7.50/glass) and Turner's Crossing Shiraz Viognier ($8.50/glass) were both fantastic, I particularly enjoyed the shiraz. Finally, the Pirie Clark's Botrytis Riesling ($8.50/glass) was completely delicious with the chocolate dessert.