03 June 2010

Attica Restaurant, Melbourne - World Class!





Recently a Melbourne restaurant was voted #73 in the San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant Awards, this is some achievement and something for all of us in this country to be rightly proud of. Attica restaurant in Ripponlea is an exciting restaurant headed by an exceptional chef in Ben Shewry, and we were very excited when we were invited by Ben himself to try his cuisine. Ben Shewry and Attica have had an amazing 12 months with the restaurant being awarded 2 hats in the Good Food Guide Awards (should be 3 in our opinion!), and Ben being the first Victorian chef to present at the prestigious Madrid Fusion. We have known Ben for a while now and know that his food is world class and this was highlighted at the recent dinner we had at Attica. We dined with our good friend and chef Adam Melonas who was visiting Australia from Spain on a promotional trip, including an appearance on Masterchef Australia. Ben prepared a special menu for us above and it can only be described as sensational. I would like to focus on the desserts presented that night but you can read more on the other dishes on the links below, including Ben's famous potato dish (final image) which he demonstrated in Spain earlier this year. It is truly one of the best dishes we have eaten in a long time and the recipe is included in the links below. The desserts however were brilliant, these are the best desserts we have eaten for some time and it is amazing that there is no pastry chef at the restaurant as Ben creates all of the dishes himself. His philosophy in food, apart from using the freshest, seasonal and sustainable ingredients, is to create dishes with maximum taste, contrasts in texture and temperature as well as astounding presentation. The dish at the top of the page is Ben's "Terroir" it is a fabulous symphony of flavours and texture. It includes the following components: 
  • Beetroot & Organic Almond Cake
  • Dried Fruits - including Cranberries, Cherries & Raspberries
  • Freeze Dried Fruits
  • Wild Sour Clover
  • Sorrel Sorbet
  • Murray River Salt
  • 4 Spice 
  • Toasted Barley
This really was such an interesting and more importantly, delicious dish. It has opened up avenues of possibilities for us to explore in our plated dessert work and we can't wait to try some of the flavour combinations out ourselves. The final dessert was brand new, hence no image as yet. Ben explained the dish to us and it was a heavenly mix of Autumnal flavours, perfect for a chilly night. A custard flavoured with black olive, molasses and anise was topped expertly with freshly grated celery, a granny smith apple distillation, grated pink lady apples and an apple skin made from biodynamic braeburn's from the Mornington Peninsula. The dish was topped with the most amazing 'shredded wheat' crumble that added a delicate toasted edge to the acidic tones in the dish. The custard brought it all together and it was a joy to eat. This really was a great dining experience and Ben deserves all of the accolades that come his way. His dedication is superb, as he and his team forage for most of the wild shoots and seaweeds that adorn most of the dishes at Attica and his knowledge of these areas is second to none. Please try to visit Attica if you get the chance and check out these links below for more information, including Adam's blog of the night. Thanks Ben and we hope to work more closely with you in the future.
    Useful Links:
    Also just a quick mention of the excellent, warm and professional service at Attica - thank you!

    6 comments:

    Thermomixer said...

    He is such a great person and so generous. So enthusiastic. So dedicated. To drive up from Ocean Grove and then home usually after midnight, he has lots of energy.

    Thanks for the link to the Snow Crab recipe. I had the potato one from a cooking class where the smoke detectors went berserk with the coconut husk and eyes watered. Still the result was worth it.

    Do you know who started sorrel sorbet? Was it Redzepi ? It is so refreshing.

    Unoffifal pictures of the apple dessert can be found HERE & HERE

    Cheers

    lostpastremembered said...

    That photo of the terroir dessert is spectacular... thanks so much for sharing!!!

    Gregg said...

    It's worth pointing out the full recipe for Terroir can be found in the cook book "coco"

    Burch & Purchese said...

    Jeff:

    Thanks again for all you positive comments. Ben is certainly very generous and its lucky for us he's right here in Melbourne! Not sure who started sorrel sorbet, we used to do one at Fenix a while ago. It is one of my favourite flavours. Thanks for the photo's!

    Deana:

    Our pleasure! Thanks for your continued support.

    Gregg:

    Thanks for pointing that out, forgot Ben was in that book.

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