ezard – melbourne food and wine festival

zucchini flowers

As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Ezard Restaurant held a vegetarian (with a vegan option) degustation with matched wines from the vegetarian winemaker Mark at South Gippsland wine producer Caledonia Australis.

A group of eight of us booked a table to enjoy.

I should say firstly that the dinner was very much about the wine, and we were not disappointed there. There were no mean pours, our glasses were generously filled and quite often refilled or topped up.  The food was designed around the wine and was intended to complement the wine rather than the more usual other way round.

I’ve never been to Ezard before, but based on rave reviews from other vegan food enthusiasts, I had very, very high expectations.

The first couple of courses were OK, even a little disappointing,  but the food picked up as we moved along. I would have paid the full price just for course number three, the zucchini flowers. It was the kind of food where every mouthful sings.

I was told by two people there, that the dishes in the usual vegan degustation are at that high standard, so I’d be happy to try again.

I’m not complaining *a lot*, but the food was a bit patchy and I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect consistently great food at that price level. But when it was good it was sublime.

We started with champagne on arrival and an amuse bouche and went on from there. Three and a bit hours later we left, replete. 🙂

So here it is:

Amuse bouche – smoky tomato, cucumber, rice crisps

tomato amuse bouche

 

Salad of pickled and raw vegetables, olive soil, orange gel, shallot and hazelnut dressing

2010 Caledonia Australis Chardonnay

Nice, but a bit difficult to eat as the raw vegetables were difficult to cut without them flying off the plate…

fresh and pickled vegetable salad

 

Blood plum poached, persimmon, black fig with a mint dressing and sesame quinoa crumble

2003 Caledonia Australis Chardonnay

Something was wrong here, we got rice crisps, not the crumble and there wasn’t a hint of dressing. The dish was really pretty bland as a result which was a disappointment.

plum, persimmon, fig

 

Home made rice noodles, plum wine broth, zucchini flower stuffed with tofu, chilli sambal and black bean

2012 Caledonia Australis Pinot Noir

This was seriously good, sensational flavours, contrasting textures, utterly delicious.

zucchini flowers

 

Hay baked salted potato, mushrooms, black barley, beetroot chips, rocket

2009 Caledonia Australis Pinot Noir

Pretty damn yummy, though I think my potato was a little bit underdone.

potato and mushroom

 

Berries and sorbet (strawberry, coconut, blackberry?)

2011 Friends of Punch Noble Riesling

fruit sorbet

 

 
187 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9639 6811

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