A birthday dinner at Montrachet

Montrachet

You know the place people keep telling you about? The one everyone says is the epitome of that particular cuisine in your city? The one you inevitably put off visiting because it’s one of those ‘special occasion’ restaurants? Montrachet has been one of those places for us. Its reputation meant we would only allow ourselves to visit to celebrate a special occasion and  so when my birthday rocked up, the SO made the earliest dinner booking.

Montrachet

To stretch our dining pleasure without doing the same to our stomachs, we agreed to order an entrée to share, a main each and a dessert to share.

To start, we decided on the Gnocchi et Crevettes Sauce aux Cêpes – freshly made potato gnocchi topped with tiger prawns and porcini mushroom sauce

Montrachet

Gnocchi et Crevettes Sauce aux Cêpes. AUD$22

Our waiter slid effortlessly back to ask if we would prefer an extra prawn, as the dish would normally come with only three. Uneven numbers can be such tricky creatures and rather than fight over the last prawn, we agreed to add and provide more company to the entrée. The more the merrier, right?

Enter the entrée. On two plates. I was surprised – sharing a dish usually involves romantically hunching over one plate and picking it apart with two sets of cutlery. It’s an act that might bring to mind Walt Disney’s canine love story ‘Lady and the Tramp’, minus the serenading chef. Perhaps the posh think sharing one plate is much too middle class or childish, but the perk was we got a little more of everything, but slightly less than had we ordered one of our own.

I had to take a moment to compose myself – admiring the pretty circle of pale creamy baby finger lengths of gnocchi and straws of porcini mushrooms around the two monstrous Tiger prawns. The earthy aroma from the porcini mushroom sauce was calling out to my primal instinct to savagely devour it.

Montrachet

Bouillabaisse. AUD$42

For the main, the SO’s choice was the Bouillabaisse – reef fish, scallops, fresh green prawns and calamari served in a rich seafood broth. It came with aioli and garlic French toast on the side. While the seafood was divine, the broth had an anise or liquorice tang to it, which definitely is not up my alley and so I was glad to leave the SO to his main.

Montrachet

Lapin à la Moutarde. AUD$42

On the other hand, the last time I had rabbit was at a hole-in-the-hole joint in Paris two years ago and it was brilliant. Rabbit is not generally a regular menu item in Australia, despite the bunny plague population in some parts of the country. It comes as no surprise, seeing as a colleague squealed in horror and chided me for eating such an adorable creature when I mentioned what I dined on. Don’t get me wrong – I find rabbits extremely cute too, but my retort, which came with a generous shrug, was: “I’m Chinese – I eat everything.”

The Lapin à la Moutarde is a casserole of rabbit with white wine, Dijon mustard and mushrooms.  They didn’t mention there would be bacon and these were juicy thick cut. Served with sauteed potato and French beans, I found one half of the rabbit portion far too dry and I had trouble cutting into it with the supplied knife, but the other half was succulent when coasted with the creamy Dijon mustard sauce.

Montrachet

Crêpes Suzette. AUD$9.90

Whatever the legend of its birth, there is no denying crêpe suzette is quintessentially French. Each thin crepe was folded like a neat napkin, swimming in a generous bath of orange syrup and topped with a modest ball of creamy vanilla ice-cream. We couldn’t help but giggle as we spooned each mouthful and breathed the alcohol heat through the nose.

We can definitely see how Montrachet earned its stellar reputation, but be warned that if you’re sharing a dish and receive separate plates, there will be an additional charge.

 

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