Albert St Food and Wine, Brunswick

We ventured out for an early Father’s Day dinner in an effort to avoid the weekend crowd.

We don’t frequently order a side dish to accompany our main meal, but mum was intrigued by the ancient grain salad and our Entertainment Book voucher was for 25% off rather than one complimentary main.

Our orders for the night:
– Mum – Spanner Crab Risotto, Celeries, Manjimup Winter Truffle ($38)
– Dad – Jurassic Quail, Crimson Grapes & Chestnut Panzanella ($34)
– A2 – Yellow Fin Tuna, White Ratatouille, Green Olive & Almonds ($36)
– Me – Char-grilled Venison, Cubeb Pepper, Pumpkin, Mustard Fruits, Caramelised Witlof ($36)
– Side-dish – Ancient Grain Salad, Pomegranate, Pistachio, Goats Curd ($14)

The complimentary bread came with a whipped basil butter and some sea salt. The butter was light and fluffy, going nicely with the sourdough bread.

Mum’s risotto didn’t have a lot of crab or truffle. Despite its creaminess it had a fresh flavour imparted by the herbs and slight lemon flavour.

A Jurassic quail is a special breed of quail that almost as large as a poussin. I didn’t try a lot of dad’s quail, but it was tender and tasty. The sauce was sweet (presumably because of the grapes) and he found it a tad salty.

A2’s tuna was done quite well. It was lightly seared so the centre was still mostly raw. Every time I see tuna steak on the menu I’m worried that it will come out overdone and tasting like canned tuna. I’m not sure what white ratatouille is – maybe it referred to the lack of red ingredients in it. Though I didn’t try any of the green olive paste, the ratatouille had a vinegar-y flavour that went well with the tuna.

Mustard fruits are a type of preserve containing candied fruit. Both the venison and pumpkin were charred nicely and the venison had a good salty coating. Because the venison was quite rare, the flavour of the meat really came through. I think the yellow sauce spotted on the plate was also pumpkin based, but I found it a bit sweet so I didn’t eat a lot of it. When I first bit into one of the Cubeb peppers I thought it was part of the ancient grain salad that I’d accidentally dropped in middle of my plate. It added a good crunch and some extra punchiness to the venison. This was my favourite dish of the night.

By the time our food came out the lighting had been dimmed and I couldn’t really see what was in the ancient grain salad. Apart from what was listed on the menu description, there were also chickpeas. The goats curd had a gamey taste to it, which I wasn’t sure I liked, but overall this was my second favourite dish. I really enjoyed the different flavours and crunchy textures the various grains and other ingredients contributed to the salad.

All together the meal came to just under $30 per person, which I thought was pretty good for the quality of the food.

Albert Street Food and Wine
382 Sydney Rd
Brunswick, VIC, 3056
(03) 8354 6600

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