24 Jul ezard, Melbourne CBD
Walking down the stairs we were greeted by a simple, bright green sign displaying ezard’s name. As usual, we were provided with bread, which was continually supplied throughout the night. Along with the bread was a parmesan, garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, which could be dipped into one of three accompaniments: a Sichuan pepper-based one, a finely milled sugar and chilli one and another with nori, salt, and a few other things. Our favourite was the nori, but the sugar and chilli one was quite nice as long as there wasn’t too much on the bread.
We were given a complimentary appetiser to whet our appetite. I forget most of the ingredients used, but it consisted of cuttlefish with black truffle shavings and white truffle oil. Along with our mains, we also shared two appetisers:
– sesame crusted kingfish sashimi with creme fraiche custard, black garlic, citrus and hazelnut dressing
– steamed blue swimmer crab dumplings with yarra valley salmon roe, celery cress and tom kha
I looked forward to the crab dumplings because they were one of ezard’s signature dishes. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of crab inside each dumpling and the balance between filling and dough was good. It was one of the best dishes of the night. To make sharing of the entrees easier they cooked an extra dumpling (there are normally three per plate) and divided it into two separate plates. The sashimi was also split over two plates.
Mum ordered an open wagyu burger, which never came. Perhaps the waiter didn’t think we’d be able to finish it, though I’m sure he would have told us if he purposely omitted a dish from our order.
Our choices for mains:
Me: Eight score Sher wagyu beef with soft polenta, braised shimeji mushrooms, sticky shallot sauce and celery cress
A2: Steamed mulloway with rice noodle rolls, Japanese plum wine dressing, Asian mushrooms and chilli sambal
Mum: Pan fried local john dory with cauliflower cream, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, seared scallop, caviar and chive oil
Dad: Master stock fried pork hock, chilli caramel, spicy Thai beanshoot salad and fragrant jasmine rice
A2’s wasn’t bad and the mushrooms were particularly tasty. Mum’s john dory was a bit overcooked and she wasn’t sure where the cauliflower cream was (unless that was the foam?). The pork was quite good; the piece was also bigger and leaner than I expected after seeing some photos of the dish online. Though the wagyu was the most expensive main on the menu, I knew it was one of their best dishes and I don’t know the next time I’ll be back to try it. The last time I had wagyu was at Koko, but the slices were very thin so the taste wasn’t very apparent. The slices of beef in my dish were incredibly soft, tender and tasty, the polenta was very creamy and the shallot sauce went amazingly well with the rest of the dish.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the wagyu beef and crab dumplings, the others may not have agreed that the other dishes were worth it. Despite this, it was good to try the restaurant out, especially because this is the first year ezard has featured in the Entertainment Book.
187 Flinders Ln
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9639 6811