22 Dec O.My, Beaconsfield
We don’t usually travel too far to eat out, but A2 won’t be returning to Melbourne for a long time and following from her glowing experience here previously, she requested another visit. I was keen to dine here for my first time, and was all too happy to make a booking for the family. O.My is the creation of the Bertoncello brothers: Chayse, who works the floor and is also the resident sommelier, and Blayne and Tyson who are both talented chefs. Much of what they present on the plate is made in-house, and many of the herbs and vegetables are harvested from their restaurant garden. As such, their paddock-to-plate degustation is seasonal.
The building was once a butchery, and some of the artpieces pay homage to the fact. The fit-out and decor makes the restaurant feel a little like a warm and inviting house, the kitchen taking its place in the centre, and private rooms being at the back.
We went all-out, selecting the 8 course degustation for $100pp. Our journey began with some amuse bouche, or “snacks”, as they called them, and they left quite the impression. Even the complementary home made sourdough and cultured butter were amazing. I could eat that bread every day and die happy. The tender zucchini flower had been flavoured with a subtle yet delicious smoked butter. The onions with honey was simple but delightful. The marvellously clear sourdough consomme and sage was the highlight of the snacks, and a forerunner for a dish that was to come.
The first course was a steamed and fermented potato with black garlic. It was super creamy, with hints of balsamic and a slight tartness to it.
Next was some seafood. Salmon pastrami had been cured for three days and it was so soft and smooth to the tongue. Accompanying the salmon were different varieties of basil, blanched warrigal greens and a spice emulsion. There was a lovely sweetness from the basil that complemented the salmon incredibly well, and hints of lemon were present. This was one of my favourites.
Remember the sourdough consomme? Well, here is the follow-up. This was another of my favourites. The centrepiece was the two-hour egg yolk crumbed with dehydrated egg white. The yolk was semi-solid, bordering on gooey, with an even texture throughout. The texture of the egg yolk was divine. There was plenty of crunch from the surrounding crumb and rehydrated sourdough, and gentle and restrained umami from the oniony broth rounded everything off.
Venison loin with plum, nasturtium, onion and turnip was beautifully cooked, and venison always goes wonderfully with that peppery nasturtium flavour.
Rye sourdough soon arrived. A stronger flavoured bread to match with the stronger flavours of the coming meat dishes. The next course reminded me of a Roman tortoise formation, the 24-hour pork neck and apple tapenade being surrounded by round ‘shields’ of crunchy Granny Smith. The apple leaf was crispy. We were instructed to crumble it over the top and it provided an interesting bitterness. The apple tapenade really packed a punch, and there were so many textures to enjoy here. It was a classic combination put together in an inventive way.
Also very pretty was the lamb ragu with garlic purée and coriander seeds, layered over by smoked lamb backstrap and finished with a scattering of dehydrated garlic chips. It was intense, punchy and hearty, and the creamy garlic puree was the perfect foil for the tomatoey ragu.
Our cheese course consisted of more in-house creations. Labne with herbs, fig paste with chips of dehydrated buttermilk curd, and something else that I unfortunately can’t quite remember.
Onto desserts. First was the almond milk ice-cream, artfully decorated with slivers of almonds, raspberries and lemon balm, which hails from the mint family. It was light and refreshing, and its appearance was perfect for Christmas, which is only three days away.
Our last dessert, which sadly signaled the end of our meal, was the 10 spices on a plate. Injecting some fun into it, they made it into guessing game. Did I guess all 10? Sadly no. With spices like vanilla, caramel and nutmeg, it also made me think of gingerbread and it reflected Christmas festivity in both flavour and spirit.
Our final goodbye snacks consisted of some dark chocolate sprinkled with raspberry powder, little wedges of salted caramel, and some apple sourdough bread to take home and toast for breakfast the next morning. In case you’re wondering, yes, everyone gets one snack each. Mum just has eager fingers.
Though it is a bit of a hike, it’s refreshing to know that there are exceptional eats to be found outside of inner Melbourne. The service was cheerful, efficient, and most impressively, warm, friendly and genuine. Every dish was plated beautifully and was enticing to the eyes. The kitchen respects and showcases the quality ingredients they procure, whilst still applying commendable technique and introducing interesting flavour pairings. O.My offers fine dining without any pretentiousness, and that is something worth celebrating.
23 Woods St
Beaconsfield VIC 3807
(03) 9769 9000