30 Nov Penta, Elsternwick
Penta has a formidable line-up of stablemates including Legacy, Temperance Society and My Other Brother (MOB Espresso). Expectations are high. Can it live up to them?
Penta has five owners, hence its name; Nicky Campbell (also the head chef), Julien Moussi, Cory Slater, Kristy-Lea and Stuart Deva make up the team. Designed by Ritz & Ghougassian, the interior is full of polished concrete, stone and stainless steel. It’s a sleek modern look that’s softened by touches of plant life. A round table is hidden at the back next to the entrance to the open kitchen. The materials do make it quite noisy with all the voices echoing around, but it’s certainly got a pleasant aesthetic.
Instead of coffees today, we go for some of their vibrantly coloured smoothies. There’s the sharper Green Smoothie with its kale, peaches, mango, ginger, honey and coconut water, or the slightly coconutty Beetroot Smoothie with berries, granola, beetroot, yoghurt, honey and orange juice. Complimentary sparkling water is also available.
The paleo-friendly Sriracha Grilled Salmon sits on a mountain of raw zoodles, edamame and avocado. The zucchini noodles are dressed with herbs and fried basil. The salmon a bit overdone but the flavours are good; there’s a light sriracha kick, and the sauce is tasty.
Penta’s also got an inventive take on the eggs benedict, using a sweet potato waffle instead. At first, the waffle looks like it could be soggy, but turns out to be moist and crispy like good waffles should be, despite the use of the unconventional ingredient. Tasty braised beef cheeks are pimped up by jalapeno hollandaise making this one toothsome eat.
Nutella is always a drawcard, and we can’t leave without ordering their Nutella Panna Cotta. On reading the menu, the nut butter banana sushi particularly intrigues. Round slices of banana are slathered in nut butter, then coated in a nut crumb and sesame seeds. Crumbles of honey joy adds a pop of colour and further crunch. The panna cotta is wobbly, but just firm enough, and silky smooth. Eating it reminds me of Yogo. None of it is left behind.
Penta offers a mix of naughty and nutritious so there’s something for all sorts of eaters. Penta has quite a reputation to live up to, and I’d say they’ve done a mighty fine job.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Penta as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
28 Riddell Parade
Elsternwick, VIC, 3185
(03) 9523 0716