The Grand Hotel in Richmond recently celebrated their 130th birthday and I was lucky enough to be invited along to take part in the festivities. The party started with drinks at the main bar and a quick glimpse at the Grand Dining Room. It is impressive to note that The Grand has been a winner of The Age Good Food Guide’s Chef Hat award nine times over the last decade, and is the only pub in Australia to consistently hold such a prestigious accolade. The Grand Dining Room is well known for their simple authentic Italian food which is served up by Michelin trained head chefs Federico Frigato and Mattia Aloisio.
After a while we were guided upstairs and encountered a smaller bar and three rooms. As we chatted, some enticing canapes came around. The first canape we sampled was cured ocean trout with citrus and berries, the second was poached veal tongue crostini with salsa verde and the third was tomato and basil bruschetta. All were very delicious!
We were soon led into the Nesso room and was informed that the kitchen was down a chef and that we had to make our own dinner!
So we each put on a T.Serafina apron, grabbed a rolling pin and began to roll out some clay.
We then each received a beautiful piece of fresh Cone Bay barramundi and were told to be as creative as we liked in terms of flavouring this fish dish. I decided to go with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olives, braised leeks, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Head chef Mattia Aloisio then instructed us on how to wrap up our barramundi so that it could be baked for our dinner. This whole process was so much fun and I couldn’t wait to taste my creation! We were then led into the Como room which had been stunningly transformed by event stylist The Three Piece Suit with stationary styled by Lauren Skorsis. And it was here where the incredible feasting began!
Pepper Crusted Venison Carpaccio with Goat Cheese Mousse and Beetroot
Agro Dolce Quail with Porcini Mushroom Puree, Brussel Sprouts, Quail Egg and Black Truffles
Broad Bean, Pecorino and Mint Risotto
Mortadella Cappelletti in Brodo
This was the moment we had all been waiting for! We made good use of our rolling pins and had a blast smashing these little terracotta parcels open!
The result? Perfectly cooked barramundi that was delicate and moist, with a beautifully intense flavour. And as it turned out, the ingredients I added tasted fantastic in combination with the fish so I had a little bit of a ‘phew!’ moment after having my first bite.
Caprese Palate Cleanser – basil, tomato, buffalo mozzarella
Lemon Delizia – lemon parfait, almond crumble, limoncello gelee, candied lemons
A big thank you to Zomato and owners Barnie, Tiur, David and Katie for organising such an amazing night filled with spectacular food!
And finally if you sign up to become a Grand VIP member (which is free), you will receive a complimentary six course degustation dinner for your birthday! How amazing is that?
The Grand Hotel – Richmond
333 Burnley St, Richmond, VIC
(03) 8658 3459
*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of The Grand Hotel.