Broccoli

Brae

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Asparagus, sea butter, olive plant

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Raw pea & lemon aspen tart, Brook trout & nut butter crisp

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Prawn, nasturtium, finger lime

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Iced Oyster, Beef tendon & mountain pepper

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Chilled broth of broad bean, green almond, strawberry, fig leaf & yoghurt whey

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Sourdough (made from hand milled wheat and baked on site) & freshly churned butter (made from locally sourced jersey cows)

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Calamari, black lip abalone, broccoli & blue mackerel

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Artichokes & salt grass lamb washed with mussel juice & citrus

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Potato & jerusalem artichoke crisps served with a single poached yolk

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Bass groper, cured back fat, walnut & butter braised turnip

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Aged Pekin duck wood roasted on the bone, quandong, dried liver

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Milk, honey & mandarin

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Parsnip & apple

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Rhubarb, pistachio, blood & preserved blackberry

Overall:

I visited Brae late last year so this post is a bit overdue.

Impressively ranked at number 87 in the world’s 100 best restaurants list of 2015, Brae is undeniably a place where you will find quality food and innovation. Located 130km southwest of Melbourne in the small town of Birregurra, our visit to Brae was indeed a fun little road trip. As soon as we arrived we noticed some construction happening right next to the parking lot. We later found out that this was to become six on-site accommodation suites which will open from February 2016.

As we stepped into the simple weatherboard farmhouse, we were warmly greeted and guided to our seats. Service throughout our meal was exceptional (as to be expected), with the staff being friendly, courteous and efficient. The origins of each dish was diligently explained and all my random questions about the food and the restaurant were happily answered. The atmosphere in the dining area was bright and comfortable, and we were also able to get a glimpse into the kitchen from our table which was nice.

A great deal of care and attention to detail was seen with the presentation of each dish, and although I throughly enjoyed sampling everything on their degustation menu, I did have my favourites and my not-so-favourites. My not-so-favourite was easily the asparagus. Sure it was fresh and crisp, but a single stalk of asparagus does not get me salivating. Luckily the asparagus was served first because it all went uphill from there. The absolute stand out dishes for me were the prawns and the iced oyster. The prawn heads and the prawn parcels bursted with amazing flavours, while the iced oyster turned out to be sweet and creamy, similar to a deliciously smooth ice cream with a gentle hint of oyster.

Our visit to Brae was a lovely experience and it is a great place to head to for memorable world class food.

Brae

Brae

4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, VIC

(03) 5236 2226

http://braerestaurant.com/

Brae Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Panama Dining Room and Bar

Level 3/231 Smith St,  Fitzroy 9417 7663

 

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Salmon rillettes served with herb salad and toast

= Not bad

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Spiced wagyu beef and prosciutto meatballs

Full of flavour, great balance of meat and breadcrumb, lovely rich sauce

= Good

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Fried cauliflower with ras el hanout (spice mix from North Africa), golden raisins, fromage frais and argan oil

Deep frying pretty much anything will make it taste better

= Good

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Slow cooked Western Plains pork scotch fillet with Jerusalem artichokes, grilled pine mushrooms, parsley puree and buttermilk

Tantalisingly tender pork with a wonderful combination of ingredients

= Good

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Steamed broccoli with Mt Zero black lentils and pecorino (left), Green salad with buttermilk, tarragon and shallot dressing (right)

= Not bad

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Yellowtail kingfish fillet with confit fennel, grilled saffron calamari, fennel puree and saltfish croquette

The Yellowtail kingfish fillet was extremely salty, while the calamari and croquette were unmemorable

= Not bad

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Chestnut gnocchi, pumpkin and parmesan puree, morel mushrooms, spinach and salted ricotta

Delicately light gnocchi that had a mild chestnut flavour, complementing the other ingredients of this dish fantastically. If only the portion size was bigger!

= Good

 

Overall:

If you manage to survive the arduous journey up two very steep flights of stairs, you will encounter an unobtrusive grey fire exit door with a small blue ‘Panama Dining Room and Bar’ sign above it. Enter these doors and you will find a funky bar, a pool table, lots of casual seating and a formal dining area. We went on a busy Saturday night and the bustling atmosphere made it very difficult to talk (I found myself yelling throughout the whole night and left with a sore throat). Service was friendly however the food took a little while to come out. I think I would prefer coming here for drinks as opposed to dining here in the future.

 

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