Thursday, 28 May 2009


There’s a sense of modesty and humility to Attica that disgusts me. It’s the Tiger Woods of dining, a cut above the rest having been crowned Restaurant of the Year by the tough Good Food Guide crowd. Where they both could be out there pumping their chest and gloating about how absolutely awesome they are, it’s the complete opposite, the consummate professionals.

As seriously understated as the golfing great’s on course dress sense, there’s nothing flashy about Attica’s interior either. Except for the interesting thin rectangular chandelier that’s suspended above the bar, it’s fine diner standard.

But there’s nothing understated about his game though, an unrivalled blend of power, precision, flair, creativity and finesse. It’s the same with the food that’s all about visual impact, temperatures, aromas, multi levelled flavours and textures that plays with all your senses.

Take for example the lazy 3 wood to start the round of flaked snow crab, crumbed silken egg white, barberries and salmon roe strewn amongst the cream icy horseradish powder like snow on top. The delicacy, chills, the pops and bursts. A beautiful dish before the theatre of a plate of cubes of ocean trout, pork crackling that arrives looking like a crystal ball. Lifting the bowl releases the trapped hickory smoke, a smoked trout broth with basil seeds lightly poaches the fish and crackles the scorched pig skin that has the drama of an intentionally hooked 5 iron before curling back and landing a metre from the pin.

There’s a ridiculously tender potato cooked Polynesian style in the stuff grass grows on, its earthy taste matched with a cow and goat cheese cream and coffee powder. Chorizo smear and black cous cous powders medium rare kingfish that’s like a nod to Tetsuya’s signature. An onion and peanut puree and ginger relish matches well with a medium rare slice of wagyu, Berkshire pork loin on a puddle of celeriac puree is dusted with a salty fennel pollen, apple sauce made to look boring by a glaze and distilled cider gel.

Transitioning from savouries to sweets is the terroir that balances between the two. Showing Kiwis are just as useful here as they are to Tiger, the green fruit is fused with avocado oil contrasting against the vibrant purple red of beetroot almond meal crumble that blankets a creamy fromage sorbet, avocado jelly, crisp malt bits and pepper. Stunning. Hitting a hole in one at the 18th is the cheeky violet crumble, a violet sorbet, powder and grains, icy chocolate powder, crunchy honeycomb and butterscotch served in an oversized stemless cognac glass. A shot I’d replay any day of the week.

Just like Tiger, chef Ben Shewry keeps the standard extremely high and consistent over the course of the degustation. You’ll find an absolute champion in Ripponlea.

5 / 5 yums!
Where? 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea, VIC
What? Degustation $130


Cindy said...

I loved my one visit to Attica - their terroir is one of the coolest high-end dishes I've ever eaten!

slowcooked said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
slowcooked said...

Glad you loved it too! Sad that so many guides can't see past the humble room.

Related Posts with Thumbnails