Friday, 29 May 2009

The Deanery

Poor Mr Wickens, plans for bringing the highly rated Interlude into the city bought undone. Still, he has found his way from Fitzroy into the CBD, presumably via the 86 tram, to deliver all the interesting and creativeness synonymous with his previous venture.

Or so I thought. There’s nothing wrong with the menu, but reads like a censored Superbad script. Gone are all the cheeky “oh no he didn’t” bits you’d come to expect from this master chef. Which is presumably the intention, to be something more understated. Have a read: Chicken, Potato Puree, Hot Liver Parfait. Mulloway, Sweetcorn, Crab, Bisque. I prefer the quirky Whiting, Carrot Consomm√©, Curry Marshmallow or Buttermilk Pancake, Passionfruit, Miso. Oh yes he did.

Enough dwelling on the past, as there are glimpses of the old swagger. The absolutely delicious dish of plump scallops get nicely browned on a pan, a chervil risotto cradles the gems, the subtle flowery sweet violet foam somehow brings it all together. The colours might clash but the favours certainly don’t. For mains, beef is brilliantly tender, cooked it to a very pink medium rare to retain the natural cow taste, a meat jus reduction forms the gravy but overall doesn’t really excite because it’s not overly unique. The wow factor comes courtesy of the intricate smoked gratin, which looks like a potato meuille fille. I can’t look at spuds the same, even more so after the lyonnaise potatoes garnished with caramelised onions.

This could have been different had the pork fillet, pork pie, carrot and pickled apple been available. Obviously popular seeing that there were 4 left when the menu was explained. Then zero when we ordered. Running out before 7pm on a busy Saturday night dinner service?

With the move, the bohemian eccentric wild child from Smith Street that was once bold and daring has evolved into something more sterile reflecting the move to a corporate, commercialised world. Bring back the Fitzroy I say.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 1 Bligh Lane, Melbourne, VIC
What? Entrees $25, Mains $35

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