I love visiting Melbourne, Australia’s southern foodie destination. I thought I would include a review of a memorable weekend trip I made in 2017. The highlight was definitely Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner By Heston on Melbourne’s Southbank. The other highlight was visiting Lune Croissanterie, to which I have returned many times since!
To start our weekend of foodie delights, we lined up at Lune Croissanterie in Fitzroy, for their famous croissants. I had also wanted to try their kouign amann pastries, and cruffins, the first of which was created by Lune Croissanterie in 2013. I was disappointed that neither was available on that day, as I would have liked to taste as a comparison, as I have tried my hand at making my own kouign amann and cruffins. The croissant was very good, with excellent lamination, but worth traveling from Sydney for? Hmmm. Actually, the answer is yes, as I have been back quite a few times since then!
Croissant making on the premises.
The main event was Sunday lunch at Dinner by Heston, one of Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants that is inspired by historic British gastronomy. Dinner, as defined on the Dinner website, is “the main meal of the day, taken either around midday or in the evening. A formal evening meal, typically one in honour of a person or event”.
Located at the Crown Towers in Melbourne, one could be forgiven for being turned off dinner or even lunch, on arrival, as the garish surrounds of a casino are not conducive to refined dining. However, once in the restaurant itself, calm and dignity prevailed, as we were ushered to a large and comfortable table window-side, with a view over the river to the city.
I have photographed the menu for the day and the dishes we ate. The dishes are so intricate, clever and multi faceted, that describing them in any detail in this post would be a poor substitute to actually enjoying them. Which I did. Absolutely.
First course – Salamagundy
Second course – Chicken Cooked with Lettuces and Slow Cooked Pork Belly
Third course – Cherry Isle Bar and Tipsy Cake
For me, ice cream is the Queen of Desserts, so the highlight of Dinner By Heston was the “extra” dessert, nitrogen ice cream made at the table Heston style! Our waiter explained that the custard base was given texture by the addition of sour cream, and the Madagascan vanilla really gave a rich, vanilla hit. We could choose from a variety of toppings – I chose freeze dried raspberries, which I use a lot in my own cooking, and popping candy.
The visual spectacular with clouds of nitrogen, as the waiter deftly poured the flasks of custard and nitrogen was amazing, but the taste of the ice cream was even better. Rich and velvety, with a soft texture, the ice cream had a proper consistency, and made for a heavenly eating experience. A fantastic way to end the “dinner” and our Melbourne food excursion.