Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Church St Enoteca.
Located in Richmond, Church St Enoteca is a restaurant with a proud reputation forged over years of operation. Consistently enjoying success, Church St Enoteca is widely regarded as one of the finest Italian restaurants in Melbourne. It is an “institution” in every sense of the word and a true colossus of the Melbourne fine dining scene.
Recent addition, Executive Chef Thiago Miranda, leads a dedicated kitchen team whose mission is to provide high quality Modern Italian cuisine using the finest locally sourced produce.
Brazilian-born Thiago came to Australia at age 17 and started working in a Melbourne kitchen where he found his calling. Thiago’s impressive resume includes stints at Eureka 89 under the guidance of Melissa Biczo and a 2 year role as head chef of Mr Mason.
The dining room is warm and inviting and is adorned with original vintage posters and wooden floorboards dating back to when it was a metal works factory. The moody colour scheme and lighting create an ambience of subdued elegance, accented by Art Deco lamps which create an ideal atmosphere for a memorable experience.
The appreciably higher waiter to patron ratio ensured that each table is diligently attended to and the waiters themselves are each highly personable and knowledgeable.
From left: Zucchini flower, herbed goats cheese, tomato fonduta; Ham hock croquetta, horseradish
We began our Church St Enoteca culinary journey with some stuzzichini.
Each item was cooked beautifully. The scallops were desirably fresh. The batter encasing the zucchini flower was ethereally light and very crisp with a stuffing which was rich and flavoursome while the croquette was bursting with flavour.
From left: School whiting, chilli & chervil mousse, prosciutto; Scallop in the half shell, fennel cream, garlic crumb
Of particular note was the whiting which had been miraculously completely deboned but remained otherwise intact. We enjoyed its crisp exterior and light yet flavoursome stuffing of chilli and chervil mousse.
Rabbit loin, cos, pancetta, parsnip, walnut
A myriad of well-balanced flavours enveloped the rabbit meat which was well cooked, juicy and tender. It was a rich and complex dish that worked superbly.
Moreton bay bug tortelloni, crayfish brodo, dill
Aylesbury duck breast, duck leg pithivier, white onion, rainbow chard
The slices of duck breast were cooked to a rarely found perfection allowing the naturally rich flavour of the duck to shine through. The accompanying pithivier was absolutely delectable. It was a simple duck leg puff pastry pie of an older age but a component which was a highlight of the dish. The sweet and sticky jus provided the crowning element to this luxurious dish.
The centrepiece course of pork belly continued the trend of stunning dishes that preceded it. The pork was moist on the underside and topped with a perfect crust of crispy crackling that was accentuated by the accompanying jus. The meat was lean and tender - a far cry from the excessively fatty pork belly many restaurants are now serving. The smoked pork tenderloin was equally well cooked while the cauliflower and raisins provided a refreshing accompaniment to the pork. We could not fault this dish - it is a must try.
Goats yoghurt panna cotta, basil, strawberry sorbet
A lovely rendition of the goats yoghurt panna cotta. The panna cotta was silky smooth - just barely holding its shape, it was quivering on the plate.
Cheekily described as a ‘Tiramisu’, Church St Enoteca’s rendition of this classic dessert was a wonderful surprise. Combining the flavour profile of a classic tiramisu, it was thoroughly enjoyable and notable for its incorporation of high quality dark chocolate which made it incredibly luxurious.
Under the guidance of Executive Chef, Thiago Miranda, Church St Enoteca is an extremely capable restaurant that offers patrons a memorable dining experience. The dedication towards sourcing the best produce and serving quality food which focuses on flavour and presentation is evident.