Located on the ground floor of the Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Melbourne, HQ’s Restaurant and Bar impresses guests with their seasonal menu.
The kitchen is headed by Executive Chef Leigh Robbins (a finalist in the national 2013 HM Magazine Hotel Accommodation Awards in the Hotel Chef category). The menu features polished and delectable Modern Australian cuisine, a testament to Leigh’s hard work and dedication. Weekly taste test panels are held to ensure every item on the menu is of a high standard; thereby ensuring guests have a special dining experience.
While Leigh’s time at HQ has been brief (less than 12 months), his contribution has been substantial. Already, the restaurant has seen a significant increase in guest food satisfaction and in-room dining orders.
The menu is seasonal and looks to what is fresh and readily available at the local market and features locally sourced meats, vegetables and cheeses.
The bisque was thick, cloudy and creamy. Filled with decadently rich, unadulterated crab flavours and beautifully cooked pieces of crab meat the unctuous bisque was very indulgent. It was the perfect start to our meal.
Canadian diver scallops with cauliflower, serrano jamon, caper and raisin
This excellent starter was a dish of complex but well balanced flavours. The scallops were perfectly seared and bursting with natural flavour, a flavour further enhanced by the subtle sweetness of the cauliflower. The fruity acidity of raisin and the restrained savouriness of serrano jamon introduced further layers of complexity. It was a magnificent dish.
Duck and wild mushroom ragu with pappardelle, oven dried tomato, pancetta and truffle pecorino
The hand cut parpadelle was expertly cooked and retained a slight residual bite. The other ingredients combined to create a wonderful complexity of flavour – the pancetta in particular added both seasoning and depth.
Whole roasted spatchcock with breaded herb stuffing, spring vegetables and jus gras
The spatchcock was exceedingly silky and did not have the fibrous texture often associated with poorly prepared spatchcock. It was also perfectly seasoned with the natural gaminess of the spatchcock showcased along with the fragrant herb stuffing.
Oven roasted fillet of John Dory, king prawn, carrot and ginger
Both the John Dory fillet and the king prawn were well cooked and went well with the carrot and ginger.
Consistent with the savoury courses, the desserts that followed were superbly executed.
Pistachio nut parfait, white chocolate mousse, caramel and fairy floss
The Pistachio nut parfait had a vibrant combination of flavours. The parfait had a pleasant balance with the sweetness of the caramel blending well with the flavour and texture of the pistachio. The accompanying white chocolate mousse was a decadent and welcome addition to the dessert.
Served with pear puree, burnt butter ice-cream and pistachio nut praline
Beautifully rich, the chocolate tart was a decadent end to our evening. The soft centre had a wonderful soufflé-like consistency. The biscuit pastry provided balance to the sweetness of the chocolate and pear puree and a side of decadent burnt butter ice cream matched perfectly. Served with crisp pistachio nut praline, this dessert was sublime.
Suffice to say, in Leigh Robbins, HQ has found a head chef who is capable of leaving a breathtaking dining experience. HQ is certainly worth visiting, and revisiting, for the quality of its food.