Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Grand.
The Grand is celebrating The Age’s Good Food Month by bringing an Italian twist to the Chinese classic way of doing lunch - Italian Yum Cha.
Like all good Yum cha you just sit back, relax and wait for the food to come to you with the added bonus of being able to order off a delectable list of special dishes from their a la carte yum cha menu.
The award-winning dining room at The Grand serves up simple, authentic Italian food with an emphasis on both quality ingredients and value and their Yum Cha maintains that high standard. It is no surprise that they are currently one of only two AGFG chefs hatted Pub in Australia - an honour that has been bestowed upon The Grand 9 times now.
The Grand comprises distinct spaces. There is the elegant dining room, the chic lounge bar and three function rooms (each named after towns on the shores of Lake Como) which range from the Bellagio Room which sits up to 16 persons to the Como Room which accommodates up to 80 persons.
Aperol Spritz "tea" with house-made bread, olives and white bean puree
One of our favourite dishes was the braised ox cheek with baked polenta (pictured above). An excellent homely dish, the braised ox cheek fell away easily with the weight of the forks. Coated with the earthy braising sauce, it was most enjoyable when eaten with the decadent and well-seasoned polenta.
Crudo with egg yolk, pickled enoki mushroom and cress
The thick slices of very fresh crudo were served with pickled enoki mushroom and cress. The dish was notable for the quality of the fish and the interplay between the tartness of the pickled mushroom and the richness of the creamy egg yolk. It was a simple but well executed dish.
Left: Spanner crab in bread crumb pasta parcels
Right: Wild boar lasagne
The spanner crab pasta was beautiful. Within the layer of superbly cooked bread crumb pasta were soft shreds of sweet spanner crab. The tomato and saffron provided fresh flavours to complement the delicious crab meat.
The wild boar lasagna was yet another highlight. Each layer of superbly cooked pasta was adorned with delicious cheese and tender meat. The tomato veloute provided fresh flavours while the cheese brought all the elements on the plate together in a cohesive fashion.
Ox tongue with frizze, capers and mustard fruit
The centrepiece ox tongue possessed a beautiful depth of flavour, with the salinity in the capers helping to alleviate the richness of the decadent tongue.
Left: Potato gnocchi with brown butter and sage
Right: Chargrilled marinated tuna skewers
The light gnocchi captivated with its delightfully pungent truffle aroma and its lingering rich brown butter flavour while the chargrilled marinated tuna skewers were perfectly cooked.
Seared scallops on squid ink zucchini spaghetti
A positive highlight, this dish showcased 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 zucchini spaghetti. It was a magnificent dish.
Left: Italian doughnuts with crema pasticcera
While all the desserts were beautiful, the Noughart semifreddo was a stand out. Possessing a lovely smooth texture, the right level of sweetness and crunch, the semifreddo was well made and bursting with flavour.
Combining the 2 things we love: Italian food and Yum cha, this was always going to be a success story. It is clear that the chefs have been having a great time rethinking Italian food from a yum cha prospective and the results are simply delicious.
When: The first four Saturday and Sunday lunches in November
Where: The Grand Dining Room, 333 Burnley Street, Richmond
Cost: Pay for what you eat
Bookings essential: 03 9429 2530