When you arrive at Woodland House, a mere first glance makes you understand why new owners Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland have decided to continue their stint at the old Jacques Reymond location.
Sumptuous statement chandeliers, show plates on crisp white linen, well-spaced tables and noise levels at a muted hum capture the luxury and ambience of a bi-gone era creating the perfect setting for opulent fine dining.
While Jacques Reymond has left the building, one thing is certain - the breathtaking mansion continues to honour its glamorous past, with an evolving epicurean offering.
The dynamic menu features local producers and showcases top ingredients cooked in a manner which allows their natural flavours to shine through.
Rockling, crab emulsion, almond
Matched with: 2011 Tarrawarra ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, Australia
The rockling was served in a beautiful sea of crab emulsion. The fillet had been cooked at very low temperatures for an extended period and, as a result, retained slightly gelatinous characteristics. The flesh was extremely delicate and communicated many of its natural flavours. It was a beautiful start to our dining experience.
John Dory, sheep’s whey, bottarga, dill
Matched with: Grüner Veltliner ‘Von Stein’, Saloman Undhof, Kremstal DAC Reserve, Austria
The John Dory was perfectly cooked – its skin was crisp and the underlying flesh was tender and succulent.
Snail, pig tail
Matched with: 2011 Etna Rosso, ‘Archiner’ Pietradolce DOC, Sicily, Italy
The beautifully composed dish of snail and pig tail was highlighted by its feature components that were each expertly prepared.
Spatchcock, Jerusalem artichoke, black garlic
Matched with: 2013 Sumur Rouge, Domaine Guiberteau, Loire Valley, France
The spatchcock was silky, courtesy of being cooked to perfection. The natural gaminess of the spatchcock was showcased alongside the subtly sweet Jerusalem artichoke puree.
Shortrib, sweetbreads, kohlrabi
Matched with: 2010 Agricola Punica ‘Barrua’ IGT, Sardinia, Italy
The shortrib was tender and delicious, with caramel undertones courtesy of being slow-braised. Paired with an earthy and luxurious sauce, the shortrib fell away at the weight of our forks whilst still retaining its integrity. The perfectly cooked sweetbreads were a great accompaniment. It was a magnificent dish.
Cheese, boudin noir
Our cheese dish was a cheese sensation that demonstrated memorable dishes can often be very simple. In this instance, a slice of an amalgamation of cow and sheep milk cheese was topped with fried black pudding and crisps.
Celeriac, macadamia milk sorbet, fermented pineapple
Matched with: 2014 Singlefile Frankland River Riesling Botrytis, Great Southern, Australia
A wonderfully imaginative dessert concluded our meal. The dessert featured a truly novel flavour combination of celeriac, macadamia milk and fermented pineapple that succeeded.
Under the guidance of Woods and McFarland, 78 Williams Rd, Prahran continues to be a timeless fine dining landmark and continues its award-wining food journey.
Location: 78 Williams Road, Prahran
Phone: 03 9525 2178
Cuisine: Modern European, Contemporary
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Woodland House.