Dining Review · Melbourne · Top pick

Saint Crispin

It’s a sign of how globalised our world is when you have not just 1, but 2 high school girlfriends living and working in the same city as you (it even used to be 3 but 1 has relocated to Perth 😦 ). So at various point of our lives, we took that venture to step out of our home country of Singapore, all with different reasons and under different circumstances, but all ending up in the same city of Melbourne… what are the chances of that!

Besides sharing a common past back at high school, my high school girlfriends – Ms YY and Ms TY – and I happen to share an interest in good food. Haha gone are the teen days of hanging out over fast food (King Albert Park McDonald’s anyone?) and hawker centre food! And in a foodie city like Melbourne with so many different cuisines to choose from, it can take us quite awhile to settle our dinner dates!

So with it being towards the end of the year at that time, we thought it would be nice to have a fancy little dinner before we head our different ways for the Christmas-New Year holidays. And with Saint Crispin making quite a scene in the foodie blogsphere, I recommended that for our dinner date and the 2 of them happily went along with that choice 🙂

Menu for the night
Menu for the night

We were shown to our window seats by a friendly waiter and were presented our menus. He went away for a little while and when he came back just as we were deep in discussion on which dishes to pick, he picked up our Singaporean accents and suddenly jested, ‘Everything is good on the menu lah!’ Haha well that certainly got our attention!

So we probably asked him a million questions about the menu, all of which he patiently answered. We also managed to ask him a few questions about himself – how did he know where we were from?? Haha turns out that his wife is Malaysian, that’s why!

Anyway, on to the food. We started off with some bread & butter and an amuse-bouche i.e. complimentary from the chef

Bread & butter
Bread & butter
Amuse-bouche of the night
Amuse-bouche of the night

As this was quite awhile ago, I can’t quite remember the taste of it, or what the waiter said… whoops! I vaguely remember that both elements tasted marshmellowy and airy, light enough to kickstart our tastebuds!

The mystery of the Saint Crispin menu is that it only lists out the ingredients and the element of surprise comes when the dishes are set before you, and you see how the ingredients finally plate out!

We all went for the 3-course meal and here are our entrees:

Atlantic salmon, calamari, oyster, squid ink & saffron
Atlantic salmon, calamari, oyster, squid ink & saffron

Ms YY had this salmon and she let us had a taste and it was cooked medium, with the subtle raw fattiness of the salmon tickling our tastebuds. I love how the calamari peeked out from below the salmon and how the squid ink was infused into the cracker.

So while Ms YY enjoyed her seafood entree, Ms TY and I went for the red meat option:

Wagyu bresaola, shallot rings, confit yolk & hay ash
Wagyu bresaola, shallot rings, confit yolk & hay ash

The wagyu melted in our mouths and it went well with the yolk. The hay ash that dusted the plate could not be dismissed as well – everything on the plate was licked clean!

With such exciting entrees, we could not wait for our mains!

Swordfish, prawn, nicola potatoes & kohlrabi
Swordfish, prawn, nicola potatoes & kohlrabi
Pork, curried raisin & heirloom carrots
Pork, curried raisin & heirloom carrots

Ms YY again had the seafood option while the other 2 of us went for the pork. The combination of everything for the fish went really well. As for the pork, there was an Indian inspiration behind it as we could taste the Indian spices in the carrots (it was entirely black by the way!) and the sauce tasted abit like curry. An interesting dish overall but personally, I preferred the fish dish because of the more classic flavours.

Potato crisp, seaweed mayonnaise
Potato crisp, seaweed mayonnaise

We also had a side of potatoes to share and it was delicious! The combination of rosemary on the potatoes with the seaweed mayo.. mmmm.. reminds me of the seaweed mayo we had at the Town Mouse. We totally wiped out the mayo!

As you can tell from the above photos, the lighting was dimmer by the main courses as the sun had set by then. And by that time, the restaurant was in full swing with the chattering of happy diners, bustling waiters and the clinking of cutlery.

A bustling restaurant on a weekday night!
A bustling restaurant on a weekday night!

We were getting full by this stage. The portions are deceivingly small but filling. But wait, we had to make space for dessert!

Chocolate, earl grey, milk & ginger
Chocolate, earl grey, milk & ginger

Ms TY and Ms YY had this chocolate dessert. It was rich, decadent and I loved the earl grey ice cream!

As for me, I went for the tropical option:

Mango, coconut, vanilla & verbena
Mango, coconut, vanilla & verbena

I was actually glad that I went for this lighter dessert as we were bursting at this stage. One of the million questions that we asked the waiter was what verbena was. So it turns out to be the flower in the above dessert! Which were edible, by the way!

The dessert was a custard with a mixture of mango, coconut and vanilla. I’m actually not a big fan of coconut and only ordered this by the waiter’s recommendation and I was glad I listened to him! The flavour of the coconut was subtle and did not overpower the other flavours. I thought this dessert was really creative and had a good combination of flavours – I really liked it!

In all, our dinner took about 2.5hours and we enjoyed every minute of it, catching up over delicious and exciting food, and with very attentive service. Ms TY was actually a little sick that day but the food was enough to cheer her up. And that, I think, shows you how much a nice night out we had at Saint Crispin!

And that was my way winding down my year of 2013 – with old friends in some corner of the world away from the homeland, at a newfound restaurant that I would recommend any day for a treat 🙂

Saint Crispin on Urbanspoon

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