Ezard was my favourite Melbourne restaurant, that was until last night.
We arrived for a late dinner booking eager to reminisce in the Asian-inspired flavours we have come to know from Teage Ezard.
The service was average. We were seated promptly but had to ask twice for the menu. In fact we had to ask for a few things, something I’ve not had to be bothered with previously as Ezard as things have magically appeared.
My entrée, steamed spanner crab dumplings with yarra valley salmon roe, chervil cress, coconut tom kha ($31), was in a word – bland. I’ve had numerous reincarnations of this dish over the years but never have I had one where both the dumplings are lacking flavour and the tom kha is watery. I was so disappointed.
My main was a different story. The spatchcock, pea and mint fritters, chiang kiang caramel, roasted garlic, pickled cucumber salad ($49) was on the opposite end of the spectrum to the point where the sauce overpowered the delicate flavours of the chicken. Fortunately the sweet and sour of the pickled cucumber salad came to the rescue, but there was not enough of it to combat the sauce.
My husband’s main, eight score sher wagyu beef, white polenta, morels, red wine jam, foie gras, sticky shallot jus and mache salad ($69) was far too rich (and perfectly fatty) for my palate, but he seemed to enjoy it.
Our dinner companions also enjoyed the wagyu as well as pan fried sesame crusted john dory, gnocchi, nettle, black rice paper, jerusalem artichoke and chestnut custard ($50) which was a delightful mix of soft fish flesh, al dente gnocchi and crisp black rice paper – texturally perfect.
Whilst our dinner was nice, I did find overall the experience less that I have enjoyed previously, and not worth the price. If I were rating last night’s dinner it certainly would not get the two chefs hats that Ezard proudly display on their site.
With the demise of the Adelphi Hotel situated above them, I certainly hope that this is not a sign of things to come and that Ezard picks up its game soon.