The last time we were in Melbourne was 2 years ago, & Roger took us to a very nice restaurant with a very posh interior called Cookies which served very good fusion food.
Well, this particular restaurant reminded me of Cookies on Swanston St.
I know, I know. We have a rule about not eating food which do not originate from the country that we're visiting. However, Melbourne was an exceptional case because of its well known food culture from diverse backgrounds. Really, if you think about it, there's no such thing as Melbourne food. Before all those Italian, Greek & Asian immigrants came ashore, Australia only had plain, bland & boring English meals.
Probably for some people, fusion means neither here nor there. But if the chefs know how to do it creatively with the right combination, it's posssible to take the best of both worlds and came out with interesting dishes that are not only flavourful but tantalising the palates with many textures and flavours. So, it is possible to like fusion food.
NEE: Longrain ~ uhhh.... I don't quite know whether it was Long Grain or Long Rain but it was place that managed to wow us. Normally we try to be as tactful and objective as we can when we sample food at restaurants because we believe the cooks and chefs have worked hard enough. And if we don't like it, that does not mean someone else would not appreciate it. But with Longrain no tact is needed. It is damn good. In fact, it was damn bloody good, especially for those who like fusion.
The place is dressed up elegantly with nice wooden tables and pretty candlelights. Waiters were always there, ready to serve from a distance & pleasant. The guy who served us looked like a surfer dude.
And the place is spacious. They have a bar serving drinks too if you are up to just looking for one after a hard day at work.
The food here can make you sigh, or at least it made us do that. We ordered three dishes to share.
Eggnet with beansprout and peanuts. Absolutely refreshing!
The dressings which has a little fish sauce, lime and chilli just take away any taste of oiliness.
Caramelized pork hock.
This has got to be the most tender pork hock we have had. The exterior was nicely crispy without the oiliness and sweet sauce is drizzled over the meat on our own. Pickled chillis and cucumber in vinegar can be drizzled on if you want the additional flavour. Perfect!
Braised veal. So elegantly cut that it is melting soft yet still intact.
Rice is served separately at AUD 3 per person. This is not exactly your cheap, value for money place but this would be our come back again place in April 2009. We are still salivating as we write this.
By the way, we didn't order this but it was sent to our table by mistake.
I don't really know what Roger was thinking of in this picture.
But I think he's wondering if he could order a fusion wife.