An Intimate Affair : Zio’s Ristorante
Firstly, I apologise for the absence and the slow postings – I’ve been down with the allergy and was so busy at work. Sorry folks! Apart from work, I also had visitors at my home and was busy with entertaining as well :) But don’t worry, I am trying to pick up where I’ve left off and get this going.
This post was way over due. So, there you go … We came across Zio’s through a social coupon as this restaurant was never in my eating radar. The restaurant is located along the beautiful Victorian terrace stretch. The exterior of the restaurant looks very heritage-y. We were pretty wowed when we stepped into the restaurant as it looks classically elegant. Not bad for a voucher deal :)
We were greeted by Yacob with a big friendly smile who led us to our table. Then he explained to us that we will be served a six course degustation with cocktail which costs $85 per person. Sounds good? The degustation kicked off with Asian-inspired and delicious Glazed Canadian Scallops with crispy chorizo, pickled ribbon pears and snow pea shoots.
Bellini cocktail (made with French “Chevalier Blanc de Blancs”)
Glazed Canadian Scallops
It was then followed by another appetising dish – Madeira duck liver pate served with onion and parsley jam. The smooth pate’s richness was beautifully toned down by the sweet onion and parsley jam. Best eaten with bread. Next dish has very strong Asian influence – lamb dumpling in sweet consommé which was equally as delicious.
Madeira duck liver pate
Lamb and apricot agnolotti with a double lamb consommé and parisienne vegetables
Then the meats arrived with Twice cooked spatchcock served with sautéed wild mushrooms, baby leeks and soba noodles. A very interesting dish with strong Chinese influence taste of herbal ingredients.
The last of the savoury was Two year old grain feed angus char-grilled tenderloin of beef served with caraway and parmesan white polenta, wilted spinach and red wine jus. Both of us liked our beef medium rare – but it was overdone and tasted a little burnt. When we informed Yacob, he told us that the beef was cooked based on Chef’s choice. Hmmm… I didn’t quite get that logic because it literally did not do any justice to the good beef.
Twice cooked spatchcock with sautéed wild mushrooms, baby leeks and soba noodles
Two year old grain feed black angus char-grilled tenderloin of beef
Lastly, we were served with our dessert – Maple creme caramel with szechuan poach pears. The pears were gently poached and spiced with star anise and cinnamon which blended really well with the maple creme caramel. Very interesting taste indeed.
Maple creme caramel with szechuan poach pears
Verdict : We enjoyed the dinner and its wonderful service. The menu and ingredients used were greatly inspired by Asian and Chinese which was very interesting especially in a fine dining restaurant. However, I couldn’t get pass the over-done beef and the comment given by the host. It’s worth a try but I don’t think I will be back again.
To die for : Madeira duck liver pate, lamb and apricot agnolotti
Price : $$$
Yummy Factor : +3
Noise Level : Low
14 Landsdowne St, East Melbourne, Victoria
P: 03 9419 0252
Mon-Fri: Lunch, Dinner & Late
Sat: Dinner & Late
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