Tendon with native pepperberry
Other snacks were short fin eel with sea urchin and zucchini, burnt pretzel with treacle and pork and a flax cracker (made by soaking the flax seeds and then dehydrating them) with wallaby, lemon myrtle and wattle seeds (and, of course scattered with some extras such as sorrel buds and dandelion capers).
Snacks: eel, pretzel and wallaby
These were followed by some stunning calamari sitting on delicate pickles (cucumber and turnip) and a great egg sauce.
Calamari with pickles and egg sauce
Next came a salad of mussels and salt cod cream, with fennel fronds and pollen on top of a delicate wafer made from potato starch. A thin slice of fennel sat on the base. We really engaged with this dish because fennel is one of our favourite vegetables!
Mussels on fennel with potato starch crisp
Southern rock lobster with carrot, white onion (blanched then char-grilled) and sea butter which was made with sea blight and sea lettuce! Also golden purslane, mustard flowers, corn chips and sea blight. This is a good example of how Dan?s food has changed over the years. Dishes are much more free-flowing, almost seeming effortless. There are actually many techniques and layers but they are not on show. They just impact on the flavour, mouth-feel and deliciousness!
Lobster with carrots and sea butter
Another dish exemplifying the same principles was simply listed as salt grass lamb and grilled lettuce. This was an absolutely exemplary dish with the complexity hidden. The lettuce was brined for an hour before grilling. The beans are from the garden, some are tiny, picked early to avoid death by summer?s relentless heat. There is a tuna mayonnaise. There is dried oyster powder adding another invisible layer of flavour. There are also broad beans, yoghurt and hazelnuts and a second balancing sauce made by blitzing whole lemons with soy milk. And there's anchovy water in the style of ancient garum. All of these ingredients and techniques integrated into a dish of seamless flavour and texture to be the best Sunday lamb we have eaten.
Lamb with grilled lettuce
So interesting that at The Royal Mail we were always most captivated by the earlier dishes in the menu but here the dishes keep hitting new highs. Next, a dish of charred radicchio and duck offal was matched with red rice sake and was a stunning amalgam of bitter, creamy, sweet and savoury.
Duck offal with charred radicchio
The last savoury course was beef short rib with samphire and shitake, raw and braised. The richness offset by radishes, brined then compressed. Served with the perfect knife (9.47). That's reputedly the percentage of alcohol in the wine a group of friends were drinking when the idea for the knife was hatched.
Beef ribs with samphire and shitake
The first dessert was light and refreshing. Compressed watermelon, snow pea juice, rhubarb granita and quandong stuffed with beetroot custard. Also pickled young juniper berries. And here we do the disclaimer - we sell wine to Brae and this dish was matched with one of ours (Philippe Bornard's Tant Mieux).
Compressed watermelon dessert
The already-famous parsnip and dried apple dessert came next. The parsnip is slowly roasted and the flesh pur? and folded into egg and cream to make the heart of the dish. Somehow the skins are turned into a dramatic cone. Some of the freeze-dried apples served with it are grated over the top. There's a sprinkling of chamomile and it sits on a caramel sauce.
The famous parsnip dessert
And to finish - blood biscuits and berries, sitting in the bar was a fitting finish to a perfect meal.
Berries with blood biscuit
Disclaimer: Through an associated business, we import natural wines to Australia and are now supplying this establishment with some lines.
A description of the wines we are importing can be found here: