Recently my travels on a date night introduced me to a warm and chique restaurant/ bar. Mr & Mrs Howell is bustling with diners on a Friday night and were lucky to be apart of their full house.
A warm greeting by staff is always a perfect way to start, but whats more perfect is the cocktails that were ordered and made for a busy day at work come to a smoothing and relaxing end.
The menu is Modern Australian inspired and encompasses our diverse culture of Melbourne to deliver a beautiful and inspiring menu.
A selection of amazing dishes were ordered, and each made for the perfect grazing evening. First to begin was the Almond crusted goats cheese, drizzled with candies orange and honey.
The bar was set high for the remaining dishes as we gorged ourselves with this creamy and slightly sweet cheese on crisp baguette.
Accompany some of this creamy heavenly cheese with some micro herbs and enhance and change the flavours, with hints of baby basil and more it is an eye opener on how such simple flavours can change so suddenly.
I am not afraid to admit this either but I was caught as they say licking the plate clean.....
Grilled scallops with a black pudding crumb served with almond cream apple was shortly followed.
Perfectly cooked scallops with their slight golden caramelisation top and juicy flesh were tender and sweet. Bursts of black pudding softened the sweetness of the scollop adding a slight salty but delicate flavour.
The smears of the almond cream apple added a pleasant finish and like any puree suck as cauliflower, celeriac or have it be a sweet potato under the scollop, it should never take over from what is really meant to be the high light of the dish. And in this instance it was perfectly balanced and structured.
A softening course was presented to us prior to hitting more dominant flavours, and was a great cleanser between. The Prawn dumplings in a fish broth with mussels was filled with elegant flavours and well balanced.
The broth had such clarity and was not overpowering in fish flavours. Stocked with 2 large dumplings and 2 mussels it had such amazing flavours and textures. It was not long before it was devoured.
Our final main dish of the night was a slow roasted Pork Belly coated in a coriander, ginger and maple served with an Asian slaw.
This fall apart melt in your mouth pork was not only voluptuous in flavours, that makes you dive back in for more but was something simply balanced with the freshness of the slaw itself. Couldn't have been more happier.
I was impressed that when ordering we were not specific on how each dish came out to us, and was grateful that it had pre thought by our waiter and kitchen to ensure the balance of flavours from each meal would make our evening so complete.
We were able to remember each dish and hold on to each of their contrasting flavours and still be able to enjoy the next with out being confused on whether the flavours you were tasting now were from either the new dish or the old.
Dessert was a pleasant finish to the night, with jam donuts exploding in mango jam and coated in fine sugar along with the Creme Catalena.
The Creme Catalena is almost a creme brulee. Silky smooth vanilla custard with that caramelisation of toffee which cracks as your spoon enters into the velvety underneath.
Our evening was sensational, a combination of fine foods, great service from staff who you can tell enjoy working here make for a great evening.
Happiness is always with in beholder and dining here can only bring you happiness.... and full stomaches of course, but the happiness I felt dining here is now making me want to return time and time again.
Mr & Mrs Howell
173 Sydney rd,
9381 - 0846