Recently my apple of my eye and key to my heart Paul celebrated his last years of adventures of being in his 30's (sorry Paul but it's true - you can laugh at me when I reach the same point I promise). Paul always says he's easy to buy for but from every member of the family we can say it's not true. A humble fella that is happy with anything, but as a wife I feel I need to impress and deliver like he does for me every anniversary and birthday.
A dinner and quiet venture out was planned to somewhere that we had tried to get in before without a booking but failed. Of 2 people who have travelled the restaurant life for years should know that a table on a Friday night with no booking is hard to come by. So with no hesitation my wish list was looked up for a special occasion and a table booked.
This is what I've been waiting for, a dining experience to take me away on a journey to celebrate anothers special day.
Saint Crispin to some is known as a Christian patron saint of cobblers, tanners, leather workers and curriers, but here in Collingwood we know him as a Restauranteur who is serving us fine cuisine for all that venture.
A scrumptious 7 course birthday dinner on a Tuesday was nothing more than venturous I could assure you. Most people are lucky to get through a 3 course meal let alone a 7. But I wanted to impress remember.... but are those eyes bigger than the stomach you ask..... well honestly Yes but so totally worth every nickel.
A palate cleanser to start (not part of the 7 courses by the way) was refreshing and defiantly a palate starter to what was headed our way.
First course a salt baked celeriac dish with goats curd, dill and an apple crumb. You know when you taste something amazing you want to devour it so fast you would end up forgetting what you just had? Well you have to refrain from doing it when dining here. Savour the flavours and love every mouthful. Light goats curd with a slight salty celeriac was delicate and delicious.
Second course was a Kangaroo tatrare with native palm, warrigal greens and mastic. Mastic is like an opaque gum that is hard and brittle with a refreshing flavour similar to pine or cedar. This very delicate dish was full flavoured and with light peach flavours to accompany the kangaroo, I would have to say was a perfect dish.
But I have to say my favorite dish of the night and which contained a mind blowing experience for me was the Bass Grouper on a bed of black rice and verdale olives with a smashing squid ink. This is my suggestion of what to have when dining here. The balance of flavour combinations were exquisite and one that I did devour but will still rave about it.
Next was the Pork served with charred cabbage, nashi kimchi and shitake with a miso broth. Beautiful pork from Western plains cooked to mouth watering perfection and dressed with asian flavours. The crackle was golden and crisp with a slight sweet flavour but melted away heavenly in the mouth.
Are you full yet???
By this point I was counting how many dishes we had devoured, but so happy with the fact that the dishes were so extraudinary. Knowing that there was still 3 courses left I was worried I wouldn't fit thm in. I had to stand up and give myself more room so I could finish hat I had started.
Glazed lamb neck with quinoa, beetroot and eggplant was intense and rich. glorious tender lamb neck with fresh beetroot was amazing but for me too rich after eating so many other m
eals. I had to stop half way. A great winter or cool night meal for sure.
Dessert came in 2 parts, thats right I said it 2 desserts. Ot's every man's dream isn't it - well at least it's mine. You could never refuse a dessert let alone 2.
It's all about the strawberries with the Strawberry and goats cheese dessert served with white chocolate and logan. Freeze dried strawberries with a strawberry sorbet. Refreshing and pleasant and left you wanting a bigger serve so you could lick the plate even more.
The final meal was a decadent and delicious Chocolate custard with rosemary, cumquat and hazelnut. Together this dessert held powerful flavours somewhat savoury but still held it's sweet rich flavours. tart cumquat cut through the dark chocolate flavours and then good old rosemary came along and made it whole.
A dinner like this is not your usual night out thats for sure and needs to be saved for that special occasion. But if you are going here the prices of a 2 course is exceptionally reasonable with the quality of produce and amazing flavour combinations that they deliver.
If you are wanting to do a night like this make sure you book for the second sitting, it would be a very tight schedule to eat this in 2 hours if you want to enjoy it.
We had an amazing night and the service was pleasant through out the evening with even delivering that candle on a special someones dessert. I'm not too sure who got more excited about it though me or Paul. But hey I love birthdays, and if theres a candle on a cake, you have to get excited..... I will even blow out the candles if you don't want to, just make sure you make a wish when doing so.
It really is a restaurant you should visit, it is pretty amazing.
300 Smith street, Collingwood