Richmond Hill Cafe Larder ‘Discover Spain’

Kim Coronica and Greg Feck chose the ultimate way to share their Spanish holiday – on the plate and on the wall in the restaurant with their customers of Richmond Hill Cafe Larder, Melbourne. Holiday snapshots created a slideshow, and the best of dishes from the restaurants (and even a train station) they visited in Spain were presented in this special event dinner.

When I heard about this dinner, I knew it would be something special so I called Electrolux Appetite for Excellence, 2010 Young Restauranteur of the Year, Kim Coronica to see if there was a seat for me with her regulars, and flew down especially for the November 2010 dinner. And, I was totally delighted. It was a fantastic evening: sharing their journey, viewing the photos, listening to their stories, enjoying the company, learning more about the new wave of Spanish fine food and relishing the delicious recreations of the tastes of Spain.

The only downfall? – if you can call it that? – was that after the dinner I, like many in the room, wanted to hop on a plane and pop off for our own holiday. The restaurant that created the inspiration for each dish back in Melbourne was credited on the ‘Discover Spain’ menu. For those of us who really do embark on our own culinary journey of Spain, Kim and Greg had kindly included the address and phone number of each restaurant on the menu too.

‘Discover Spain’

ON ARRIVAL

Candied green olives stuffed with anchovy off its tree
El Cellar de Can Roca, CAN SUNYER 48, 17007 Girona, Spain
+34 972 222 157

ON THE TABLE

Caramelised walnuts, 5 spices
Crispy chicken skin, Catalan salt

Dos Pallilos, C/ Elisabets 9, 08001 Barcelona, Spain +34 933 040 513
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota Joelito Gran Reserva
Lopez Pascual, Corredera Baja de San Pablo 13, 28003 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 228 512

2006 Valiformosa Brut ‘MVSA Reserva’, Penedes, Spain

ON THE BAR – PINTXOS

Salt cod, Manchego cream
Atari, C/ San Bartolom 1, 20007 San Sebastián, Spain + 34 943 4444 511
Leek, egg, chorizo
Erreteguia, Calle de la Esafeta 53, 31001 Pamplona, Spain +34 948 225 613
Potato and smoked tuna tortilla
Zaragoza train station

2009 Artazuri Garnacha Rose, D.O. Navarra
OR
Rosita Artesenal de Tarragona Beer

TASTING MENU

Tiger mussell croquetta, mojo picon
Octopus skewer, potato emulsion paprika oil

Estado Puro, P2 Canovas Del Castillo 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain +34 913 302
2009 Telmo Rodrigues ‘Gaba do Xil’ Godello, Valdeorras, Spain

Millefeuille of foie gras, smoked eel, Granny smith apple, spring onioncreamMartin Berastageui, C/LOIDI 4, 20160 Lasarte0Oria, Spain +34 943 366 471
2009 Eidosela ‘Abastrum’ Albarino Trexadiro, D.O. Rias Baixas, Spain

Roast and raw vegetable salad
Mugaritz, Otzazulueta baserria Aldura-aldea 20, 20100 Errenteria, Spain
+34 943 52 24 55
2009 Eidosela ‘Abastrum’ Albarino Trexadiro, D.O. Rias Baixas, Spain

Egg, mushrooms, pine nut mayonnaise
Akelarre, Paseo Padre Orcoloaga 56, 20008 San Sebastián, Spain +34 943 311 209
2009 Palacios Remondo ‘La Vendimia’ Tempranillo Garnacha D.O. Rioja Baja, Spain

Suckling pig, watermelon, beetroot juice, patatas bravas
El Cellar de Can Roca, CAN SUNYER 48, 17007 Girona, Spain +34 972 222 157
2009 Palacios Remondo ‘La Vendimia’ Tempranillo Garnacha D.O. Rioja Baja, Spain

Coconut cream, curry, lime sorbet, coriander
Diverxo, C/ Pensamiento 28, 28020 Madrid +34 915 700 766
Green iced tea with a dash of ginger grape juice

Chocolate, salted caramel, Irish coffee
Martin Berasategui, C/ LOIDI 4, 20160 Lasart-Oria, Spain +34 943 366 471
Sanchez Romate Reserva Pedro Ximénez

The dinner was totally marvellous, as was the embracing welcome I was given by the effervescent Kim Coronica and talented Chef Greg Feck.

It’s always hard to pick favourites at a really special dinner. The dinner started on a fabulous foot when as I walked in the door, I was invited to ‘pick’ my olive from the tree. Chef said that he was inspired by the trees that sat on the dinner table at Roca. The candied olives were just incredible. Light thin crisp candied shells were sweet and savoury in one delicious mouthful. The two starters were superb and all of the pintxos were delicious.

My highlight of the tasting menu was most definitely the millefeuille: rich unctious and unexpected. I adored the marriage of smoked eel with foie gras and apple. Could I have some more please? (I could eat this every day).

Feck was generous with the salad. Mine, as for others at the dinner who paid for the ‘extra’, was generously laden with shaved fresh white Alba truffle. A real treat amongst what was already a mighty scrumptious feast. My mouth fell open in anticipation as Chef just kept shaving more and more truffle over my plate.

There were other unexpected delights to in the Akelarre inspired egg dish. I seem to remember that Greg told me that the ‘original’ had a preserved egg. His interpretation was to ‘cure’ the egg yolk in a salt mixture. The result, was a thick, rich, intense yet fresh flavour. Regular readers of Inside Cuisine might remember that the egg is right up there as one of my favourite foods, so this superb dish was probably if pushed, my pick of the night!

The other surprise of the night was the pre-dessert: a savoury (and curried) coconut cream with lime sorbet. Seemingly more Asian inspired, it worked very well as a palate cleanser, as did the accompanying beverage.

All in all though, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t enjoy. I was really pleased to see some of the more traditional flavours mixed with some of the (r)evolutionary food. It was an honour to be able to take my seat at the dinner and to sample in one night some of the best that Spain has to offer.

As I was travelling without camera, my thanks to Kim Coronica for the photos. And, thanks too to Chef Greg Feck and all of the team at Richmond Hill Cafe Larder for a really special night and lifetime event.

Richmond Hill Cafe Larder
48 – 50 Bridge Road,
Richmond, Victoria

+ 61 3 9421 2808

You can also follow Kim Coronica and Greg Feck on twitter.

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