Jacques Reymond the restaurant and Jacques Reymond the man and chef were both utterly delightful and charming at my recent visit. On my trip to Melbourne I was so taken by my first dinner (sans camera) that I had a second dinner in the one week at Jacques Reymond but this time with my camera in tow. The second visit is the dinner of this post and was my opportunity to meet the man himself.
From the moment I arrived I was captivated, with a beautiful table set in the traditional French way, polished silver with fish knives and sauce spoons and fork tines turned down. On the first night I checked out the wine list on arrival, on the second there was no need. That evening started as the first, with a glass of 2002 Dom Perignon. Yes, that’s right it is available by the glass. I was already on the right path.
Light and tempting cheese choux beignets whet the appetite and then it began. The stunning unfolding of a truly international menu, French foundations in symbiotic synchronicity with Asian flavours and textures. The culinary world passed across my table. I marvelled at the genius that could create such dichotomy of complexity and simplicity together in each dish. The flavour progression amazed me. In the reading of the menu, one might think (as I did) that the rabbit and squid dish was an unusual choice to sit between the pork and the beef rump. Not at all Chef explained. The rabbit acted like a savoury palate cleanser.
A Taste of our Degustation Menu
Jaques Reymond has designed a unique menu featuring the finest of Australian produce to reflect the flavours of the season:
Tea-smoked chicken and watercress soup, potato foam and tempura wakame oyster azeite dende
2008 Bella Ridge Chenin Blanc, Swan Valley, WA
Gaspacho of tuna oriental style, dashi and pure natural tomato jelly, native Davidson red plum
2008 Pouilly Fume Tonelum, Loire Valley, France
Flavours of autumn: deep sea rockling with anchovy and coffee, Mount Buffalo hazelnuts and orange oil, saffron rouille dressing
2009 Toolangi ‘Jacques Reymond Selection’ Yarra Valley, Vic
Western Plains pork shabu shabu in masterstock, fresh pappardelle, Tasmanian wasabi espuma and ponzu juices
2008 Durandoi Grand Cru, St Emillon, Bordeaux, France
Gippsland white farmed rabbit and crispy squid, spiced walnuts and compresed apples, oloroso sherry vinaigrette
2008 Yabby Lake Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula, Vic
Wagyu beef rump and oyster sauce, eggwhite omelette of shark fin, grated daikon and chilli, our ketchup sorbet
2006 Dalwhinnie ‘Jacques Reymond Selection Cabernet’, Pyrenees, Vic
Iced coffee and chocolate martini, Tahitian vanilla, caramelised nuts
Deconstructed cheese cake: galette of fresh Gipplsand fromage blanc l’artisan, warm fruit pudding, mountain bush pepper berries ice cream
2006 Pressing Matters Riesling R139, Coal River, Tasmania
Coffee and petit fours
I was enarmoured. There is absolutely no wonder that this restaurant, chef and team are so highly acclaimed. To top it off the food was wrapped with the most marvellous service. Correct yet warm, polite yet friendly. All that I admire in a restaurant was delivered. Each table had each plate presented swiftly to all seated. Similarly all plates were removed in a timely precision. But best of all I experienced something I don’t remember seeing for a very long time. As the tables were cleared after guests had left and the new cloth replaced, the empty table was not reset that evening in the presence of guests at other tables in the restaurant. Such a joy to not have that extra little clatter of crystal and cutlery during the final moments of my own meal. Coming from Sydney, though I’m not a local, my choice for Armagnac and coffee to close was remembered from earlier that week. As with the mirrored start of Champagne, the second Jacques Reymond visit closed the circle and finished in the same way as the previous week, with a smile of complete satisfaction. Thank you, a very big thank you, Jacques Reymond and team for a truly sensational experience.
Jacques Reymond restaurant
78 Williams Road, Prahran VIC 3181 Australia
+61 3 9525 2178