Monday, May 21, 2012

golden fields.

Golden Fields
2/157 Fitzroy Street  
St Kilda VIC 3182
Tel: +61 (03) 9525 4488

Having been to Andrew McConnell’s Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co. on my previous visits to Melbourne, I made sure to include Golden Fields on my dining list when I was in town for a wedding. The menu at Golden Fields has an Asian slant and I was keen to find out how it fared against his other establishments considering that the rest focus on modern Australia type cuisine.

As expected, McConnell’s newest venture is hip and cool, just like the other 2 establishments he has. The dining room is contemporary and large. Somehow, all of McConnell’s restaurants have an edge – the high ceilings and the sleek décor. Golden Fields has a fairly large amount of bar seating that is ever so popular today and we were lucky enough to plonk ourselves on those high bar stools to watch the chefs at work.

 Fresh Sea Urchin, Flat Bread, Crisp Lardo, Escabeche

We started the meal with a little canapé of sea urchin. It wasn’t a bad starter but I think the escabeche had too much acid and overpowered the sweetness of the uni. The lobster roll was much more enjoyable. The bun was generously buttered and soft and the whole combination with the kewpie mayo and watercress worked well together. However, the crayfish was yet again, overshone by all that was going on.

 New England Lobster Roll, Hot Buttered Bun, Poached Crayfish,
Watercress & Kewpie

 Shredded Cabbage, Moreton Bay Bugs, Kampot Pepper & Mint

I really like the shredded cabbage with the moreton bay bugs. The bugs were fresh, succulent and slightly raw which I liked and the dressing for the cabbage was light and had a good amount of heat which one wouldn’t have expected just from looking at the dish. The Korean steak tartare (Yuk Hae) was also a very enjoyable dish. I loved the addition of the crispy shallots to this classic Korean favourite as it made the dish all the more fragrant.

 Grass-fed Black Angus Beef, Kimchi Puree, Egg Yolk, Crudite

 Crispy Soft Shell Mud Crab, Fried Egg Aioli, Scuds, Holy Basil

The letdown of the meal for me was the soft shell crab. It was pedestrian, over salted and probably not worth much of a mention. The star of the meal however, came at the end. I guiltily admit that I can't remember what meat this was exactly but if I recall (and guess) correctly, it's a variety of beef we had. What's important is that this dish with the miso leeks were delicious. The meat was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the leeks and garlic were sweet accompaniments that made the dish oh-so-awesome! I know the Sis enjoyed this dish very much (as she always does with red meat) and if not for our full tummies, this would have easily been a dish that we’d reorder.

 Peanut Butter Parfait, Salted Caramel & Soft Chocolate

Dessert came in the form of a sticky and rich peanut butter parfait that provided the meal a nice sweet finish.

All in all, dining at Golden Fields was a decent experience although personally, I felt that the food was a little on the pricey side. That aside, I’m still very much a fan of McConnell’s establishments and his food. However, if I had a choice of only one of McConnell’s restaurants to visit when I’m in Melbourne, this won’t be the first that I’ll be running to.