Have you ever eaten at Loam?
Voted the "Best New Country Restaurant" for 2011 by The Good Food Guide in Drysdale, and I just had to give it a whirl.
Arriving at the restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space they provide - plenty of room between the tables with nobody sitting on top of you, and check out the view in the very first shot. Amazing!
We picked four courses which we had no idea what they would include. You're given a list at the beginning (like a menu) of all the ingredients that they're using in the kitchen that day, but what ones you'll get is all a big surprise. Love it!
So to get us started, we had pickled mussels from Portarlington.
Delicious. A slight pickle taste when you first bite into them, and the wonderful aftertaste of the ocean was absolutely superb.
Check out the butter!
I have no idea what they whipped into it but it was light and creamy with a lovely caramelised/burnt butter flavour through it.
Next was a prawn topped with rhubarb sorbet on top of a creamy mix of milk and lemon verbena.
Hmmmmm...such a beautiful looking dish, but for me it just didn't hit the mark. The coldness from the sorbet almost numbed my mouth so that no other flavour was able to come through.
Followed closely behind the prawn dish was a piece of stripy trumpeter fish topped with an anchovy, pork fat and placed on avocado.
My favourite dish of the day!
The fish was so sweet and tender with a burst of saltiness from the anchovy. Yum, yum, yum.
Now I have to admit that at this point during the lunch we were starting to get worried. We'd had 3 of our 4 dishes so far and we were still really hungry. Do we add more dishes? Do we stop on the way home to grab something extra to eat?
Then the light bulb goes off.
The first dish was just a little starter to whet our appetite - not an actual dish.
We still have two more to go, not just one like we thought. Wooo hooo!
So dish no. 3 was a piece of Wagyu rump, with Jerusalem artichoke, sea lettuce and thyme.
And for dessert, a butter parfait with filling of beetroot and topped with walnut oil and candied orange.
And can I just say that the white fluffy stuff of top is actually the walnut oil!
To top it all off, these little lemon curd babies showed themselves at the very end. Wow. The pastry just melted in your mouth.
By the end I was pleasantly surprised by how full I actually was.
I really love and appreciate how much time and effort goes into this sort of food - so precise. Especially because I have no intention whatsoever of cooking like this at home.
However, in saying that. It's not my favourite type of food to eat.
I'm a lover of hearty food, and being in a country town, I guess I was expecting this type of food, so even though I really enjoyed every aspect of this lunch, I did personally leave a little disappointed.
One thing I do have to say was that the service was exceptional. I've never had better.
Loam, 650 Andersons Road, Drysdale