TOP 100 QUEST: PROVENANCE, Beechworth Victoria

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Set up in Beechworth’s old bank building, this place is quite the find. A restaurant with luxury accommodation out the back, this place is worth the 3 hour drive from Melbourne airport. Michael Ryan’s food is Asian, European and Middle Eastern inspired and features local produce. This night’s degustation menu ticked all of the boxes for me.

We decided to have the optional starter of house made silken tofu, soused seafood, wasabi and ginger and I’m so glad we did! Smooth silky tofu with beautiful burst-in-your-mouth fish roe – so flavoursome, it really  got my tastebuds going.

Next, my favourite dish of the night – Cauliflower, fish floss, pickled cumquats, ponzu brown butter mayonnaise and nori. Perfection on a plate and one of those dining moments that I live for but are quite rare. I didn’t want this dish to end!

Then came the cobia in tomato and herb dashi followed by the smoked wallaby beautifully combined with grilled baby cos. The duck breast was my second favourite – served with sweet and sour zucchini which was nice and subtle, confit eggplant, puffed grains and lomo. Also fantastic was the Berkshire pork chop with fermented choko, dashi butter and burnt garlic oil.

Michael kindly brought us out an additional dessert before the ‘real’ one and this was my kind of dessert! Dried chocolate mousse with miso custard, apple jelly and cherries cooked in mirin. Not too sweet, and the miso custard added a more savoury element.  Loved it!

All up, an exciting meal with good service. And it’s a nice touch that Michael makes regular appearances in the dining room. The matched wines included some local Beechworth drops including a roussanne/marsanne, a Nebbiolo and a Chardonnay.  Such an enjoyable evening, made even better by an overnight stay in one of the beautiful rooms with a large comfy bed, some nice pieces of Asian furniture, a big double shower and spa bath!

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