TOP 100 QUEST: EZARD, Melbourne
Ezard opened at the Adelphi hotel in Flinders Lane in 1999. People fell in love with Teage Ezard’s Asian-influenced contemporary food. The first time I ate here was around twelve years ago and I had mixed feelings about it – I found some of the flavours in some of the dishes a little overpowering at times. This time I really enjoyed the experience.
Ezard is in the basement down a flight of stairs. Behind the lime green door with a large black ‘e’ on it, you’ll find a long, rather narrow dining room. It was a week day lunchtime and I was on the clock. Thankfully Ezard caters for people in a hurry and offers a 3 course express lunch option for $55 which includes a glass of chardonnay or pinot noir, and I’m extra happy as it’s 3 savoury courses. They also offer a 4 course pre-theatre menu. But for people not in a hurry, there’s an a la carte menu, an 8 course degustation and an 8 course vegetarian degustation.
I really liked the sound of the express lunch dishes, in fact, I would happily order all of them if given the a la carte menu:
- Cured swordfish, pickled cucumber, wasabi, soy and sesame, native finger lime
- Steamed spanner crab dumplings, Yarra Valley salmon roe, chervil, coconut tom kha
- Twice cooked pork belly, mustard glaze, black pudding, apple, celeriac and fennel pollen
The food gets top marks for both presentation and quality. For me, the swordfish was a perfect dish. The crab dumplings were meaty and comforting and the pork belly was simply splendid with excellent crackling. The service was some of the best I’ve had. I’d like to go back and try some other dishes when I’m not so rushed, but I’d be equally happy to have the express lunch again too! It’s injspired me to get my Ezard cook books out again!