TOP 100 QUEST: O.MY, Beaconsfield, Victoria
O.MY makes for a great story. Why? Because it’s the story of three young brothers – Blayne, Tyson and Chayse who bought an old butcher shop and, in a relatively short time, have successfully created a Top 100-worthy dining experience in Beaconsfield, regional Victoria. Yes, it’s the ‘something from nothing’ story of the Bertoncello brothers with chefs Blayne and Tyson in the kitchen and youngest brother Chayse out front being the consummate host and sharing his keen interest in wine.
They started renovating the property back in 2013 and the result is an interior with black walls, exposed brick, simple tables and chairs, banquettes, photos and quirky stencils/artwork done by… you guessed it, the boys themselves. You’ll even find a recipe or two worked into the brickwork.
What makes it even more interesting is their passion for growing a lot of the produce themselves and they also engage in a bit of foraging. There are vegetable gardens and an orchard where they carefully cultivate and nurture the plants required for their culinary creations that are offered in a degustation-only menu with a choice of four, six or eight courses.
Given that I had a big dinner planned for that night, we went for the 6 courses. That was the easy decision. Wine, not so easy. We were having option anxiety and thankfully Chayse stepped in and recommended the L.A.S. Vino Albino Pinot from Margaret River, a 2014 Pinot noir/chardonnay. I do love an interesting blend – a bottle please! Not only does he know his wines, it’s obvious that Chayse loves what he does and he’s quite the character – in a good way. His enthusiasm and humour is infectious and we really enjoyed our friendly exchanges.
First up we were served some of the house-made sourdough and butter. Shortly after came the snacks, and it was good to see something different – juicy and fleshy burnt Warrigal greens with vinaigrette powder and lightly pickled pumpkin skins with nut cheese and marigold. Both very fresh and textural. And I loved, loved LOVED the Tomato water with Indian spice basil and thyme oil – punchy, super-concentrated tomato flavour.
Our first course was a 2 hour egg, zucchini risotto with zucchini sauce, fried zucchini chips, black garlic, basil blue spice, basil tahini/seeds. Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables and I can safely say I’ve never had it like this. The dish was a whole world of texture – an interesting combination of softness and crunch.
The next course rocked my world – Salmon pastrami! Yes, a beautiful thick, meaty slice of cured salmon served with chopped beans, lemon basil, spiced emulsion, lemon gel and samphire that made me feel like I was eating straight from the veggie garden. This dish was a balance of creaminess and acidity. I could very easily have eaten a slab of the salmon for a main course.
Next was the Pumpkin roasted with chilli, thyme and garlic covered with a pumpkin pasta sheet, praline, ash, toasted seeds, garlic puree and allium flowers. I’ve never had a dish with pumpkin as the hero before (pumpkin soup doesn’t count) – a great combination of flavours and that pasta sheet was so light and lovely. This is a fine example of garden to plate.
Then there was the Pork belly, concentrated pork stock (Oh MY!), green tomato and apple chutney, radish seedlings, kale seedlings and nasturtium. A simply presented dish – we loved the flavours. Next time I want a mug of concentrated pork stock! The final savoury dish was the Aged beef, jus roasted tomatoes, tomato honey, fermented potato and Malabar spinach and flowers. Perfectly pink meat plated beautifully, with each element creating a well balanced dish. Give me more of that fermented potato!
With the savoury courses over, the desserts came out in three waves. And these are the type of sweets I like – not too sweet and incorporating quite a few savoury elements including black garlic, black pepper, cucumber and mint.
You really need to pay O.My a visit – it’s certainly worth making the trip. You’ll be wowed with its originality. This place is completely non-pretentious – the food is playful but has a serious edge to it. You can tell that head chef Blayne puts his heart and soul into this food – you can feel the passion in every mouthful.