February 22, 2011


Dining Date: October 2010
Rating: 36th, 2 Stars
Chef: Teage Ezard & Sharn Greiner
Location: 187 Flinders La, Melbourne, VIC, (03) 9639 6811
Website: www.ezard.com.au

I’ve been putting off writing this post for a very long time, since October last year to be precise. The exact reasons why I’ve been putting it off are varied, mainly because I didn’t have a great experience at Ezard, but I know that loads of people love the place and that generally it’s an establishment with pretty high standards. For some reason I thought I was being unfair giving it a bad slant considering I’ve only been there once. But then again we have to all understand that a majority of restaurants have once only customers, and an unhappy experience tends to stick in the brain.

We decided to go along to Ezard in October to experience the signature eight course tasting menu. A menu comprising some of Ezard’s most popular and distinctive dishes, crafted over 11 years of business, some of which have even made it to immortalisation in Ezard’s cookbook…Ezard. Daz and I were pretty excited, in our mind there was no better way to experience a restaurant than a selection of their very best. We had already made up our minds - we were going the full hog and prepared our stomachs for the onslaught…but that wasn’t to be.

As soon as we were handed the menu we were talked out of having the eight course degustation, it seems that we had an early booking and that 8 courses would take too long, so we were steered towards our choice of 5 from the eight on offer. To say I was a little disappointed would be an understatement…but in the end it was probably a blessing. I’ll probably get shot for this, but the food wasn’t that great and the service was bordering on rude. We were ignored for a good part of the night, and the only smile we got from the waiter was at the very last course, probably because we were about to vacate the table.

Bread is one of those things that is a hit or miss. In some places you get wonderfully warm and fresh bread with possibly some good quality olive oil, in others it might be day old leftovers with cold hard butter. Ezard stepped their game up, beautiful soft bread, good quality olive oil and some flavoured dust to accompany your bread consumption. This was seriously good, there was a rosemary and Parmesan, a red pepper and I don’t remember what the last one was, but nonetheless….I could have eaten an entire loaf of bread covered in these “dusts”, the best thing about them was that they were replaced quite often.

bread dust flavourings

Also to start we had a small shot filled with foam to kick start the meal, I missed the description of this but thought that I should add it for posterity sake, I think it was cucumber and prawn. Sadly the foam quickly collapsed so the photo looks a little sad. But it was quite pleasant and was getting us in the right mood.

starter at ezard

Asparagus, Persian fetta and witlof salad with poached quail egg, soft herbs and hazelnut dressing. This was nice, light and tasty. The veggies were still crunchy so it was a real sense of eating spring, the soft quail egg acted as its own little self saucing device.

starter 2

Oxtail wonton dumpling in sweet and sour tamarind broth, lime, chilli and shaved coconut. Unfortunately this dish was more on the sour side than sweet. The tamarind and lime both attacked your palate, it was a little bit of a killer but the flavours were all there. The oxtail dumpling was pretty delicious – the soft gelatinous meat inside the thin skinned dumpling was really well done, I just wish the broth wasn’t so sour. I actually have a copy of this recipe, so I’ll give it a go myself.

starter 3

Crispy skin barramundi with Chinese broccoli, yellow curry dressing and baby cress salad, give me a massive bowl of that curry and plain rice and I’ll be in heaven. Like the oxtail dumpling, there were elements that stood out clearly above the rest and the yellow curry was the winner for me. There was nothing wrong with the barramundi, its just that the curry distracted you, in a good way, from everything else on the plate.

starter 4

Five spiced bangalow sweet pork belly with shredded apple and coriander salad, ginger wine glaze. When something is placed in front of you that has a perfectly positioned piece of crackling, you know what you’ll put in your mouth first….bye bye crackling. The pork was soft and juicy and you cant go wrong with the combination of pork and apple, but the glaze once again was a little on the sour side. I completely understand the pairing of ginger/sourness with this dish, but by this stage I was totally over the whole sour element in every dish – sourness from the dumpling broth, sourness from the yellow curry, and now the sourness in the glaze…it was becoming a little repetitive. If I had any of the dishes on their own they would have been great, but as a combination and one after the other – my stomach and tongue were taking a beating.

starter 5

Open Wagyu beef burger with brioche bread and soft centred quail egg. Daz loved this one, and any wonder really, he’s a man and a burger was place in front of him - he was bound to love it. For me, it was good but not great.

starter 6

Banana parfait, cinnamon tuille and passionfruit syrup, the flavours were all there….a winning combination……except, the parfait had massive ice crystals in it. Sigh. But how can I be mad with a dessert which comes out with a banana and basil hat?…..how cute is that!

ezard dessert

Overall, it was a bit of a fizzer. To be honest sometimes service plays a big part in your experience, the food was bad per say, but it could definitely be made better with a smile and some finesse from the wait staff. I’ll be back at Ezard, I really don’t think it fair to judge the whole affair on one off night - there were some elements there that really sparked my interest, so they do deserve a second chance.

On a completely different note….Daz has started a whole NEW blog. This time it’s about interesting stuff, sorry babes but only a select number of people are into android development. This time he’s started a blog covering his thirty before 30 challenge. As a 29th birthday present I’ve given him 30 challenges to complete before the big three O smacks him in the face and he’s going to chronicle them in blog form. The challenge will last 12 months and he is duty bound to complete them all, the catch is that he’ll find out what the challenge is only a week before he completes it. So head on over to the Thirty before 30 blog to check out what he’s up to.

Ezard on Urbanspoon


Agnes said...

Ah, I wondered if you were going to blog this!

PS: YAY at Daz's 30 before 30!

Dwayne said...

I would have you know that my Android blog is rather popular if the analytics results are to be believed.

Oh and see I do read your blog :P

thanh7580 said...

I didn't have a good time at Ezard either and thought the food was quite ordinary. The service was also lacking for me and one incident in particular got me quite annoyed.

I understand what you mean about judging it on one occasion, but we can only write what we experienced on that night. Any other patron will judge their meal off one instance and tell their friends about it.

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

If you're going to have somewhat unwelcoming service, then your food has to be spectacular, say I!

The Thirty Before 30 idea is brilliant! I just hit 29 myself, so will be watching on in anticipation :)