This restaurant is the scene of power dining. It is the place where we do lunches which stretch on for hours and wine continues to flow dulling the content of the conversation. The charm of the experience and hospitality of the lovely staff never ceases to amaze its loyal patrons. Lunch here is always eventful.
The restaurant is underground with lovely terracotta style tiles and simple white clothed tables pack together. There is a meat stand in the middle, where deli meats are cut freshly to order. The restaurant features photos of politicians and business powerbrokers. I sit near a photo of Rupert Murdoch and Malcolm Turnbull… I guess I am in good company here….
Here’s how the lunch unfolds…
Fiori di Zucchini Fritti (Stuffed zucchini flowers with ricotta and anchovies)
The zucchini flowers and the beautiful batter that encases them are crunchy and crisp, while the ricotta is a velvety milky and creamy taste and texture and the leaves of the flower shake-off the batter for a lovely soft leafy covering to round out the dish. The anchovies didn’t have the impact I expected and were relatively unoticed. The star of this dish was the zucchini flowers and they shone to make the experience one to remember.
Steak Tartare ‘au Gueridon’ with Melba Toast and French Fries
The dish is freshly prepared at the table. It is quite joy watching one of the staff work through the flavours and destroy the yolk on the steak as it is mingled in a fusion of tastes and colours.
The saltine richness of the anchovy and mild tang and spice of the seasoning held together by the richness of the yolk is certainly something. The juicy steak is fresh and dangles its natural flavours. The crunch of the melba toast and fries add a lovely textural contrast to this simple dish. Every moment is a taste worth savouring as the natural flavours of the steak prance through every tastebud to leave that tingly sensation etched in your memory. It is truly a sensuous dish which is definitely one to remember.
I pair this with a couple of lovely glass of Melini La Selvanella, Chianti Classico ‘Riserva’ (2011), Tuscany, Italy. Its has a cherry and plum fruit flavours with a good mix of savoury spice notes and a velvety silky texture that works its way through into a long finish.
Warm Sticky Date Pudding served with butterscotch & ginger sauce with vanilla bean ice cream
The rich buttery smokiness of the butterscotch syrup is a truly sensational experience while the soft moist sticky cakes oozes the delicious sweetness and flavour of the dates while the bite of the ginger adds a little zest to the dish. Its a sticky gooey experience that has one licking the spoon in the finish. Very nice indeed.
I pair the dessert with a glass of Terragnolo, Primitivo Salento, (2011), Puglia, Italy. It is full bodied wine with considerable strength. The wine is littered with ripe fruit flavours of blackberries and light hints of cherries. A considerably streak of spice and balsamic like notes which depth to the wine. A good touch of acidity and tannins support the fruit intensity and make for a wonderful drinking experience.
Its a lovely way to finish and as usual a dining experience at Machiavelli is one to remember.