Rear 412 Brunswick Street
UPDATED DEC 2011: Popped by for brunch.
Located off busy Brunswick Street, where parking spots are notoriously hard to come by on weekend nights.
I do believe the last time I was this enraptured and entranced by the dining scene in Melbourne was at Embrasse.
From the moment I stepped in, I was in love. There’s something incredibly alluring about the Brix. From its dining room.
The gorgeous open window counter top.
To the secluded half open airy courtyard.
When I go into such excruciating laborious detail, you know Brix has me wrapped around its little finger.
Brix offers a five course tasting menu ($80) which changes weekly. They also have a simple bistro menu. Judging by the tasting menu, there is nothing simple about their dishes.
Hemingway Daiquiri - Rum, Lime, Grapefruit
The prettiest blush rose concoction. Delicious to the last drop, with a fragrant lime peel curl.
The butter was soft and dreamy. I unashamedly finished off that generous pat of butter with one wedge of bread. That’s right, I befriend butter haters. They go hand in hand with us butter lovers.
Cloudy Bay Oysters with Red Vinaigrette ($12)
Charmingly served with both sides of the shell intact, a gentle pry reveals a glistening oyster morsel. A light vinaigrette accompaniment does not mask the beautifully fresh flavours of the sea.
Tuna, Avruga & Seaweed
The simple description belies this enchanting first course. A sheet of tuna jelly, a mound of avruga, juicy shiitake and enoki mushrooms, translucent seaweed, long beans, a crispy beancurd skin which I adore, and I briefly caught flavours of Furikake and ginger.
The presentation was not very consistent even though both were equally intriguing. My dining companion had a complete sheet of tuna jelly which was delicious and delicate. I loved sampling my way through each component and savouring each mouthful.
Scallop, Pork & Broadbeans
Tender perfectly cooked scallops, sitting in the tiniest pool of its juice, topped with a slippery succulent lardo strip which bursts in your mouth, revealing sensual smoky flavours. A crunchy piece of pork crackling and a scallop sashimi sliver complete the duo. Broad beans, baby radishes - whole, half and sliced, edible florals and pork hock sauce adorn the slate.
Beef, Eel & Turnip
The highlight of this course was that gorgeously seared piece of beef, seductively pink and beautifully marbled. The other accompaniments of smoked eel, beef tendon, beef gelee were mere spectators.
Lamb, Lettuce & Anise
The final savoury course was lamb. There was a beautiful strip of tender lamb with this deliciously crispy coat, lightly battered sweetbreads, entwined with lettuce leaves and sweet peas. And a mound of potent star anise crystals.
Banana, Caramel & Rosemary
In the same note as the other courses, we are left to our own devices in figuring out each component of the dish. The creamy pool continued to gently bubble away. A soft banana sits in the middle, the creamy pool is comfortingly sweet and faintly milky. Buried beneath the white chocolate sand lies delicious pockets of chocolate and coffee granules. Again, tasting and testing each component, then combining them to discover a better mouthful.
Not wanting the magic to end, we revert to the Bistrot menu. We select the two desserts on the menu - the Seasonal Tart & the Creme Brulee. I expected their desserts to be in a similar fashion to their tasting menu. Dainty, delicate and whimsical.
Earl Grey Creme Brulee ($14)
They were heartier desserts. Despite the murky brown visuals, the creme brulee had lovely milky tea flavours, with buttery shortbread tiles.
Chocolate & Lavender Tart with Strawberry Compote ($14)
The chocolate tart was quite intense, yet wonderfully light, and went beautifully with the strawberry compote. The lavender flavours could be stronger.
I should have stopped after the five courses, but I couldn’t resist. I wanted to remain spellbound. Knowing that the Brix changes its tasting menu regularly merely enhances its appeal. How could anyone resist the Brix with its gorgeous setting, whimsy plating and enticing cocktails.
You have my card. What are you waiting for - call me.