The Counting House
Last night, a few of us were invited down to The Counting House in Mornington. It’s a quaint little place with good hearty food, just along the coast.
Housed in what used to be an old bank building, the head chef formerly trained under Curtis Stone & Marco Pierre White.
I was particularly taken by the interesting light fixtures throughout.
And the little ornaments that popped up unexpectedly.
A Fume Blanc from one of the wineries in the area.
Zucchini Fritters, Persian Feta & Leeks ($19)
Creamy feta within the zucchini flower and sweet cherry tomatoes cutting through the creaminess nicely.
Pork Belly, Ginger Vinegar, Apple Puree & Braised Witlof ($17)
My favourite starter next to the scallops. Everything a pork belly should be - from the lightest crisp airy golden skin, to the warm fatty luscious bite that follows, it’s just divine. With a lightly sweet apple puree & jus.
Scallops, Pea Puree, Crispy Carrot & Sweet Wine Reduction ($17)
The scallops were fresh and beautifully cooked, soft and silky within with a mild pea puree and crispy carrot garnishing added a little crunchy texture. But I find myself hardpressed to dislike scallops.
Quail Trio - Pan Seared Breast, Terrine & Scotch Egg ($19)
The first was a quail breast - tender and fragrant, seated atop jerusalem artichokes. The second, a creamy terrine on toast a little gamey and lastly a scotch egg & tomato relish.
Sashimi Style Tuna, Avocado & Gazpacho Sauce ($17)
The tuna sashimi was lightly seared around the edge, and pink & fresh within. Creamy avocado slices buried beneath the cool minty gazpacho.
Snapper, Pepperonata & Pesto Sauce ($30)
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb & Eggplant Puree ($34)
Corn Fed Chicken, Sherry Vinegar Sauce, Macaroni Cheese ($33)
Scotch Fillet & Bearnaise Sauce ($31)
Pumpkin Gnocchi, Sauteed Green Vegetables & Boursin Cheese ($23)
Crispy Duck Breast & Foie Gras Stuffed Figs ($32)
Medium rare, the duck breast was pink within, though I wish the skin was crisp as promised. To contrast, the flesh from the duck legs fell off the bone nicely. With sweet figs & the slightest hint of creamy foie gras.
Strawberry & Lime, one of the sweeter ciders I’ve had.
Frites // Potato Dauphinoise // Peas & Pancetta ($7)
The sweet peas with the fatty pancetta was quite the sinful side. The gratin was considerably less creamier than expected.
Chocolate Fondant & Strawberry Ice Cream ($14)
There was a nice bite to the fondant that gave way to oozy rich molten chocolate, finished with creamy cold strawberry ice cream.
Bread & Butter Pudding with Clotted Cream ($12)
Delectably made with croissants, it was beautifully buttery and quite fluffy with a neat quenelle of sweet clotted cream.
Lemon Curd, Chocolate Basket & Fresh Berries ($14)
With crisp glazed sticky almond shards, and a tangy lemon curd with fresh berries. The lemon curd was a little sweet for my liking given the almond shards were quite sweet as was the chocolate basket.
The Counting House isn’t re-inventing anything, but it’s taking classic well-loved dishes, and cooking them beautifully. I particularly adored the scallops & the pork belly, the lamb rack looked amazing and you can’t go wrong with the chocolate fondant or the bread & butter pudding.
NOTE: I was extended an invitation by The Counting House & Gun Communications, and this review is based solely on my personal thoughts of the atmosphere, the quality and aesthetics of the food & sweets treats we were presented with on the night.