It’s not every day we hear of a place that’s actually really close (probably far away for a lot of people) and yet is making headlines the very week we chose to try it out. Champions Grill at Clayton Bowls Club no doubt will be extra busy these next few months after the coverage from The Age and other foodies. I don’t think I would’ve found it without the media attention – I’m not into lawn bowling (after this experience I might give it a try!)…
I’m so glad we booked a table to celebrate my relatives coming over from Hong Kong and Canada. If they had come any later we probably wouldn’t have gotten a table – it sounds like they’re booked out for the rest of the year. It’s a shame – I really wanted to try their degustation which is priced incredibly at only $50.
Their menu is rather odd in that two courses costs $35 while three courses costs $45. I say this is odd because their desserts are so cheap – each one was priced at $9 only – I was so surprised we nearly missed out on these!
Our appetisers – well for eight people we didn’t try any other appetiser apart from the Batesman bay scallops – I guess we are all Asians. I’d have to say I’d agree with my aunty’s remark that these scallops were puny but gosh that sauce was tasty – celery and parsnip.
For our mains we afforded a bit more variety between the eight of us. We ordered four wagyu rump steaks. Funnily enough everyone was raving about how good the onion rings were and I have to say they were very impressive. Thick slices of onion rings battered and fried to perfection. The steak itself was fantastic though there was some variation – four medium rare steaks but unfortunately the one I had was well done. Still nice.
The fish of the day was lovely – I’ve never seen such delicate presentation before! Also the combination of squid and peas is definitely something to remember for the future. The flavours were very subtle though and when we were sharing between the dishes the fish was easily overshadowed.
The only other main we ordered (gosh us Asians all like ordering the same thing) was the pork cheek. This was succulent, juicy but also had a very generous portion of fat. A beautiful dish once again.
By this time (we had sat down at 730pm for dinner), we thought it was getting rather late as the dishes came out rather slowly. The venue was pretty full and I can see why the kitchen probably struggled a bit to serve every table quickly. Luckily we were swayed by their desserts – and I’m glad to say we tried them all.
My favourite was the lemon curd. Meringue is freshly piped into mounds on the plate and then blow torched. A lovely dish
The other one I tried was the Granny smith apple “pie” which comes with caramelised milk and gingerbread. A bit on the sweet side but those lovely mounds were easily demolished.
The strawberry dessert came with buttermilk curd, beetroot jam and parsnip. It looked lovely and the two who ordered this seemed to thoroughly enjoy it (I wish I had a taste!)
All in all, a fantastic experience. Don’t come for a speedy dinner but it was rather cheap for the quality of the food. It’s a shame they seem rather busy after their recent coverage by The Age in Epicure – we had been planning another visit for their degustation. I guess we’ll just have to wait in line!