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Saturday 15th October 2011.
On this week’s episode of the K, V and myself’s gastronomical adventures, we explore the wonders that lie in Marquee.
K and I had arrived earlier than V and it was fortunate that we did because we encountered some difficulties in locating the place. Looking out for a sign to identify the restaurant turned out unfruitful because we ended up walking past the entire strip of shops and into mansion suburbia, assuming the restaurant would be in one of the ‘mansions’. We had walked too far and had to back track. Closer inspections of the numbers then revealed that Marquee was in fact tucked away in a shopping centre-like venue. My expectations dropped a little, thinking Oh great, this can’t be a good sign… Spoiler alert: How wrong was I!
My worries eased when I saw the entrance to the venue. For some reason the place calls out medieval castle to me.
The restaurant epitomises the fine dining scene. Subtle music playing in the background with only hints of ‘gentle’ conversation between diners. That is, until the doof doof music comes on at around 9.30pm from the night club underneath the venue.
I loved this set up. We thought many things of this: circus, wedding tent from the Harry Potter movie and Paris. It was only then that it occurred to us where the name Marquee comes from.
A quote from K: ‘Marquee does sound better than Tent.’ (I think you’re right. I’m not sure if I would want to go to a restaurant called Tent…)
I really do like the interior of this restaurant, as evident from the bombardment of this post with photos. Onto the food.
Complimentary bread. How cute are these?! We all thought they were eggs at first haha! The texture was perfectly smooth and I actually hesitated before breaking into them. Only for a split second though because I was starving!
Petit Wagyu burgers - with quail egg, baby beetroot, lettuce and tomato relish.
Mini burgers, need I say more? My stomach growled with approval as soon as my eyes feasted on this spectacular sight. The quail eggs are just so perfectly (and adorably!) sized! The taste was delicious!
Crispy pork belly - on celeriac puree with caramelised apple.
Personally I am sick of pork belly but it’s one of those items that must be ordered when you step foot into a fine dining restaurant. So of course we did. This is probably my pork overdose bias speaking, but the dish was okay. On another note, I like the presentation. The artful placement of the water cress really gives the dish a fresh feel.
Roasted scallops - with garlic and truffle butter wrapped in puff pastry.
This dish had us at first ‘read’ with the words garlic and truffle butter. And then the deal was sealed with the words puff pastry. I love how the pastry is in the shape of the shells.
This dish was delicious with the accompaniment of our complimentary bread. The garlic and truffle butter was just so rich in taste. The puff pastry was a perfect crispy texture. The scallop was okay too I guess (don’t take my word for it because I’m not a seafood fanatic…)
Honey glazed duck breast on confit duck leg with chive mash and orange and balsamic jus.
I was feeling quite full at this point so I wasn’t able to finish this dish and thought there was too much meat (especially after all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ the previous night). K and V tried a bit and liked this main dish over their seafood mains. I had no problem finishing the chive mash though and the sauce because they both tasted great. The chive mash was very fluffy and creamy to such an extent it was like popping chive flavoured clouds into my mouth. Yum!
Baby snapper filet with smoked prawn bisque and grilled prawns.
K said it was okay.
Crispy skin Atlantic salmon on celeriac puree, roast tomato stuffed with ratatouille and bois boudran sauce.
I tried a bit of the tomato and ratatouille and liked it. The taste reminded me of pizzas.
A side of french fries.
So at this point we were all really full and was considering passing on dessert. However the waiter gave us the menu anyway. The three options all sounded sublime, so we asked the waiter for his recommendation.
Me: So which selection do you think is the best?
Waiter: Oh, I don’t think. I know which one is the best and it’s the chocolate pudding! (It occurs to me that this sounds snooty as I type his words out but it wasn’t at all! He was a very friendly waiter!) So we just had to get this so called best dessert.
Soft centred chocolate pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and orange compote.
And it did not disappoint. It really wass AMAZING. EXQUISITE. MAGNIFICO! STUPENDOUS! (Haha, the guy from The Phantom of the Opera) But seriously, it was delicious. One, good presentation. Which really was not a surprise at this point as all the other dishes we had were also great in presentation. Two, the ice cream was definitely ‘home’ made and tasted oh-so-vanilla-y. The chocolate pudding… eaten together with the orange was truly perfection.
Look at all that chocolate goodness oozing out. The pudding itself was very ‘delicate’ to break in to. (Drats, this makes me want to make souffles…) There is a distinct contrast between the lightness of the pudding’s exterior and the dense sauce of the interior. Together with the orange and the ice cream, Marquee serves up what can only described as a deadly delicious chocolate pudding. AMAZING. SERIOUSLY AMAZING.
I will definitely be coming back to Marquee. Great food. Their tasting plates and desserts were definitely top notch. I don’t think I’d go for a main again but that’s okay because the tasting plates were quite substantial. They also had quite a few entrees that I was eyeing… Interior, also great. Venue… not great. Located within a shopping centre really detracts from the fine dining quality. Though, that really isn’t the biggest issue. It’s the doof doof music that turns on so loud that you can feel the vibrations. And the EXTREMELY rowdy crowd (huge lines!) that gather to line up don’t exactly make for a nice pleasant dining experience. Perhaps going on a week night is the way to go…
Stay tuned for the next adventure of K, V and M/I (myself…)
455 Toorak Rd,
Toorak, Victoria, 3142