I hadn’t been very enthusiastic about publishing (or writing) this blog post but since Sage has finally completed their 5 week taste testing and are launching their new menu, I thought I’d better get around to it.
I received a sms (ages ago), it read that Sage was having a 5 course degustation tasting menu for $60.00 per person. I was super excited to trial their taste test and grabbed three friends and headed there for a late night Thursday dinner.
They gave us each a stamped score card on the butcher’s paper table cloth, I thought it was super cute idea and also found it very handy to keep notes but this also meant that I got to find out what everyone else thought of the same dish.
Complimentary bread and butter.
Course #1 – artichoke soup served with an artichoke crisp. So airy and light in texture yet there was so much flavour. This was a really good start to the night, I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next!
There was a bit of a wait between these courses, I was starting to think that they forgot about us and there weren’t that many people left when we were having dinner (with an 8:30pm start).
Course #2 – Braised oxtail, olive snow, artichoke, rosemary with a parsley blob. The braised oxtail was very tender but when eaten by itself I found it a little dry and it needed the vegetables or the olive snow. I’m not the biggest fan of strong salty olives so I found the tapenade a bit too much.
Course #3 – Non seafood option: pumpkin ravioli with sage. The classic pairing of pumpkin and sage, you can’t go wrong.
Murray cod, leek, asparagus, kipfler potatoes. I thought the kipfler potatoes were cooked to perfection, crispy yet tender in the centre but all it lacked was seasoning, I was surprised it didn’t have any salt on it. I didn’t mind the fish but if you’re going to pan fry it, I prefer the skin to be (at a minimum) little crispy.
Course #4 – Roasted duck breast with foie gras, Heirloom carrots, celeric and green apple salad with hazelnuts. With the right person, this dish would probably be perfect, but for me, I’m not a fan of foie gras and I’m very picky with my duck.
The duck skin was not crisp at all and was almost rubbery to cut. I did enjoy the salad though as I found all the crisp and sweet textures refreshing to the disappointing duck and I’m always a fan of Sage’s superb purees. I gave this a score of 4 not because I don’t like foie gras, but I felt that this dish didn’t hold it’s own when I omitted one element and that major component of the dish were not executed well.
Course #5 – Yoghurt bavois, oat biscuit, ginger ale jelly, rhubarb compote, pepper honey and almond ice cream. This was so disappointing and that was represented by the score. Where to start? The almond ice-cream wasn’t to my liking and it tasted very much like a strong marzipan. The rhubarb compote was overwhelming so I could not taste the ginger ale jelly or the bavois unless I ate it on its own (and even then the jelly flavours were very faint).
My favourite aspect of the dessert was the oat biscuit and that can’t be good.
Numbers were dwindling as I went down the score card. It will be interesting to see what made the cut and what didn’t when Sage releases it’s Spring menu this Thursday. I hope the soup made it on there!