Saturday, 15 October 2011
We were looking to treat ourselves with a nice meal out while we were staying in the Mornington Peninsula. We had romantic visions of dining in a vineyard, but couldn't find anywhere open on a Wednesday night during the tail end of winter.
Walking past the small shopping precinct near our holiday cottage in Red Hill we noticed The Long Table. It didn't look too much from the outside, but when I saw that it has recently been awarded a Chef's Hat I was sold. I didn't think we'd need a booking, but it was a good job we reserved a table as the place was packed on a Wednesday night.
The drinks menu is hyper-local. To start with I ordered an amber ale from the Red Hill Brewery, situated 800m up the road. A light and bright beer with plenty of flavour. The wine list is local too with nearly all tipples coming from Victoria and many from the Red Hill area.
Both and Andrew and I went for the Wednesday night special of two courses and a glass of wine for $35. The main course was a confit duck leg served with crispy cavelero nero, prune, potato puree and beans.
It was a small, but lovely, plate of food. I'm quite critical that duck in Australia tastes bland, but this duck leg had a lot of flavour. It tasted like the duck I've eaten back in the UK. The prune added a lovely sweetness. The potato puree and beans went well with the duck. I wasn't sure what the point of the cavelero nero was.
As the special offer didn't have a vegetarian option Ruth ordered the smoked potato gnocchi, babaganoush, blackened carrots, kale & gruyere. The gnocchi had been deep friend and reminded Ruth more of a potato croquet. There was nothing left by the end, so I guess she liked it!
The second course on the special menu was a goats cheese, cheesecake with rhubarb. The cheese cake was deconstructed with two quinnells of the cheesecake placed on top of a biscuit crumb. The cheesecake was rich and smooth, which contrasted nicely with the sharp rhubarb. I didn't detect a strong goats cheese flavour. The small meringue (to the left of the plate) didn't add anything for me.
The service was very efficient and friendly and the restaurant had a buzzing atmosphere on a busy evening. If I am going to be critical our waitress could have spoken a bit louder as it was difficult to hear her at times, I'd prefer it if they gave you the food menus at the same time as the wine list (a bit hard to match food an wine otherwise) and it would have been nice to have had a bottle of water on the table.
Overall there was some very good food. Lots of technique and flavour which I think is well deserving of their newly awarded Chef's Hat.
The Long Table
159 Shoreham Rd
Red Hill South