Posts Categorized: Albert Park

The Point: old vs new

Old: Poached egg, white polenta and black truffle It’s a nice idea. Pit the old school talent of your executive chef versus the new technique-led talent of a young chef. Tonight it was at The Point pitting the old school butter soaked technique of executive chef Scott Pickett versus Ryan Flaherty who has worked at Arzak, El Bulli, The Fat Duck and a few other avante garde style restaurants. New: 63c egg, blackened corn and jamon Winner: Old: Poached egg, white polenta and black truffle. It’s almost cheating using this combination and a difficult one to beat. But it is a classic opening move.

What’s The Point?

Slow-cooked black lip abalone, a Coffin Bay oyster in a Peking Duck consommé The staff, a 25-strong brigade of chefs alone in the summer, at The Point may well ask ‘what the point is’. Snubbed by the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide and starved of a chef’s hat for two years in the Good Food Guide, it is a demonstration of what a small food town Melbourne is. It also demonstrates what a problem the media oligopoly is in Australia when there are only two restaurant guides and two newspapers to turn to in the two main cities. Perhaps it is no surprise that Gourmet Traveller totally ignored this restaurant which is known for its steaks and its grazing and meat processing connections. Some might say it was ignored as it is for sale. But I doubt this is the case. Gourmet Traveller is part of the whole Australian Consolidated Press-Packer-Crown-Casino love triangle. And that means that it only has eyes for one steak, that cooked by its favourite chef Neil Perry at Rockpool Bar and Grill. This is a place where you can point at one of Earl Carter’s digitally manipulated cattle, grunt and pretty soon have a slab of meat arrive on your plate. (For girls and meterosexuals, there are menus and fish available live to be flapped at). It’s an upmarket version of Vlados in Richmond, with its own cow picture, manipulated to become the size of one whole wall. Here the only choice is meat and girls and meterosexuals are advised to stay away. Of course, The Point is different to Rockpool. Freestanding, it is also a café and function centre. Its aspect is not of a 1,000 miserable gamblers screwing up their balance enquiries before chucking them at the ATM. The Point looks across the city, over Albert Park Lake. The view is quite beautiful as long as the drought has not sucked on the lake and the foliage too hard. Here there are no cow pictures to point at. But the service is efficient enough that if you grabbed a fork in your right fist and a knife in your right and started banging them on the table they’d get the idea without even the need to grunt. Pheasant for the peasant But you’d be far better to get somebody to read the menu for you. It offers so much more than steak with chef… Read more »