|Dining at restaurants like Bécasse make me feel like I'm on the other side of this desire|
So, when my good friend Patrick Roche suggested we take advantage of this marvellous month of months and get together for luncheons, I leapt at the idea. Initially, his heart was set on dining once again at Aria, like he had the year before. Dreamily musing of the harbour views, cool cucumber aperetif soup, and superb seafood he suggested we try our luck booking at table in the morning for lunch that day. Oh how blissfully optimistic we were. Not a place in the restaurant all day. Not to worry, with a day off I let my fingers do the walking and scored us a table for two at Bécasse at two! Paddy (Patrick), was pleased at this outcome and I was excited about dining at my first two hat restaurant (having dined at Tetsuya's - when it had three hats - and Zest - one hat, respectively).
Bécasse was a lot closer to Town Hall station than we envisioned, so after a short stroll we arrived with five minutes to spare. Prying open the large glass doors, I felt like Thumbelina, a small humble girl stepping into a giant beautiful room of clean pressed white linen tablecloths, a cascading marble staircase and glittering circular Swarovoski crystal Chandeleirs. Greeted by a suave waiter we were informed our table would be ready shortly after two and with a room as elegant as that to ogle, we were happy to wait.
Pining for a window seat, we still lucked out with our place down the stairs but right in front of the kitchen. Being a lady has it's advantages, as I got to choose my seat first and couldn't overlook a spot overlooking the kitchen. Water was filled up in our wine glasses straight away. How I love drinking beverages other than alcohol in wine glasses. When I get the opportunity I enjoy imagining I am Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's as parading around my house with milk in a martini glass.
Presented with a our menus, we were able to peruse the tantalizing dishes we may have selected from, had we not decided to indulge in the $35 lunch deal of a main course and glass of Brown Brothers wine. However, when we got to the 'Let's do lunch' section we spotted a $65 three course option of which we greedily ummed and ahhed over. We let gluttony get the best of us, claiming the value of the deal and superb opportunity as reasons not to refuse such an offer.
|Swarovoski crystal chandeleirs over the grand dining room|
|Holly go lightly just chilling like a villain with a martini glass of milk|
First out of the kitchen was an appetiser which the waitress explained was Black Olive Biscotti with sour cream and chives. The combination of salty black olives in the chewy sweet biscotti with the soft creamy, mild onion dollop met with such exciting textural fervour. I really enjoy the growing sweet meets savoury mash-up and this wonderful apperetif could almost be a dessert in a bigger portion.
|Black Olive Biscotti with sour cream and chives|
Next we were presented with our entree, a salad of beetroot and prosciutto. The dish looked incredible, the elements appeared to replicate a delicious forest. The wafer thin prosciutto added only a tiny salty hit which contrasted superbly with the semi-circle cubes of beetroot, crunch of the roasted hazelnuts and sweet chewy Biscotti. This was all rounded off by sweet, oily sauce to die for.
|Salad of Prosciotto and Beetroot|
We snacked on a chewy white roll with a special butter whilst awaiting the main event. As our mains sailed towards our table the warm, buttery scent of seafood wafted filling our eyes with joy. Whilst to the onlooker (such as my brother) the dish may look suspiciously like something my dog brought up, rather than something you'd want to wolf down, I assure you the reality is far from that. The soft, meaty prawns sat in a warm, sensuous froth, with loads of beautiful prosciotto, perfectly cooked rice and peas to dive in to. It seemed well matched with the wonderful Brown Brothers Pinot Grigio - a brilliant, light yellow drop with citrus and herbaceous characters and great length and balance. Although the richness of the crustacean flavour meant that we ate it slowly, savouring it and contemplating how it almost beckoned for the other suggested wine, a Brown Brothers Tempranillo. However, we'd chose on the basis that seafood traditionally matches best with white, and a crisp white refreshes best on a hot day.
|Risotto of South Australian prawns and prosciutto|
|Lemon Meringue Tart|
Upon slowly and steadily savouring the dessert, we couldn't refuse a coffee. Topped with love heart, the shiny, silky milk, a good rich nutty brown colour, displayed the characteristics of a good coffee. Not over roasted or under extracted, the coffee was divine in the afternoon and definetly one I would have again.
|A good looking coffee|
I leave you with another French delicacy in the form of Nouvelle Vague - a new wave musical collective from France who do gorgeous covers among other wonderful musical morsels. Their sad, yet soothing cover of the classic Joy Division track, 'Love will Tear us Apart', is so tragic, delicate and beautiful. Sometimes when you love something too much - whether it be food, study, or a significant other - you burn yourself out with your passion. Whether, I have eaten too much, spent too much, or drank too much, I am often torn apart from pursuing my greedy gastronomic pursuits. I always want more and I want to love everything so fully, so whole-heartedly that the effort can tear my world apart.