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Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

| March 2, 2014 | 1 Comment

Moon Under Water is a dining room with just a series of surprises, a prix fix menu that changes weekly presented in a simple clever concept that is all about meals you enjoy at someone’s home in France. The partners of Moon Under Water wanted to bring a dining concept experience to their restaurant in Gertrude Street. A concept based on friends and family who gather at the house for food that is always full of flavor and a table that has many surprises.

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

The dining room Moon Under Water was transformed into a brighter, airier and more casual modern French dining room, in the heart of Builders Arms Hotel when taken over by Andrew McConnell and Josh Murphy.

The weekly change of menus built around foods that are simple and reflect the home. Using only quality ingredients is of the utmost importance at Moon Under Water serving local produce sourced wherever possible. But where Moon Under Water, takes you into their French home concept is with the “surprises” that you will not see on the prix fix menu, they are part of the French dining room experience and arrive at the table with no fanfare, just an explosion of flavors that will keep the conversation taking around food, wine, life and family.

Moon Under Water prix fix has four courses; the first surprise “snack” to arrive at the table was the melt in your mouth parmesan cheese biscuits, followed by smoked walnuts that were soft with a light but distinctive smoked aroma. Then with drinks more surprise snacks diced King Fish, with chilli in a citrus dressing on a thin prawn cracker that looked like an oyster shell. My guest had a dry martini and I had a Nectarine Cooler, the non-alcoholic drinks are made in house, I would also recommend the home made lemonade perfect for summer.

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Then my guest had two Moonlight Flat Oysters from NSW, a tasty complement to his martini, good texture in their own natural juice giving natural flavors. The first course from the menu was squid, celery pomelo and chilli, the squid hood was so tender, a light citrus flavor from the pomelo and then they you taste the chilli, lifting flavors to the next surprise. Experiencing these light combinations of flavor without being too heavy, are satisfying and stimulate the palate for wanting more.

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Just before the squid arrived, another surprise “snack” baby turnips with a yogurt and olive oil dip, we were told to eat everything even the stalks; you could taste the salt on the very end of the stems – delightful. While eating I could not help thinking of so many ways you can add surprises like these ones into your everyday dining experience at home.

The extensive wine menu is around 95% organic; Moon Under Water wants you to discover new wineries exactly the way it would happen at home a guest brings wine to add something new and surprising to the table: this is a table run by an extraordinarily motivated and creative team. The four taster course was well complemented by perfectly and intelligently selected wines from Italy, Australia and Germany.

Next a tomato salad of three colors, skins removed so that the flesh of the tomatoes breaks open in your mouth as you crunch into purple basil, with a contrasting taste of a creamy marinated burrata so soft and light.

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

Roast pork or Spanish mackerel was on offer to follow served with either a 2011 Montessecondo Rosso Sangiovese or a 2006 Darnijan Poversic Kaplija, Malvasia Frulano Friuli. Mine was the Spanish Mackerel, and here come another surprise “snack” a small salad with one of the most unusual leaves “Fat Hen” a very acceptable spinach substitute, the taste is a little bland but improved by adding a few stronger-flavored leaves such as water cress, purslane and kohlrabi so experience new leaves with new combinations for your salad surprises.

Moon Under Water a dining room of surprises

As the meal comes to a close a final dish of wild blackberries, goats’ curd, apple and lovage sorbet, the end of this evening is not one were you feel you cannot just move, it’s so easy to recall flavors and dishes as you enjoy a digestif  of “Americano.”

An ingenious product produced by a retired chemist in his Asti home. Mauro Vergano uses top-notch ingredients to produce singular drinks. Here he takes Grignolino from Cascina Tavijn and blends it with various strains of wormwood, all manner of botanicals and the skin from bitter oranges and lemons. A dash of soda, a twist of orange and you have the finest aperitivo money can buy.

Did I say aperitivo? Well at Moon Under Water you can begin or end an evening with Mauro Vergano’s Americano. When we take time to eat with friends and family, we focus on our food and wine and enjoy it more, this is Moon Under Water’s dining concept a highly recommended experience at 211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065. Tel: 61 3 9417 7700.

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Category: Food & Wine, restaurants

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Editor - A Beauty Feature Career working in London, Hong Kong, S.E Asia, China, USA and Australia. Licensed Beauty Therapist /Trainer in New York, Chicago, California and AustraliaA Beauty Feature Editor since 2010 Examiner.com New York Beauty Correspondent since 2011

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