The Aylesbury, Melbourne CBD
May 14, 2012 § 1 Comment
I just could not get a photo for this post. I didn’t take any on the night, and I haven’t been able to since. I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to happen.
ANYWAY. I’ve been taken to The Aylesbury twice now*, and I think it’s heaven.
What I like in a restaurant in which one spends, say, $40 or more per head for food, is for the food to be better and more interesting than I could make at home, without necessarily being so wildly modernist that I can’t relax into my meal. This is something both Cumulus Inc and The Aylesbury do, and I love them for it.
The Aylesbury consists of a ground floor restaurant and one of Melbourne’s better rooftop bars and was opened last year (I believe) by the same people who run Añada on Gertrude St Fitzroy. The maitre d’ is a little aloof but the staff are generally competent, knowledgeable, and quick to notice me eying off our bottle of wine (open bottles are kept on the bar, rather than the table) when my glass was empty.
I am fond of small-but-powerful steak tartare when I can get it, and The Aylesbury’s is just that, well seasoned and served with a quail egg and crisp bread. The zucchini flowers stuffed with goats cheese and dripping with honey from their urban bees(!) are incredible (order one each because you ought to), as is the duck plate which included a confit duck leg, a juicy duck breast and a slice of duck sausage, the beetroot with labne and crispy quinoa was ordered mainly to cut through all the fat but was an incredible version of what is, these days, a very common menu item in Melbourne. And then there are their potatoes in duck fat, which we forgot to order on our most recent visit but they are perfect.
For the most recent dinner, we finished our bottle of wine with a wash rind cheese, and a serve of their petit-fours. I don’t normally order dessert but I do like petit-fours as a teeny tiny sweet for after dinner, and I rather enjoyed the redundancy of the waiter pointing out what each petit-four was: the plate contained one tiny lemon meringue pie (freshly blow-torched), one chocolate truffle, and one turkish delight. Nothing revolutionary, but all were excellent quality.
Then we tottered off upstairs to the bar, where we drank excellent cocktails made by real bartenders, who introduced me to Amaro Montenegro, which I plan to seek out in the future as it was sweet and bitter and tasted of vanilla and citrus and Christmas all at once.
*I am very lucky.