The Town Mouse

oysters with chardonnay vinegar sorbet

oysters with chardonnay vinegar sorbet

Great expectations part 1 “The mouse that squeaked”
I’ve heard about Town Mouse. I’ve heard it was on trend, the It place, one of Melbourne’s best new restaurants.

Town Mouse suffers from Great Expectations, or the burden of hype.

Its not that the Town Mouse is bad, on the contrary, it’s lovely. The design of the interior is very chic, the staff are super friendly and efficient, and the food is good, and not too pricey. If this were your local diner, you wouldn’t complain. In fact, you want this to be your local diner, but do you want to trudge across the city, drive around for 30 mins looking for parking (even though I did nail one right out front eventually!) only to eat some largely unremarkable food.

Therefore, you must read this review in that context. If you live next door, then you would take a whole different view on it.

smoked duck liver parfait crisp potato cucumber

smoked duck liver parfait crisp potato cucumber

OK, down to business. Oysters, coffin bay, fresh, shucked (yes!), pearlers. Off to a flyer.

The chicken liver parfait as appetizer was light, delicate and mousse-like. Served on a Parmesan crust, it felt like we were on a dead set winner and I was loving it. Unfortunately, the good times never last as long as you think they will.

The other appetizer, the goats cheese profiterole. Dry, and disappointing. No one wants that stale bread texture in his or her mouth. Cracks beginning to appear in the evening and a due sense of foreboding (or is that being too dramatic?).

goats cheese profiterole caraway thyme honey

goats cheese profiterole caraway thyme honey

Lets get to mains and the smoked pork neck. That pig must have been a pack a day kind of pig. Too dry, again. Flavour was ok, but texture was like chewing tobacco.

Smoked pork neck, summer cabbage, hazelnut & sour pear

Smoked pork neck, summer cabbage, hazelnut & sour pear

The second main was the rabbit, and this was outstanding. In fact, it was my dish of the night. Served in two, very, very small mounds on opposite sides of the plate. Here’s a tip for the chefs out there, if you spread out a tiny morsel of food around the plate, we can still tell IT’S A TINY MORSEL!! YOU’RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE!

Rabbit, feta, kohlrabi, peas, tarragon & chervil

Rabbit, feta, kohlrabi, peas, tarragon & chervil

Still, it was pretty tasty.

And that’s where we left it, because desserts are over-rated and bad for you (that’s what the girl says anyway). So where does that leave us? The good was really good, the bad, not so good at all. If you lived within five minutes walk, then lucky you, but I wouldn’t travel much further for it, even if it is on trend, the IT place and one of Melbourne’s so called best new restaurants.

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