Developing a sense of creativity.
Woodland House looks and feels like a teenager forced to walk their parents’ career path. The website notes ‘a playful sense of adventure and whimsy’, but walking through the austere entrance, and greeted with a somber welcoming, playful and whimsy seem as foreign as words as you could imagine. Glancing through the multiple dining rooms, the clientele are the well-dressed Armadale set, most likely bankers or, judging by the conversation at the adjoining table, data processors.
Not exactly Alice in Wonderland.
So we settle in, straight backs, and elbows off tables, lest we be chastised by the staff.
Once the ball starts rolling, you being to understand the whimsy and wonder. The dishes hit mid scores on creativity, as demonstrated by a puffed quinoa crusted flathead that tried but failed to add the texture it was likely designed for, but the balance of flavours, technique and execution of each dish was beyond fault.
Still, you feel as though they are trying to push the boundaries, but being held back, by what I’m not sure. The surroundings? The memory of Jacque Reymond? Take the pork belly, slow roasted and melting away at the touch of a fork, is pulled too left field by a sweet caramel topping that didn’t really hit the mark. You can see they wanted to take this dish to an exciting new level, but for whatever reason, it felt half-baked.
The six course degustation finishes with a crowd favourite – Bomb Alaska. Honeycomb icecream, layered with Italian meringue and dollops of caramel, it encompassed neither wonder nor playfulness, but for a classic dessert, it was pure perfection.
78 Williams Road, Prahran, VIC 3181
03 9525 2178