St Kilda's new menu has been launched and we've also made a few changes in the restaurant. It now has a lovely curtain to improve the ambience and we've shuffled the tables around a little.
Head Chef Richard Smith continues to experiment with cooking and matching with beers. We've made some changes to how the menu works which allow him to use any tap or bottle beer and each week at least two new weekly specials will feature beer as an ingredient.
The new menu will be posted on our main website very soon but here are the first week's specials, along with Richard's notes:
Osso Bucco stewed in Maudite and green tomatoes with grana & polenta dumplings
Chef's notes: Stewed for over 4 hours in Maudite Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the osso bucco takes on the flavours of the beer as if it was made with a bouquet garni. Subtle flavours of caramel also come through, to deliver longevity on the palate.
Papardelle with olives, semi dried cherry tomatos, fresh herbs and a Murrays Icon 2IPA demi-glaze.
Starting with confit garlic oil then with the marinated olives (Sicilian & Ligurian), a Mediterranean sauce starts to emerge. Later, de-glazed with the Murrays Icon 2IPA to create an extremely rich and mouthwatering flavour and smell. To take the bitterness of the beer I added sweet Sicilian semi dried cherry tomatoes.
Crispy skinned ocean trout served in a citrus and Hoegaarden nage with roasted fennel and fresh herbs
Using the juices of oranges, lemons and limes I made a reduction to infuse into a clear fish broth (made from king fish). Hoegaarden was then added to top up the spectrum of flavours and add richness to the nage.
Lamb Shanks braised in True South Aged Porter and served with creamy mash
The relative lightness and higher carbonation of the beer break down the fattiness of the lamb shanks very nicely. Since the shanks are braised for so many hours you are usually left with a heavy fatty residue and usually have to make a separate sauce to accompany. However, by using nothing but beer and adding carrots 20 minutess from completion, I was able to maintain the natural sauce of the braise and cut the bitterness with the sweetness of the carrots.