This restaurant is now closed.
As some of you may know, I recently came back from an awesome trip in Australia. Though the main reason for my travels was family-focused, I luckily found the time to sample some fantastic food and thought it’d be kind of cool to share my favourites with you here. I’m sure these restaurants are hardly newbies to the Aussie foodie scene but my experiences with them were so wonderful I definitely wanted to share them with all of you. So, I’m sort of veering away from the “norm” with these blogposts but I thought it might be of interest to anyone traveling down under and plus, who doesn’t like looking at photos of mouth-watering food!?
2/157 Fitzroy St., St. Kilda, Melbourne
Located conveniently off a main street leading down to St Kilda beach, Golden Fields is airy, light, comfortable and most importantly dishing up some seriously good grub. I went there for lunch with my sister and nieces (one is 3 years old and the other is about 3-4 months) so it was relatively early lunchtime (it was heaving both inside and out by the time we left) and had to be a bit of a stealth mission. This wasn’t going to be one of those boozy 3 hour lunches, this was in-out but we still wanted to enjoy our food…and boy did we ever!
As soon as we sat down we ordered their infamous Crab Rolls, not realizing that we had in fact been thinking of their take on the New England-style Lobster Roll. The Crab Rolls were a special on that day (I’ve since seen that they’ve added it to the menu) and words can’t even describe how incredible they were. Tempura-style soft shell crab sandwiched between two small lightly buttered brioche buns with a little sweet mayo and watercress. Heavenly! The crab was genuinely astonishing – I’ve never had such a meaty and succulent soft shell crab; it was perfectly crispy (not greasy) but the moment I bit into it, the meaty crab juice was trickling down my chin in a most un-ladylike manner. But who gives!? This shit was amazing! We did end up ordering a Lobster Roll to try and whilst it was juicy, sweet and delicious, my mind was still pre-occupied with un-pure, verging on pornographic thoughts about that Crab Roll.
Continuing on from that amazing start, we shared a delicate Scallop sashimi with miso. It was very beautifully presented with soft flavours from the ocean sweet scallops and avocado purée. It wasn’t quite a standout dish to me, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t delicious because it was.
The poached chicken with rice noodles was a very familiar dish and seeing as how it is a solid Shanghai-favourite of mine was under some pretty heavy scrutiny. But, it was delicious! Very different from the traditional – the noodles were thick and short, a mix between flat noodles and rice cakes; the chicken was sliced not shredded and the peanut sauce was not as strong. But, it worked really well, it was still familiar to me but stood on its own. Fresh and delicious – a great summer dish.
In terms of “hot food” we ordered the Lap Cheong Rice Cake which was a medley of dried chinese sausage (lap cheong) with sticky rice and chinese mushrooms; formed into a “cake” and pan-friend to crisp the outside. It was served with pork floss, spring onions and dark soy. This was not the most visually stimulating dishes but the intensity of flavours mixed with the stickiness made it a real comfort-food dish. I can just imagine curling up when it’s cold outside with a nice steaming bowl of this stuff!
We started really strong and ended very strong – finishing with Charred Wagyu Rump, served with tempura golden mushrooms and grilled gem lettuce. This stuff was great, the smokey char on the meat mixed really well with the thick sweet soy, the tempura was light and the meat…oh the meat! Perfectly rare, it was juicy: the thin strands of fat running through the meat had melted wonderfully into the meat and gave it the most incredible flavour. Thumbs way way up!
Chef Andrew McConnells spent time in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, and the asian influence was obvious in the dishes. I’m really not a fan of calling things “fusion”, just because the world is such a small place nowadays it’s very rare to find food, fashion, art, music that doesn’t merge more than one culture. That being said, the fusion of East and West (although a bit more East-heavy) was perfectly executed on the plate at Golden Fields. I’d love to come back here and try their “The Beast” or “Chef Selection” set menus, but if I’ve being honest, I would buy a plane ticket simply for that Soft Shell Crab Roll!