Matteo’s – dinner in Fitzroy North

It has been more than 6 months since I first set foot “through the unassuming glass doors” of Matteo’s. This time I return as part of a sponsored 3 course work dinner, which I may add come few-and-far-between. *cough *cough. I was hopeful that I would be able to experience a little more of the much lauded Modern Contemporary cuisine – receiving Good Food Guide awards from 1996 to 2012.

As you walk through the entrance, letting your eyes wonder for just a moment, you will notice the dining space is quite an opulent affair with teardrop chandeliers, floral fabric wallpaper, to the heavy drapery and crisp white sheets.

[Entrée selection]

Tartare of citrus-cured salmon, cucumber and avocado, sesame dressing
Pan seared asparagus spears, fried ‘son-in-law-egg’ with chilli jam
Warm air-dired wagyu beef breasola rolls with enoki mushrooms, daikon radish and garlic shoots

From the cool cleansing citrusy notes of the salmon, to the lighter rendition of son-in-law-eggs that melted away with three different textures of seared asparagus, to finally the lightly seared wagyu bursting with umami, juices and crunch – the complexity and delicate charm of this opening act was an incredible show stopper.

[Main]

Cantonese style, seared eye fillet of beef, steamed coconut rice, Chinese broccoli, black bean sauce [alternate option – not tasted]

Crisp gold band snapper fillet, inari bean-curd with wakame seaweed salad, heirloom carrots with yuzu citrus butter, daikon fondant, lobster bisque sauce

The snapper was juicy and fall-apart tender – with a brittle golden crispiness sitting atop – and does well to draw in the buttery and incredibly fragrant bisque of lobster. If there was a menu item with lobster bisque, I would order it on its own! Cuts of daikon, carrot and seaweed add textural contrast. The only fault I could find would be in the rice filled inari – somehow neither here nor there. To be honest, I found the main act has been overshadowed by the preceding success.

[Dessert]

Black sesame crème caramel
Burnt navel orange curd, blood orange jelly, drunken lady fingers with mango liqueur

I hate to sound crude, but this simple looking dessert would have to be the best crème caramel I have had in a long time. The impeccable balance between the earthy sesame with the light creamy texture and not too sweet syrupy-caramel – was an absolute delight. Every mouthful was a dance of flavours.

Fairy-like display on the opposing dessert stack, mistakenly leads one to assume it will be simply sweet. How wrong are we, when the first bite unveils a mouth seeping with a boozy concoction of mango liqueur and chunky bits of drunken lady fingers, and the tiniest hint of burnt-bitterness. Sweet, fluffy, alcoholic, crunchy, smooth, citrusy are all words that could describe this dessert. Love it!

Following this revisit, I am obliged to make an amendment to my last review, and give Matteo’s a new rating…

Rating: Yummy+2 – Extremely well-executed contemporary cuisine with a strong Asian presence. It is elegant, balanced and there is a serious attention to detail to the food it brings to the table. Need I say the desserts are to die for!

[Matteo’s]
Where: 533 Brunswick St, North Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9481 1177

You may also like other desserts >>> Matteo’s Golden Gaytime, Maze Pop Up, Creperie Le Triskel.

Or contemporary cuisine >>> Papagoose, The Estelle, Cumulus Inc.

Matteo's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Comments
7 Responses to “Matteo’s – dinner in Fitzroy North”
  1. Hannah says:

    Black sesame owns my soul. True fact. I have to give it my first born child. Wait, what? I don’t even know what I’m saying. I think I just want to say that I really, really, really want your dessert. 🙂

  2. Winston says:

    You’re right, the desserts do look FANTASTIC! I’ve been saying I want to go to Matteo’s for over a year but never got the chance till I’ve almost forgotten about the place. Thanks for the reminder! I’ve heard too many great things about it. You really know where to go for good food

  3. i love how the food is unpretentious yet delivers. 🙂

    this is sure to be on my must eat list!

  4. msihua says:

    The food looks beautiful! I’ve past it quite a bit during day time and it’s never open! Must only be open for dinner!

  5. Ashley says:

    Woooww. The food is like. Drool worthy. Your pictures are insaaaane. Have never been by…hmm…maybe for an express lunch next year… 😀

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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