If anyone was an avid follower of Embrasse (aka fans of the infamous Meli of Vegetables), then you will have already heard and been to Brooks: the new name and basement location (under the historic Austral House) for Nic Poelaert’s creations. The space expresses an entirely unalike character, one that is darker at night, a touch louder, with an air of casual.



Tomatoes, silken tofu, comsomme


Crispy pig’s ear


Meli of Vegetables


Moreton bay bug, pickled oysters, mussel custard, shiso oil


Beef, charred vegetables, mimolette, ginger wine


‘Forest floor’, hazelnut parfait, pork crackling, sorrel, mint granita


White chocolate ice cream, figs, milk, olives

Rating: Yummy+1.5. Nic’s very concise menu at his casual underground lair – Brooks – showcases some of the finest produce with molecular whimsy and pared-back French precision.

The rainbow of colours and textures – the forest floor and meli of vegetables among my highlights – were a delightful dance both for the eyes and the taste buds. Think seaweed infused tapioca flower atop Moreton Bay bugs, or pork crackling in dessert? Don’t forget too that with the owner of Gerard’s bar part of the team, there is no short of boozy surprises.

In an otherwise energetic dinner however, a few points were debatably deducted for momentary slumps in excitement where playful elegance was lost to lacklustre simplicity – with an underbalanced white chocolate ice cream and insipid consommé being the main culprits.

[Brooks restaurant]
Where: Basement 115-117 Collins St, Melbourne.
Contact: 03 9001 8755
Opens Mon-Sat

French places around Melbourne:

Brooks on Urbanspoon

3 Responses to “Brooks”
  1. Brunch Addict says:

    Looks beautiful and super delicious!

  2. Angélique says:

    I went there just on Monday for my birthday and found everything from start to finish. Highlights were the black forest which was as beautiful as it was delicious ! Highly recommend it 🙂

  3. Without a doubt Poelart’s signature dish is the Meli Melo – upwards of 25 different types of vegetables arranged carefully on a big white plate. No other word to describe this but “pretty”. Seriously a stunning arrangement, but also just great fun on the palate. Some things are steamed, others sautéed, they’re boiled, pureed and dehydrated. Blobs of raspberry, chunks of broccoli, gingerly placed herbs and the odd flower.

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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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