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.
Where: Basement 115-117 Collins St, Melbourne.
Contact: 03 9001 8755
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