Imbue Food and Wine
2/419 Gordon Street, Maribyrnong
03 8592 4638
- Whipped Feta, honeycomb, dukkah
- Raw Tuna, ponzu, spring onion, chilli, rice crisps
- Three Cheese Croquettes
- Roasted Pork Belly, green papaya salad, coriander, chilli, jus
- Masterstock Braised Lamb Neck with Apple Kimchi
- Fried Potatoes, rosemary, paprika
- Vanilla Panna Cotta, berry compote, freeze dried raspberries
- Sticky Date Pudding, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream
It was a pleasant start to our meal with the Whipped Feta. The cheese was light and airy, with a silky smooth texture that carried with it a beautifully cheesy flavour. This was well complemented by crispy bits of dukkah scattered throughout, while the sweetness of the honeycomb directly juxtaposed the savoury flavours.
We proceeded to sample the Raw Tuna. Served in a light, airy ponzu, this allowed the incredibly fresh fish protein to shine. With bits of spring onion and some intensely spicy chilli slices scattered throughout and delicately crunchy rice paper crisps contrasting the softer components. this light and refreshing dish certainly satisfied the senses.
Moving on to arguably our favourite dish of the evening, the three cheese croquettes were sensational. The lightly battered almost outer shell enclosed a gooey inner filled with A beautifully creamy mixture of mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar cheeses. The rich, melted inner simply spilled out with each bite, filling your mouth with a beautiful creamy sensation that was well juxtaposed by the crispness of the outer. Simply delectable.
Our main course consisted of the special of the day, the Masterstock Braised Lamb Neck with Apple Kimchi. The Masterstock offered up an intense concoction of sweet and savour sensations, which permeated throughout the tender lamb neck. The succulent protein was surprisingly fatty, offering up a predictably flavoursome and juicy experience. Served alongside an aptly sweet and not overly spicy apple kimchi, offering a hint of chilli that cut right through the fattier bits of the lamb.
We polished off our meal with the Vanilla Panna Cotta. The beautiful presentation made way for a perfectly wobbly dessert, which was indulgently smooth and creamy. The freeze dried raspberries topping the dessert offered up a welcoming variation in texture, while the tartness of the berry compote and fresh berries delicately balanced the sweetness of the dessert.
While we are huge fans of pork belly cooked in any conceivable way, the Roasted Pork Belly on this occasion fell short on expectations. Despite the beautifully intertwined layers of fat and protein, the pork belly itself wasn’t nearly as tender nor juicy as we would’ve liked. Neither did the outer crackle offer up enough of a crunch. The green papaya salad though was the saviour, with a refreshing sweetness and intense spice thanks to the extra hot chilli a mixed within.
Unfortunately, the Sticky Date Pudding failed to tickle our fancy on this occasion. The pudding itself had the wrong consistency, and was exceedingly dense and glucky, with a toffee-like texture that was far from the moist, spongey feedback we were looking for. The caramel and plain vanilla ice cream were hard to fault, though the biggest letdown was undeniably the pudding itself.
Imbue Food and Wine aims to offer the locals of Maribyrnong a more refined dining experience without breaking the bank. While most of the dishes we sampled today were rather delicious and innovative, there were undoubtedly some that require much refinement in order to bring the restaurant to the next level.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
This might be a good introduction to those looking for a more creative dining experience. However, we look forward to a more refined, well executed menu on our return visit.
Penguineats would like to thank owners Fong and Rodriguez for inviting us to Imbue Food and Wine.