Small serves of fresh autumnal produce were the delights we enjoyed at Three Clicks West last Sunday, for their 'An Autumn Supper' degustation. The dish above (Spinach risotto with seared scallop and red wine leek) was probably one of the weakest dishes on the seven course menu ($80/head, or $125 with matched wine) - and even it was good!
As we had an engaging third foodie dining with us, we chose to skip their selected wines, and let ourselves loose on their wine list. We discovered two (out of three chosen) wines that I simply have to have again. The first of the two wines I loved was a 2004 Pencarrow Pinot Noir from the Martinborough region of New Zealand. It had a raspberry cordial element that makes it a real girls' pinot - easy to quaff - plus enough of the more sophisticated 'forest floor' elements to make my partner happy. We got it just in time for the best savoury dish of the night, and it complimented it perfectly. The dish was a Spiced Duck Consomme with Foie Gras Tortellini and Wood Ear Mushrooms. Not only did it have duck, and my partner's favourite mushrooms, but it was a new experience for me, being the first time I had tried foie gras. The tortellini were delicious, in fact it probably made the best tortellini filling I have had. I look forward to continuing to experiment with foie gras in the future.
Other notable moments in the savoury courses included a new mushroom for us - pine mushrooms. They were divine! They came in the form of a Slow Braised Breast of Veal with Milk Fed Loin, Jerusalem Artichoke Puree, and foie gras buttered Pine Mushrooms. Quite a lovely dish, but the fireworks were in the mushrooms. I also liked the spiced nashi chip that was served with a Ham Hock, Snapper and Braised Leek Terrine with Celeriac Remoulade. If I had a deep fryer, I would make spiced nashi chips at home!
The best wine we selected was a 2004 Delatite Late Harvest Riesling. Billed as a dessert wine, it would also function as an aperitif with a thai style prawn and mango salad - it was like a very light champagne, and it complimented the dish of the night perfectly - Mandarin Brulee with Tamarillo Suzette. And being that lately I have favoured the savoury side, I am surprised to report that my second favourite dish was the pre-dessert of Pomegranate and Champagne Mousse with Autumn Fruits and a Lemon, Fennel and Thyme Sorbet. The sorbet in particular was sublime - and it takes the cake for the best sorbet I have ever tasted - complex, full-flavoured, and perfectly textured. If only they did it by the tub take-away...
In terms of the service, it was faultless. The floor manager (and sommelier) was knowledgeable, helpful, funny and had a damn good list of wines from all over Australia and the world, many of which were new to us. He spent a great deal of time helping us with our selections, and as a result, I will be purchasing more of the wines we drank direct from the vineyards. This is such a solid little restaurant - each time we have been, I have come away with a smile on my face, feeling like I have had value for money, and with more food/wine knowledge. I think our guest enjoyed it as well. It's lovely to have a restaurant of such a high calibre mere blocks away. I eagerly await their next degustation menu.
Three Clicks West
127 Booth Street, Annandale NSW 2038
Ph: (02) 9660 6652
Fax: (02) 9571 8710
PO Box 246 Stoney's Road
Mansfield Victoria 3722
Ph: (03) 57752922
Fax: (03) 57752911
(Second string of Palliser Estate Wines)
PO Box 121
Ph: 64 6 3069019