I am a self-confessed Francophile...from movies, to food, to a language and city that literally makes me go weak at the knees I love all things French.
As I walked through the doors to PM24 last Saturday, the excitement was palpable. I have admired the work of Philippe Mouchel over the last few seasons of Masterchef and couldn't wait to check out his modern French Brasserie and succumb to all its delicious, rich, buttery goodness.
The dining room is immediately impressive; a modern warehouse with lofty ceilings and an entertaining open kitchen running the length of the room. Taking our seat directly across from the dessert preparation area (perfect for my sweet tooth!) we begin perusing the menu. First task was to choose something to imbibe and something from France seemed the obvious choice. The wine list is comprehensive and after much deliberation we settled on a mid price Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.
Our delightful waiter hailed from Paris and I honestly could have listened to the dulcet tones of his French accent all night! Walking us through the PM24 menu he detailed the evening specials and explained we could choose the degustation menu, a choice of 5 signature dishes, or order a la carte. We decided to order a la carte and set about constructing the perfect three course meal.
For entrée we decided to try the evening special; a Parmesan custard with an onion and mushroom veloute and soft-boiled egg and the confit duck salad with poached egg. The first mouthful of the creamy veloute resulted in some fairly major food envy on my part...that was until I tasted my perfectly cooked duck.
The veloute was rich and creamy with a robust flavour courtesy of the bitey Parmesan, mushroom and onion. Breaking the softly poached egg into the veloute was a special sight. A pitch perfect dish.
The richness of my confit duck was perfectly balanced alongside the frisee salad, sweet melon squares, king oyster mushrooms, parmesan shavings and micro herbs. I immediately broke the softly poached egg and watched as the bright yellow yolk cascaded through the salad leaves. Two amazing dishes down...we were off to a great start!
Having heard so much about the signature rotisserie chicken I could not pass up the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. Named dish of the year by Larissa Dubecki in The Age's Epicure; this famous little bird is so popular they even offer it as an extravagant take away Monday to Friday.
The chook is an organic Milawa variety and comes with roasted garlic and crunchy rosemary potatoes that have been slowly roasting underneath the bird in the rich suet. Classic French cooking at its best. To accompany this dish we settled on the comfort of cheesy cauliflower gratin. If we were going to blow our calorie count, may as well do it with style! Upon tasting the perfectly tender chicken I could see how it has won so much praise. You must try this!
During the meal I watched the excitement of the open kitchen unfolding in front of me. As is to be expected in a restaurant of this calibre the kitchen ran like a well oiled machine. I was also suitably awestruck to see Philippe Mouchel himself presiding over the pass and making sure all the dishes that went out were first class.
With the plat principal over and some time to digest our meals, we began to consider the final course. Although our waiter tried hard to persuade us to try traditional French cheeses with an impressive cheese board, I could not pass up the opportunity to satisfy my sweet tooth with a classic French dessert. A seasonal blood orange souffle with a quenelle of condensed milk ice cream and candied orange. From our table I enjoyed watching the sous dessert chef create the lightest souffle I have eaten. What a way to finish a spectacular meal!
To round out a beautiful evening our waiter presented us with the petit fours; two delicious squares of springy, pink marshmallow.
I highly recommend getting yourself along to PM24, one of the classiest French brasseries in Melbourne. You will not be disappointed.
24 Russell St. Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9207 7424