The Press
Gourmet Husbands - Saturday October 4 2008.

Gourmet Husbands

A Beloved Local

There are two reasons to check out Moretons Brasserie: one, the delicious French food and two, the owner/chef Jenny Walsh. If you ever want to go somewhere where you are extremely well looked after and all but invited into the family then Moretons is worth the visit. I will refrain from going off on this tangent but a review of Moretons can simply not be written without a reference to the gregarious Jenny.

The dining room is not large, and it being popular amongst the locals a booking is probably essential. One of the first things you may notice upon arriving is the lack of a paper menu, instead a blackboard is brought to the table with the day's offerings, and specials written on the large mirrors which adorn the walls. The wine list isn't extensive, but happily BYO is an option which most diners seem to take advantage of.

This time around Sarah and I shared the Duck pate for entree, served with thin grilled pieces of sourdough, although from previous visits we can also recommend the French Onion soup (very dark and rich), the escargot (served with butter and garlic) and the spicy scallops (quite the kick). This evening entrees were accompanied by a sparkling white from Stonier(BYO). The pate was a good appetiser for the food still to come.

For mains I opted for the grilled quail with bacon served on cucumber and pine nuts, which were full of a great charcoal grilled flavour. Sarah's eye landed upon what I would assume is a Moretons signature dish, the Cote de Boeuf. This is a magnificent cut of beef from a local butcher, cooked on the bone to order and served carved on a board at the table with a green salad and pommes frites. The meat is topped with Dijon mustard and brown sugar and then briefly fired with a blowtorch to create a caramalized Dijon glaze. The meat is always cooked to perfection, as rare as you like it. My preference is medium-rare, but Sarah will swear by the "rare but not blue" degree of cooking. I could continue to talk about this dish for pages, but leave it up to you to try it for yourself. Mains were accompanied by a 2001 Heathcote Shiraz from Hanging Rock Winery and another Heathcote Shiraz from Dominique Portet(both BYO).

Deserts are also all written on the large mirrors on either side of the dining room and we selected the Chocolate Fondant. A new offering which when pierced oozes with what Jenny referred to as "chocolate lava". Decadent and delicious. Speaking of which we would also strongly recommend the dark chocolate mousse. Moretons also offers a good selection of cheeses which can be enjoyed either before or after desert, although Jenny will suggest before as it is the French way.

It is hard for me to recommend Moretons highly enough. Sarah and I have had quite a few wonderful dining experiences here, and never once have we been disappointed. A local favourite.