I received an email from the Messina Creative Department notifying me of a new autumn menu being a 7-course degustation and I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
In the past I’ve missed out so this time I booked in straight away and had no regrets.
When we got there, the setting was super intimate. A table of six, seated around a round table with two chefs working away at the new menu, it was a really nice to be in a small group for once.
The first course was a granita of bergamot with pine tree and eucalyptus oil served in an ice bowl.
This was such an interesting looking dessert with the ice bowl having been made out of a balloon!
The taste of the granita with the eucalyptus oil was super refreshing and reminded me of the types of palette cleansers you get when fine dining.
Next on the menu was the honeydew melon and Sancho pepper sorbet in an apple and pasties cone accompanied by a green apple sparkling with burnt lime and cardamom foam.
This was my favourite sweet course. I love melon flavour and this was just delicious. The cone was quite delicate but had a lovely sweet taste.
The green apple sparkling was quite nice too. It wasn’t too overpowering and surprisingly I liked it.
Up next was the salted coconut gelato with peach elderflower, miso and egg yolk sauce accompanied by peach, vanilla bean and lemon verbena infusion. This was served in an actual coconut and was just divine. I could tell from the group that most favoured this dish.
I loved the peach, vanilla bean and lemon verbena drink! This was my favourite. It was super refreshing and all of the flavours combined were so good together.
The fourth course was the lemon myrtle sherbet with compressed pear, finger lime, fennel pollen cream and licorice powder accompanied by a burnt watermelon kombucha.
This was my second favourite. This dish was again super refreshing and all of the flavours complimented each other so well. It was also plated beautifully again, looking like something out of a fine dining restaurant.
I’m not the biggest fan of kombucha but this one was surprisingly good.
Fifth on the menu was the Koji gelato, heirloom and kumato tomato tart with an Angelica plum compote accompanied by capsicum and grapes infusion.
This was the cutest looking out of all of the menu items because it was such a carefully crafted pizza with a lovely base!
The capsicum and grape infused drink was also rather surprising in taste. I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of it, but it went well with the dish and the flavour of the capsicum wasn’t too overpowering.
Second last on the list was the smoked goat yoghurt gelato, pumpkin crisp, puffed buckwheat, pumpkin and ponzu foam accompanied by houjicha tea and roasted shiitake oil.
This was my favourite savoury dish. This was like a ravioli in which a heavenly filling poured out! It was so unexpected but in a good way like when you walk into a room and everyone jumps out yelling surprise, it’s you’re birthday!
The tea was concocted in an interesting manner whereby the water is brewed from underneath the actual tea leaves then poured over the top of the shiitake oil to give it a nice oriental flavour.
Last but not least was the burnt caramel gelato, milk chocolate ganache and passion fruit reduction accompanied by fermented roasted pineapple.
Oh my gosh, this gelato was amazing! I have to say that I will be looking for it every time I go to Messina now. It was served in a chocolate ball which I’m sure everyone enjoyed breaking into.
The fermented roasted pineapple juice was also quite tasty.
To finish the night off, we were surprised by another small spoon of XO sauce topped with potato foam.
This too was so damn good. The potato foam was made to perfection and the XO sauce gave it that nice amount of salty goodness.
Another surprise was at the end of the night, when we were all given a jar of dolce de leche to take home. My favourite!
I find it so nice when I’m given something to take home to remember the night and enjoy another day.
So there you have it, you guys best get on that Messina mailing list so you too can try this awesome degustation for yourself!
Also worth noting is that one item on the menu changes every week so if you come back after seven weeks, you will get to try a whole new menu.
Messina, watch out – you will be seeing us again very soon!