The traditional recovery lunch after Derby Day had come around once again. The only thing not creased today for lunch are my clothes. I’m the last to make it to lunch out of our party of six. I’m not the only one hurting though!
Why do we do this to ourselves every year? Because while it is a tough gig to get up, get dressed, and get to lunch, after the first beer we are excited about the meal to come. Why wallow in bed all day?
There were dramas aplenty with this year’s lunch. We wanted to try Albert St Food & Wine as a group but it is renovating, so we booked at Stokehouse. Only issue is they didn’t let us know they decided to close on Sunday this particular year. Simon organised The Town Mouse the evening prior and we were lucky to get a group of six in.
Having settled in, and reviewing the menu, we decided to put ourselves in the hands of the chefs and chose the tasting menu with some specific requests for the lamb dish, pork hock dish, and the cabbage which is a specialty here.
As with all recovery lunches my recollection is patchy. What I will say is that there were a few dishes that hit the heights I had expected, a few that were good, and a few that were okay. The atmosphere here is casual and the previous occupants in Embrasse and 312 would not recognise the interior. One nice adaption in the new fitout is full and proper use being made of the front windows. There is nothing hidden, and that translates to the forwardness of the star ingredients in many of the dishes.
The best dishes in my opinion were the desserts, along with the whole flathead which was amazing. The yoghurt parfait combined clever flavours and textures, with balanced sweetness. The blueberries with coconut sorbet was presented in spectacular fashion and was as good as it looked. The whole flathead is novel in its presentation as a whole fish, incredibly well cooked, and completely delicious in the curry sauce.
I thought the pork hock and the lamb dishes were good, as was the whole cabbage. Some of the guys had the trout down as one of their favourites but it didn’t hit the same mark for me. Of the remaining dishes I thought the roast cauliflower was a good side dish.
It was a great afternoon at The Town Mouse. Professional and friendly service allowed our group to catch up in good spirit, and enjoy a lot of quality dishes, not to mention a few bottles from a complete and reasonable wine list. That reasonableness, and the prior evening are the main contributors to my lack of detail a few weeks on!