Mirka at Tolarno – Guy Grossi does it again! Let the Food do the Talking! Yumminess!

3 Nov

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Guy Grossi does it again!  Sesnational lunch at Mirka.  When you walk into Mirka at Tolarno you feel like your in a cartoon, but in a happy kind of way, it’s a kinda funny environment, the walls covered in colourful frescos, like the one in the photo (portrait of Maree at the moment just 10 weeks out from our first child being fully baked).  They were actually painted by Mirka Mora, one of Melbourne’s food legends.

There’s a casual confidence and genuine interest in your experience from staff, sometimes, a little too relaxed, it took a while to get our initial service, but from then on we were rock ‘n’ roll. Crunchy polenta chips with rosemary herbed salt helped get the juices flowing.  Mirka is a great example of letting the food do the talking, simple, well put together dishes with quality ingredients and flavour that makes you feel happy.

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In reality this was a menu where I would have happily eaten anything and hope to eat everything (…over time).  At the end of the day I couldn’t go past Cassoulet, particularly after having just kicked off Confiting my own Duck a few months ago … late starter on that one.  FYI Confiting Duck is the process of slow poaching, typically the leg and thigh, in oil infused with herbs, salt and pepper.  You end up with beautifully tender, moist Duck which can then be finished in a pan to crisp up, used in a Cassoulet or stored in a jar to devour some time in the future.  Mirka’s Cassoulet comes with a thick 12 cm long strip of lardon which was fully of smokey goodness. The haricourt beans and sauce where rich and the crunch of the bread crumbs on top was a great textural component.  And yes the duck was awesome with a tasty disc of sausage thrown into the mix.  My duck gland, a real mood alterer, was well satisfied.

Fried rabbit with a salsa verde and lemon juice with a bit of ‘slaw on the side was the perfect remedy for a heavy head post cup day. I gotta go shoot me some rabbits, such a delicious meat.

Best of all were the fries, seasoned with black truffle and just the right amount of salt, served with a soft boiled googey for running yolk dipping yumminess.

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Took me back to last time I was in Alba hoovering egg pasta and truffles, fried eggs and truffles, everything and more truffles with Barolo from magnum.  The pictures below were taken during the Truffle Festival in Alba, Piedmont, during a visit to Italy for the Salone del Gusto, Slow Foods bi-annual food, producer and fun megafesta.

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The wines by the glass at Mirka were a bit limited on the Euro side, but, we found a tasty half bottle (I know) of 2008 Chianti from Felsina to wash down some tasty tucker.  The wine list is well balanced with a diversity and depth of Euro and Aussie wine we wouldn’t have seen on wine lists 15 years ago. Plenty of good value at the bottom end with some Filthy Good Vino at the top end if you felt like throwing around a bit of coin.

Couldn’t resist dessert.  I would have had stinky cheese if the Mrs wasn’t pregnant and firing daggers at me across the table every time I even thought about it.  Epoisse, one of my favourite mega skunky gooey cheeses from Burgundy was on a short but quality cheese list.  To give you an idea of just how stinky Epoisse is, I believe, it is banned from public transport and taxis in France.

We went for Gelato churned on location (Wild Strawberry, Rhubarb, Marscapone with a hint of Lemon, Dulce du Lecce and PX flavours), Honey and Chocolate Semi-freddo and the Bomb.  All were well balanced, delicious, yummy and beautifully textured.  Put it this way, I was about to explode, but there was nothing left on the plates.

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Mirka and Guy – Thanks for Letting the Food do the Talking. We’ll be back!  Make sure you’ve got at least 2 hours, with some good friends, to savour some honest, tasty cooking.

 

 

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