My workplace has a wine club and we recently had an end of year function at St Jude’s Cellars. I won’t go into the details but it was quite a boozy evening, with 10 wines on the menu (2 sparkling, 3 whites, 4 reds and a fortified) – all that wine was supplemented with a procession of shared dishes.
First we nibbled on some delicious olives, marinated with fennel and sherry:
Followed by some oysters, served with a fresh, zingy dipping sauce:
We then had some beetroot arancini, coated in tallegio and served with dill and baba ganoush:
These were absolutely delicious and I went back and ate several of them. I really enjoyed them despite the fact that I don’t really love either beetroot or dill – crunchy exterior, with a soft interior and offset by the tasty tallegio and baba ganoush.
We were also served a smoked haddock Kromesky with aioli:
Unfortunately, these were coated in flour so I couldn’t try them. Everyone around me seemed to enjoy them though!
A charcuterie plate arrived:
We had pate, fresh figs, prosciutto, pork shoulder rillette, pickled cucumber, pickled cauliflower and fig chutney. The absolute stand out for me was the rillette – moist, rich and moreish.
A more restrained dish arrived next – scallops with asparagus puree and julienned apple in verjus:
This dish worked really well – the soft richness of the scallops was offset by the freshness of the apple and the crunch of fried onion on the top. Yum.
We also enjoyed some asparagus wrapped in prosciutto:
Our main course arrived – two kinds of Plains Paddock lamb:
The lamb shoulder was my favourite – slow cooked and unctuous. The shoulder was topped with fig chutney and chopped hazelnuts and drizzled in jus.
The lamb leg was perfectly cooked – pink and moist, but that flavoursome, dark, shoulder meat had me going back for more and more.
The lamb was served with some sides, which were fine:
We ended the eating portion of the evening with a cheese platter (the ‘oil slick’ is quince paste topped with hazelnuts):
Overall, it was a great meal. I have previously been to St Jude’s and was a little underwhelmed. But this time I had a great night and really enjoyed all the shared plates. The wine wasn’t bad either!!!
St Jude’s Cellars
389-391 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Ph: (03) 9419 7411