So much for my monthly round up of hot new openings, after being invited to check out Donovan Cooke’s return to Melbourne restaurants with Ryne I felt it deserved its own post.
First of all, the space in North Fitzroy is gorgeous. There are tall windows, soaring ceilings with polished concrete floors and slabs of shiny dark timber wrapping around the bar and semi open kitchen.
The options are for two courses ($65), three courses, or up to the full shebang a seven-course tasting menu ($150). It’s a more formal offering than the “sharing plates” at most restaurants but this is not stuffy fine dining.
The meal starts with excellent bread and butter and a chicken and asparagus amuse bouche.
Probably the most unusual dish on the menu is the tuna ‘pizza’ which is made from one perfect circle of ruby red tuna topped with dots of sticky black garlic, melting Iberico ham and chives. It’s a fun idea and well executed.
Showing Cooke’s classical cooking skills was one of my favourite dishes of the night was the pork belly with sweet pork complete with crispy crackling served with beetroot and apple puree.
I had to order Cooke’s signature dish, confit salmon so soft that it melts on the fork, crisp Cos lettuce, asparagus, oyster and a foamy truffle sauce.
The desserts here are not worth skimping on. The chocolate and raspberry souffle was simply divine complete with a spectacular raspberry sauce that you pour onto the souffle collapsing it.
Service is switched on and friendly. Our waiter actually had opinions on what we should order (so much better than the standard “but everything is so good”) and there are fabulous little touches like gold baskets to hold handbags so they aren’t just sitting on the floor. Welcome back Donovan Cooke, Melbourne is a more delicious place with you at the helm of Ryne.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Ryne.
Details: Ryne, 203 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy 3068