Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Aylesbury - Good Food In A Nice Setting

I've been to The Aylesbury previously and rather enjoyed the menu. However, I was sitting at the group table at the back so it was super dark, which meant photos were awful. So like any good food blogger, I didn't blog it due to the sub-standard photo. I'm obsessed with taking good photos. This time when I was invited back to The Aylesbury to sample their new menu and got to sit at the bar, which provided some good sunsetting light for photos.

The Aylesbury is a nice smallish restaurant owned by Jesse Garner. Jesse used to also cook there but with many other commitments, he has handed over the reigns to new aspiring chef Seth James. Seth has worked at Cutler and Co previously and this is his first venture as head chef, with the added pressure it carries. He said he was ready for the challenge and looking forward to establishing his own style. This new menu is a starting point.

The Aylesbury space, as you can see in the photo below, is a long narrow space. It mainly caters to smaller groups but there are a couple of larger tables. There's also a super beautiful upstairs rooftop dining area. I've been up there twice before and love it. The views are great and so is the simple bar food.

My friend John and I decided to share a few entrees to get a feel for the new menu. First up, we had some Jamon with pickles. The Jamon was from a South Australian producer and the pickles were house made. Both were fantastic. Some of the best pickles I've tasted and paired perfectly with the Jamon. A chicken liver parfait with brioche was executed perfectly. It was smooth and had great flavour and John absolutely loved it. My only suggestion would be the way it's presented. A long tube shaped brown soft pile of food tends to look like something not so pleasant. Maybe it could be served in a jar or something next time.

I ordered the spiced cauliflower because I really enjoy a similar dish at a South Indian restaurant I go to. This dish was presented far more elegantly and tasted great. Lots of textures and flavours. Vegetables done well can be very good. Did I just say that, as I used to always say I dislike vegetables.

My favourite entree was without a doubt the lamb ribs. Fatty, fried lamb ribs covered in some hers and spices are stunning. I first tried these at Taste of Melbourne and they're exactly as I remember them.

For mains, we shared a pork neck dish and the roast duck dish below. The pork neck was very tender but I found it a tiny bit dry. I did like the use of the black sausage and it had a sweet accent with the sauce. Overall not too bad a dish. I enjoyed the duck a lot. It was perfectly cooked and the confit piece was really good too. Super crispy golden nuggets of pork fat potatoes made a perfect accompaniment. The key is to be able to still keep the insides soft and fluffy, which these were.

Desserts consisted of a Chocolate dish with various elements, and this deconstructed pavlova. The chocolate dish didn't look so good and strangely didn't appeal to either of us chocolate lovers. The flavours didn't meld together too well. However, the pavlova was excellent. Beautiful berries, granita, meringue and ice cream are a great treat in hot weather.

I enjoyed the food as it had some good and interesting flavours. I think the menu will cater to most people's tastes as it offers a lot of flexibility in terms of the combination of dish sizes and flavours you can order. The ambiance in the restaurant is very nice. I would recommend The Aylesbury for a meal with friends where you can share a lot of items.

My friend and I dined courtesy of The Aylesbury.
The Aylesbury on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh it looks so yummy... it is a shame about the light but you have done a wonderful job... I know I need to try the roast duck and pork neck.

    Pop over to my site and say hi ;)

  2. The roof top bar there is gorgeous on a warm Summer night... cocktail in hand, lamb rib in the other!

    1. The roof top bar is so nice. Haha the image you paint of a cocktail in one hand and a lamb rib in the other is perfect...except how can you hold your iPhone to Instagram the scene? :-)

  3. I've only been there for their Molecular Mondays and that blew my mind away :) Would love to come back here soon!

  4. Gasp, did you just say vegetables can be good?!

    Soon you'll be choosing to eat vegetables over cake. (Naaaaaaah it'll never happen.)

    1. I must have been drunk. Vegetables....ughhhh.

      Neverrrrrr, cake for the win.

  5. Haha, always got to be particular about lighting huh? Your photos look great here! Food looks delish as well, been to Anada, but haven't made it to this yet, think the food looks a lil cleaner at Aylesbury!