Abbotsford is French for awesome. Did you not know that? Well, you learn something every day.
I stop in at Three Bags Full pretty much every morning on my way to work. The coffee is good, the staff are friendly and now, in my new fancy abode, it's one street over from where I live.
So imagine my desperado-wannabe-French delight when I found out that Three Bags were doing a French inspired dinner. Excited does not even begin to describe it.
It was the French chefs, Fabien and Nico, who came up with the idea, aching as they were to flex their French cuisine muscles. Not strictly French, the menu reflected a desire to reference their home country while at the same time play with flavour and texture and more exotic ... I'll go so far as saying ... obscure ingredients.
Greeted with French music and a twist on the kir royale, things were looking good. A decadent combination of a berry liqueur sent over from France from one of the chef's mothers and an Australian sparkling Shiraz produced a rich and fruity opening to the evening. I'm going to say regal even.
Amuse-bouches served on rocks, cricket bats and parfait spoons balanced on printing blocks, the attention to detail must be applauded. I would have been happy with the flavours alone, but the thoughtfulness behind the presentation made me nod my head in pleasure. These people know what they are doing.
Smoked salmon and roasted potato pick was the perfect combination of cold and warm, smoky and creamy, slightly flash and good old classic.
Then prosciutto kougloff. A brioche savouried up with prosciutto. Light and flavoursome.
The tiny morsels of sichuan pepper honeydew were flavour and texture and happiness all rolled into one.
Pumpkin, cassia and sorrel soup. Velvet goodness. Topped with 'a surprise'. You need to think popping candy. But savoury. And green. The word unctuous springs to mind and thats what I'm gong to say...unctuous. But with a crackle.
Next were the fresh flavours of carpaccio of kingfish with kaffir lime coconut blanc-manger and seaweed waffle. With four different types of seaweed, no less. Light, fresh and lots of flavour.
This was a carefully thought out and a beautifully executed menu. I loved every minute of my evening and I can't wait for the next occasion.