Cecconi’s is a name synonymous with beautiful food and it’s no wonder why the restaurant continues to be one of Melbourne’s best places to dine. Consistently beautiful dishes, using the finest ingredients, and exceptional service are only some of the reasons why it’s remained my favourite Melbourne restaurants. So when I heard that the new Spring menu was filled with new season produce and exciting new dishes, I couldn’t wait to head down to Flinders lane to get my Cecconi’s fix.
The new Spring menu features a myriad of dishes that use fresh and available seasonal produce. Spring vegetables pepper the dishes for entrée and flavours are leaner and lighter for the change in seasons.
On this visit, my eating partner and I initially decided on the exact same selection for our meal. Thinking that we weren’t making the most of our visit, we ended up deciding we would split our meals so that we could sample a wider range of dishes which Cecconi’s were more than happy to accommodate.
Our foray into the Spring menu was a taste of the sea, selecting Caramelised scallops, broccoli pangrattato, prosciutto crisps with a lemon aioli and the Crispy King Prawn with black sesame, avocado, picked cucumber and lime.
The thing I loved about the Caramelised scallops was how it was matched with the broccoli pangragattato, giving the dish texture from the crunch of the pangragattato and a burst of spring colour from the broccoli. It’s not an immediate flavour combination but the subtle broccoli flavour melded with the sweet flavour of the scallops and the acidity of the citrus aioli. The saltiness of the prosciutto added extra depth.
The Crispy King Prawn with sesame was wrapped delicately with a thin layer of pastry and the black sesame and fried. The prawn remained moist on the inside and combined with the subtle avocado texture and the slight sourness of the pickled cucumber, it was a dish made in heaven.
Out of curiosity we also ordered a small serving of the Squid ink gnocchi with broccoli, baby squid and chili. I had not had gnocchi with squid ink before and to be honest I am not normally a huge fan of gnocchi, but the gnocchi was something I would definitely order again. The texture of the gnocchi was soft and chewy (and definitely not floury), with a hint of the sea, complementing the baby squid.
For mains, it was a difficult choice to narrow down our selection to two dishes. Our first choice was the Rock flat head with Parmesan cream and Kipflers which was a beautifully cooked fish fillet with a delicate cream sauce. There is something about the fish, cream and potato combination that is so satisfyingly glorious.
Our second main was the Tasmanian wilderness scotch fillet, truffle mash, king brown mushroom, with jus. Cooked exactly how I requested, the scotch fillet was tender and flavoursome. The truffle mash gave the dish a twist but worked well not to overpower the dish.
By the end of this dish, it was hard to think about dessert but upon seeing the menu we figured there might be just a little bit of space left to sample two exquisite sweets. The White chocolate cheesecake, brownie and nocello gelato was our first pick and we were so glad we did. A deliciously tasting dessert, with a popping surprise to it.
Our second dessert was the Citrus Bavarois, Pistachio Cantucci and Mandarin Sorbetto. This dessert was a lighter option than the first with sweet citrus flavours. The mandarin sorbetto was a highlight with a citrus kick.
Our meal at Cecconi’s was an exceptional one. The ingenuity applied to the development of the flavour combinations for each dish has to be applauded. Fresh and seasonal produce shine through on the new Spring menu and I’m excited to head back to try the other dishes on the menu.
Cecconi’s, 61 Flinders Lane Melbourne ph. (03) 8663 0500
For more information visit www.cecconis.com