A request to catch up as a celebration. A promise that it would be something worth writing about. It was both. Here’s why Mercers in Eltham has inspired me to have a ranking list.
Entree: Beef salad: Porterhouse cured, seared and raw with honey wasabi pearls and salted egg yolk
Mains: Pig bits; belly, strudel and rib with roasted young vegetables and calvados jus
Desserts: Red velvet souffle featuring raspberry and chocolate
Drink: Water (Like you think I would mess with this?)
Located on the main road of Eltham, this place is really tricky to find the entrance to their parking slot. This is LITERALLY the only thing that is wrong with this place. Given that I had travelled over 30 minutes to get to the restaurant, I was not going to let something as insignificant as being unable to find the entrance stop me. (Although asking Nigel in that present moment would have gained a different result).
The place looks like a home from the outside and true to it’s exterior, the inside features a comfy homely feeling. Look, if I am honest, I am really annoyed that I didn’t take a photo of the inside. I was too busy being stunned by the attentive service and great way we were treated. Clearly my companions (C Squared) are regulars and are a first name basis. As such, I had to do a little digging and I found out that this is a husband and wife team (Stephen and Ute Mercer) and have been winning the Age Good Food Guide Awards since 1999! You have to go check out their website for all the photos that I didn’t take.
And now… the food.
Before the meal even started, we were treated to an onion, pumpkin and spiced soup shot glasses. It was so ridiculously well presented, I didn’t want to drink it. And once I did, I needed more of it! Mercers had my attention.
For entree, I had the Beef Salad: Porterhouse cured, seared and raw with honey wasabi pearls and salted egg yolk. Now. If anyone knows me, knows that I am always dubious of food that is overly well presented. I have had cases where I have spent more than a shiny penny ($200 AUD) for a meal only to be utterly dissapointed. As such, I was cautious as to how this would fill me up. Then again, the soup shot, was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
What surprised me were the flavours. Every bite oozed a certain sense of class and delicate, attentive focus to the creation of this amazing meal. I consumed literally everything on the plate. The wasabi pearls were the highlight – the sense of spice that melted in your mouth is an experience that you need to go in and try for yourself.
Once that was done, it was on to the mains: Pig bits; belly, strudel and rib with roasted young vegetables and calvados jus. Dubious? Still a little. First bite. And I was convinced that the chef must have Godly hands. The meat just melted away from the bone. Literally fell away. And then the pork belly. Oh. My. God. Just, OMG. Seared crispy on one side, the flavour infused into it is literally unlike anything I have come across. This was it. The whole saying, “stick a fork in it. It’s done” – yeah, that was me! Unknowingly, I had also become full. How Mercer…. how did you manage to do that?!
Maybe it was the Twice cooked Désirée potatoes with rosemary salt and truffle aioli.
And still, I had dessert? Are you kidding me? I was ready to be rolled out of that restaurant. Alas, I had chosen the red velvet souffle featuring raspberry and chocolate… because it was red velvet.
I was done. This is the pure definition of heaven. Some of the food was hard even though they looked fluffy and soft and alteranitvely there were items that reversed the role. The souffle was perfect. The oozing chocolate? Heavenly.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I was ready to call it. If I had to die and go to heaven, this is the one place I would like to call home. Forever. Without a doubt, Mercers have unequivocally won the title of the best restaurant that I have had the pleasure of dining at. The literal BEST. Every other restaurant, take note. This is the standard that I, Nigel, will be holding as your yardstick. And if you are considered fine dining….bring your A Game.
C squared, I will keep my promise to you. Thank you for treating to me such an amazing experience, nestled in the suburbs of Melbourne.
Oh my readers – the places I will help you find! Won’t you join me?
Categories: Food & Drink