I like the sleek black tiled walls and almost quaint pendant lighting they have hanging throughout the small and cosy restaurant. We were seated at the bar and they have bar hooks for bags which is a rarity but much needed for us ladies. Let me tell you, it is a major pain to juggle a bag and my trusty DSLR camera on my lap without dropping my napkin somewhere in between there.
The bread was accompanied by some seaweed butter which had a beautiful roasted, umami flavour to it. Mmm.. Meanwhile Mr A ordered a glass of vino but unfortunately I was still on my alcohol ban.
Bread with seaweed butter
From the 'To Start' section of the menu which are literally small bites of food, we chose the goats cheese profiteroles. The sharp goats cheese was encased in a crisp profiterole casing and the sweetness from the rooftop honey married nicely.
Goats cheese profiterole, caraway, thyme & our honey ($3 each)
The steamed barramundi, so delicate and flaking away easily, was complemented by the pickled radishes and turnips while the rich and flavourful chicken broth was mopped by with the extra bread offered by our waiter. An excellent dish we couldn't get enough of.
Steamed barramundi, pink radishes, baby turnips, almond, fennel & roast chicken broth ($36)
The combination of the pickled components and spicy kimchi with the tender, melt-in-mouth pork jowl presented us a different flavour combination from what we're typically used to but we really enjoyed it. All my past experiences of pork jowl have been incredible and this was no different.
Blackened pork jowl, smoked carrot kimchi, cos, green apple & peanuts ($23)
The crisp beef cheek almost looked like a deep fried onigiri (Japanese rice ball with seaweed) but breaking into it revealed a slow cooked, tender beef cheek. Usually these types of meats can be a touch heavy for me but the whipped white soy cream had a tang to it, so it helped with the richness.
Crisp beef cheek, whipped white soy cream, black garlic, parsnip & yuzu ($26)
Whenever I see yuzu on a dessert menu, I usually can't help myself from ordering it. Being an Asian citrus fruit which borders a resemblance between a grapefruit and a mandarin, it has a sweet and tart flavour profile to it. With a flurry of textures, from the smooth lemon & yuzu curd, crisp white chocolate shards, crumbly burnt coconut to the the spiced rum jelly cubes and the sweet meringue filled with a light coconut sorbet - all I can say is that it was an incredible yet light dessert to finish our meal.
Lemon and yuzu curd, white chocolate, burnt coconut, spiced rum & coconut sorbet ($14)
I'll admit I got embarrassingly excited when I realised that the business card was glow in the dark.
Our visit to The Town Mouse left us raving about each dish and how much we enjoyed our experience. The flavours and the components of the dishes were well thought out and executed perfectly. Throughout the night, service was sensational - interactive and conversational which played a part in our great experience. Looking through the menu, it certainly feels like they are offering something different to the Melbourne dining scene so I look forward to a return visit soon! Good times indeed.
Will I return? Yes, everything was sensational.
The Town Mouse
312 Drummond St
Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 3312
Wed to Sun 12pm - late