The masterminds behind St Michaels, Scott O’Sullivan of Red Cabbage and Tod Stuart of Petite Mort, converted the former Jacksons space into a restaurant offering a more casual dining experience. The new look casual eatery was named after Scott O’Sullivan’s father who passed away a few years ago and whom O’Sullivan believes will be looking after him on this new venture.
I’ve been dying to check out St Michaels ever since they announced the conversion. I just needed a reason to go!! What better reason than to treat mother dearest to the $89 degustation menu. As with most degustation, a selection is required for the main course. Mum and I both opt for the seafood option, the ocean trout.
Within minutes of taking our orders, the waiter brought out some cured meat and crisp bread for us to start nibbling on. My mum has good self-control when it comes to food. She can always restrain herself from picking at what she calls “unnecessary calories” but I can’t say the same for myself.
The restaurant was quite empty for a week night so it didn’t take long for the rest of the meal to follow.
What a great dish to start the degustation on. The scallops were sweet and juicy, roast chicken was tender, and the small portion of mushroom teased my tastebuds leaving me wanting more. Only thing I could fault was that there was not enough haha! Miss greedy guts.
After scoffing down the first course (elegantly of course) they cleared our plates and brought out the cauliflower cheese risotto. The dehydrated cauliflower added some crunch to the creamy risotto, which was cooked beautifully and extremely filling. Don’t let the portion size fool you.
I was relieved to see the third course to be smaller in size. Yeah…I go from the extreme of “I’m starving” to “OMG I’m bloated” really fast. I’m weird like that. The quail was tender, carrots were soft and sweet (I don’t usually like carrots FYI), and the gnocchi was so pillowy and light. The flavours and textures complimented each other well.
The ocean trout, octopus and chorizo we ordered for our mains was the highlight of my meal! The diced chorizo gave the trout just enough saltiness without being overwhelming. I was pleasantly surprised that the tomato flavour was not over powering in the salmorejo. I wouldn’t have liked it otherwise!
The reinvented cheese course was so much win in my eyes! The spongy carrot cake base combined with a salty yet slighty sweet blue cheese was a match made in heaven.
Pre-desserts (aka palette cleansers) are usually the highlight of my night. The refreshing, bitter-sweet, melt-in-your-mouth taster always leaves me wanting more. This pre-dessert however did not hit the spot for me. The oats and apricot was too heavy it felt like another course. And no, it did not leave me wanting more. Both mum and I barely touche ours. We told the waiter a little white lie by telling him we were full.
We ended the night on this parsnip sponge served with honey ice cream, and cornflake crunch. Since I was already put off by the oats from the pre-dessert, I wasn’t very impressed when I saw the cornflakes on the dessert plate. Yet again, we didn’t touch much of this.
Having waited a long time to try St Michaels, I had really high expectations before coming tonight. The savoury courses were all presented well and cooked beautifully (rating 4/5). The pre-dessert and dessert courses were a big let down (rating 2/5). Both my mother and I felt that there should have been more savoury dishes and less cornflakes (overall rating 3.5/5). I recommend future diners to opt for the a la carte option so you can design your own degustation.