Sunday lunch at The Roving Marrow was something I thought of doing during the week. My work colleague and Carlton resident, Kathi had mentioned it when we'd had a discussion about newly renovated pubs experiencing re birth and she'd said how nicely it was fitted out and she'd enjoyed a drink at the bar but not tried the food.
We're greeted warmly and water arrives quickly along with a complimentary mini glass of house kombucha which is a fermented tea. I've read about the restorative properties of this drink but never been adventurous enough to try it for fear it would be too weird so this little sampler is perfect. It's refreshing, with a hint of fizz and some tropical fruit flavours but not sugary. Not unlike a fruit iced tea.
The items on the menu sound appetising split into Snacks, Small, Vegetarian, Larger and Dessert. We have a chat with our server about what to order and I think we get it just right. I enjoy seeing the open kitchen too and watching the chefs in action and one lady frying potato crisps!
Crumbly, creamy, crunchy and then with a hint of sweetness and a lingering flavour note of a Snickers bar! How can chicken liver parfait taste like Snickers? But it works. The chicken liver is soft and creamy and not too intense and I think I would like more of salty hit but Steve likes it the way it is and agrees it is reminiscent of Snickers. Must be the date sweetness and the salty peanuts.
Our friendly server told us that the next dish had been announced revolutionary for some people so we were looking forward to it.
Slices of belly pork with a prawn and red cabbage salad and chilli mayo like dressing. The pork had a lovely layer of crispy crackling and the spicy kick of chilli was a great flavour enhancer. Sure was delicious but not revolutionary, in my opinion.
Steve commented that the stocks the chefs use in this place are really top drawer and our server informed us that they follow the Asian tradition of continuously retaining the stock and using it in many of their dishes to add that to those deep layers of flavour.
We'd enjoyed our meal so much that Steve couldn't resist but suggest we also try the duck two ways, beetroot, broccoli and hazelnut as we'd toyed with ordering but backed off for fear of over doing it. This was a beautifully presented plate of pink, yellow, burgundy and green. The broccoli tasted amazing, the beetroot was delicious and the duck confit and duck breast were out of this world. We're so glad we included this jazzy little number.
I loved the crisp tart shell, soft and sweet mousse like white chocolate headily scented with vanilla and almost custard like, fresh zappy fruit flavours of blood orange and passion fruit and then toasty coconut. The meringue shards added some sweetness to balance the citrus tartness of the fruit. They weren't quite crisp and were a little sticky and soft to the touch so perhaps the moisture had got to it but still oh so enjoyable.
Steve enjoyed his apples. The cardamom sorbet was a touch over creative and not pleasant in isolation but apparently altogether it worked.
This was delicious; strong, smooth, with a hint of creamy sweetness but just a touch and no overt sugar tones. What a way to finish a fine fine lunch!
Steve and I feel that it has been a long long time since a new restaurant has impressed us so much. Can you tell we loved it here? It wasn't just the food but also the beautiful decor and the passionate and friendly waitress we enjoyed chatting to.
It was a shame that there were only 2 - 3 tables in as this place is worthy of so much more adulation than what we have given it!