Penne Cole's thoughts on food, travel and more
Pascale, if you believe Qantas’ inflight magazine, is the one of the hottest new restaurants in Melbourne. Part of the newly-opened QT hotel on Russell Street, Pascale is helmed by Executive Chef, Paul Easson of Rockpool Bar & Grill fame. The menu is French with a nod to the new and trendy (like my poke bowl), but above all else, the menu is decadent. Standout items are clearly highlighted, and include things like a Wagyu “Family” Tomahawk rib eye steak (4 person minimum, at an eye-popping $95 per person), and “Sommerlad” Chicken Truffle Terrine-Pissaladiere (essentially France’s version of a pizza, but incredibly jazzed up).
The first time I visit, I’m not terribly hungry, so I go for the Hawaii-inspired poke (poh-kay) bowl. Pascale’s version comes with ocean trout and flathead, served on wasabi rice with sweet soy, rice bubbles and avocado mousse. It is light and truly delicious, especially with the added texture of the rice bubbles, but pricey given the size of the serving.
Not quite satisfied, I order a dessert. My waiter (attentive at the start of the meal, but impossible to find when I want the bill) steers me away from the highlighted Napoleon Blanky and Birds Milk and towards the eclairs for something a little lighter.
My two eclairs (classic and not so classic), come served in a black lacquered box, complete with a mirror under the eclairs. +1 for presentation. The one on the right is the classic chocolate, but the one on the left is a surprise – black sesame eclair (perhaps a nod to the nearby Chinatown?). Both are delicious, and the texture of the eclairs is just right.
A week later, when a colleague visiting from Malaysia asks me to recommend a dessert bar, Pascale immediately comes to mind. Of course, I invite myself along. This time, we order what Broadsheet calls the “showstopper” dessert – the Napoleon Blanky. It’s a mille-feuille with creme anglaise sandwiched between decadently buttery puff pastry, and topped with a “blanket” of raspberry set with agar agar. It is eye-catchingly shiny and almost too pretty to eat, but oh so delicious with the almost rubbery blanket contrasting perfectly with the crumbly puff pastry and the oozing cream.
Next up is the Rustic Chocolate Stove – a base of hazelnut chocolate cake with three sauces – chocolate, caramel and raspberry – all in individual edible chocolate cups with a too-cute mini chocolate spoon. The dessert features some impressive engineering, with a chocolate “stove pipe” supporting a sauce-filled chocolate cup on a shelf above the “stove”. The cake itself tastes like a decadent Ferrero Rocher but the presentation jazzes it up 100%.
Would I go again? Absolutely, if only to try more of their delicious desserts, but perhaps not if I were on a budget…
This post was inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine.
Some WPC Shine favourites:
Shine vs. jam for the beautiful pictures and great poem
Evening at Hoi An for a great travel blog post
This post by These aren’t grey hairs, these are highlights for having a great blog title and a great picture.
To sail beyond the sunset for the inspirational poem
Sydney Harbour Bridge in zoom burst for a subject close to my heart
Pascale at QT Hotel
133 Russell St, Melbourne
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