AND when we reached there, I found out that I forgot to charge my camera like the idiot Mouse I am, and thank goodness San's Sony Ericsson mobile phone camera was rather reliable, unlike my crappy Samsung one (I don't hate my phone, I love it but no denying that the camera sucks almost as much as taugeh (dumb beansprouts/beanshoots)).
M.O.O. used to be a money order post office back in as early as the early 1800's and it's in a rather hidden part of the city. The restaurant had a very nice interior, with a mixture of archaic and modern styled decorum that maintained some sense of the original structure. There's a bar where a lot of people were standing and drinking tonight, and a dining area with the usual wooden tables and private little booth-styled tables. We got the little booths as they seat three people nicely.
We sat down and was promptly served. After much debating over the specials and the menu, we all decided to share an entrée, have a main each and share a dessert. Bread came first, served with olive oil as usual. Ordinary crusty bread, that's all I have to say.
For the entrée, I was adamant, ADAMANT on the Snails on Puff Pastry (1/2 dozen; $14). I had them the last time I went and I love them.
As gorgeous as I remembered them to be. The garlic parsley butter was superbly fragrant and buttery, soaking into the puff pastry and went very well with the chewy snails. The herb salad was really yummy as well, in fact San decided to swipe the pastry bite with a little of the herb salad and its dressing, and it tasted yummy as well. A complete satisfaction; I could actually order that as my main and be happy with it, BWAHAHA. I love snails when they're cooked and shell-less.
San had the Pheasant ($35) as her main upon the chef's recommendation.
It was grilled and served with parsley potatoes. San was not a big fan of meats the Western style, she had the dish because it was recommended. She reckoned it was only okay, even if she did really like the complimenting sauce. She thought the pheasant itself was a little dry and coarse to the bite...maybe a little overdone? I had a bite of it and I think I do like it, even though I agree with San's sentiment that it was a little dry. But I'm a bigger fan of breast meats than San - she's a "fat person" to quote her directly. And no, she (and I) doesn't mean her size - that woman is anything BUT fat.
Sis (also known as MM in San's posts) went for the Cassoulet with Jumbo Quail ($36).
A success to Sis, she really really liked it. A Cassoulet is a type of French baked dish with beans, usually with duck but M.O.O. had their variation with quail. Sis loved it and I tried some of it, gotta say the (haricot) bean mixture went really well with the meats. The bean mixture was spiced nicely with peppers and spices. There's also pork along with the quail and a strange looking sausage that was Sis's only complaint in the entire dish. San really slurped on the pork - and I don't blame her, very tender and juicy.
I had the Fish of the Day (price unknown) because Mouse should be eating lotssss of fish.
Served with olives, tomatoes and black olive mash, my fish was beautifully pan fried to perfection. The texture was succulent and yummy and the black olive mash complimented my fish nicely. The fish was seasoned just to the right taste as well. The tomatoes were grilled and very juicy and sweet to the bite. My only complaint was that the drizzle of olive oil was a little bit more than what I would've liked. Although I would rate my satisfaction to be quite high - higher than San with her dish. :D
Because Mouse should be eating veggies, we decided to order a side of veggies to share. I intended to order the Vine Tomato Salad or Sautéed Spinach but there was some miscommunication with the waitress, as it was noisy and she didn't hear us properly. She didn't reconfirmed with us and somehow put in an order for Bitterleaf ($7).
For non-fans of bitterness ANYWHERE, this side was NOT a success to any of us. We were cringing and trying our best to finish it and I had to take gulps of water along with it because I really cannot stand bitter things. Uragh. What a complete waste! The tomato salad sounded nice, too. :(
For dessert, we ordered the Vanilla Bavarois ($14), served with fresh strawberries and candied mint.
WOW. Really fantastic! All three of us loved it. It was basically a custard style dessert with fresh strawberry sauce, strawberries and sorbet. It was cold and nice and very fruity. The custard wasn't sweet and had a hint of vanilla in its taste, leaving the sweetness for the fruit sauce and sorbet, hence everything was matched very well. A success with this dessert!
I think it's a satisfactory and rather lovely dining experience. Granted it was a little noisier than expected, but the ambiance was lovely, food was on the whole rather good and the staff was friendly enough. One of the hidden fine-dining places that should be given attention.
FYI, The Age Good Food Guide 2007 did review M.O.O., and gave it 14/20 - one point short of a chef hat.
As for why the price for my fish was unknown, it was because I had the Entertainment Card and got a free main for one main ordered. :D The Entertainment Booklet was a GREAT buy and proceeds go towards a range of charities, including the one I support full-heartedly, the Cancer Council of Victoria. It has great many discounts for many many food outlets, from fine dining to ordinary pizza places etc. Find out more HERE.
318 Little Bourke Street
Phone: (03) 9639 3020