Embla – 11 Dec 2017

Embla and Bar Liberty were both restaurants that I really wanted to go to (though I guess they’re more wine bars, but that’s a minor technicality since they serve up delicious grub), and about equal on my piority list. In the end, I made my decision via the restaurants’ proximity to my location at a set time. As a result, Embla it was, since Bar Liberty appears to be out in Fitzroy.

It was a win/win to make a short notice decision because they’re walk-in only (my favourite type of restauant), and it was a Monday, which meant it was guaranteed to be less busy. We were seated at the kitchen counter, so away we ordered!
These are Wapengo oysters. I’m pretty sure it was our waitstaff who said that he wasn’t usually a fan of Sydney rock oysters, but that these were really, really good. I wasn’t a fan of Sydney rock oysters either, but I gave these a go. Oh yes. I am now a fan of Sydney rock oysters! These were superbly sweet and briny, they were so good! I found that on this trip, I really developed an appreciation for oysters that I traditionally didn’t like. It also helps that these aren’t just generic oysters from an area; it’s been narrowed down even further, sort of like how single origin coffee became single estate coffee. Knowing that little bit more goes a long way! These were so enjoyable that we actually ordered a second round!

You could say that at a wine bar, the wine is a little bit obligatory, but it’s also because this little Burgundy caught my eye – it’s a Anne-Sophie Dubois “Paso Doble” 2015. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a glass (mainly because I can’t), and the gentleness of this was a bit of a surprise only because I’ve been having super tannic (though equally light bodied) nebbiolos in the past, so this was like drinking really smooth, fruity stuff. Loved it! And I was sensible and only had half the glass.

What’s this funny flat blob thing? Apparently one of their signature dishes. Snapper carpaccio with fermented red peppers. Look at how thin those snapper slices are! How impressive! And the pepper sauce was great, it wasn’t spicy – more like capsicum.

Look, broad beans! I love broad beans! These pickled mussels were delicious because they weren’t overly pickled, there was still a lot of natural flavour. The addition of wild rocket and elderflower made it a great and interesting dish. Haven’t seen it done before and it totally works!

Mr Cannubi noix de jambon. Oooh, you gorgeous fatty thing. This was flavour packed but not overly salty, the fat was so melty while the meat carried great flavour! My goodness! Every time I order a charcuterie item, this is what I hope to get every time – I have a very specific flavour preference for cured meats that’s more often a miss than a hit (though a miss is still tasty, just not my dream flavour), so this really stood out, so much so that I said it was my favourite, and the waiter laughed because it was the one dish that they didn’t have to cook. Oops! Though… I can still say they have very good taste for putting it on their menu, right???

Gosh it was so gorgeous.

I’m a sucker for burrata, so I ordered this dish, even though the waiter recommended dropping this for whatever else I was pondering over. I should have listened to him. The burrata was great, but the onions didn’t work. The onions were nice, but the flavour clashed with the cheese. They should probably serve it without the onions.

Yeeeaaah pippies!!! In butter. Wow drenched in butter. Loads of butter, so much butter. These were so tasty and there totally wasn’t enough bread to soak up the sauce, so we gladly accepted more bread.

I remembered that my brother made this awesome shell arrangement back when we had pippies at Firedoor, so I tried to do it here! So pretty! Except the waiter then asked me to put the shells in the dedicated shell bowl haha.

And lastly, Cherries, Cherries, Cherries. I knew I wanted this one as soon as I looked at the menu. This was fresh cherries, macerated cherries, and cherry ice cream made with cherry pits! Wow! The texture of the ice cream was subtly grainy, in a pleasant way, because you knew that all of the cherry had been used. The size of this was pretty small, but it was so gorgeous, that again, it reminded me a lot of Firedoor, for their Iced Vovo dessert. I didn’t mind that it was small, it was a tiny powerhouse of flavour and awesomeness, which meant it was a fleeting but lasting memory. I will love this dish forever and ever! I’m so glad I came here!

Overall I loved this place, very friendly staff and really tasty food. I was so happy with it that I tipped, I dunno, I just find that when I am really happy I start tipping so that restaurants can use the extra money to thrive (I say this a lot because I love restaurants and all the hard work that all the staff put in). He thanked us for our generosity and then asked if we were having a second dessert, when I said I wanted the crepe store, he recommended that we also go to Spring Street Grocer for their pistachio gelato. How cool! I love getting recommendations!

Definitely a place I would go back to.