Monday, April 26, 2010
Koots Salle A Manger, 474 Glenferrie Road Kooyong
It’s been some time now that since I’ve added Birk review, not that I haven’t been out, just that lately I haven’t had too many experiences that have floated my boat. Yes I have been to MoVida and Gingerboy quite a few times recently. And yes, Gingerboy right now is my favourite eatery, but it like MoVida, have been critiqued so much that a recent blogger commented on the creases in the MoVida’s linen napkins – geez people, just eat and be happy!
And speaking of happy, it was me who was happy last week when I stopped in to Koots Salle A Manger in Kooyong last Thursday for lunch. Located in the hollow of Glenferrie Rd Kooyong, which is effectively a Roger Federer top-spin lob away from the Kooyong Tennis Club, Koots has recently celebrated 10 years service in the little village where with what locals say are the noisiest train signals in Melbourne. Add to this a chefs hat in the Good Food Guide, Koots has lasted a lot longer than plenty of other restaurants that have recieved sicophantic praise over the journey, let me tell you!
Having recently sold Koots some champagne – Pommery Grand Cru 1995 – I thought I would pop in before the lunch service and have a chat with the very likeable Denis, the maître d’, about this and that and how the ‘Le Blue’ will do in the World Cup (45 more sleeps to go people). The longer the chat went, the more the little dining room was attracting my attention. Furnished with huge cushioned seats and crisp linen table cloths with the walls being adorned with minimalist prints of various food stuffs, Koots seats about 35 in the front room with the bar able to seat a further 7 or 8. Yet it was the growing aroma from the kitchen that was becoming the real distraction. Denis, I said, can you fit me on the bar for lunch at about 2? But of course Tim, Denis replied. I went back to work and waited for my lunch booking.
Track about two hours and it was 1.15pm and I couldn’t wait anymore. Fifteen minutes later, I was back in the dining room and ready for lunch. A quick hello to Patrice, the chef-owner, who was having a chat to Denis in the bar, and I was seated at the bar looking out to the four tables of locals enjoying their lunch. A little more small talk with Denis and it was time to order. I went for the $30 lunch special, entrée and main with a coffee at the end. I like this option because Koots is not a restaurant that is pushing a very inferior glass of wine on to you, rather giving you the option to choose a glass that suits your meal, rather than a have a glass of un-oaked chardonnay or shiraz from Rutherglen or Mildura!
For starters I had the crumbed veal sweetbreads with frisée salad. It is a shame not more chefs are cooking with sweetbreads, offal from the thyroid glands and not sugar coated bread, because the gorgeous flavour that Patrice has extracted is quite stunning. The main consisted of twice cooked chicken with carved baked potatoes. The glass of wine that I was able to chose, was actually expertly chosen by Denis - 2008 Picpoul De Pinet Ormarine ‘’Sur Lies’’ Coteaux Du Languedoc, France – a blend of Roussanne, Viognier, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, and a wine that is only available at Koots. This is why it is better to spend an extra $10 over lunch and get the right glass of wine rather than something red or white! Quite possibly Melbourne’s best express lunch menu, simple!
Koots Salle A Manger, 474 Glenferrie Road Glenferrie 9822 3809