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Fancy names

Hiramasa kingfish topped with preserved orange peel, pickled fennel, Espelette pepper, fennel pollen and flowers

I don't think the dish at the left is quite the same as the one above, but it's from the same restaurant - well bar in this case - Marion - which is one of Andrew McConnell's places. It's a similar dish anyway. No flowers or orange peel for a start.

This will be a pretty short post I think because I really don't have much to say other than that dish titles like the one above are just so, so pretentious and also so of the moment. Well yesterday's moment. I saw it in the weekend's AFR Life and Leisure magazine - a magazine for the rich or for those who like to dream about being rich. There was an article titled Capital of Cool which was about things you could do in three days in Melbourne - and it was actually republished from The New York Times. All completely irrelevant of course, because virtually all of the places mentioned in the article are now closed, and who knows whether they will ever open again.

So all of this extreme titling of dishes may well be a thing of the past. Has fine dining come to an end? Well not in the homes of the rich and famous of course, but elsewhere, who knows.

The interesting thing is that the disease of long titles for dishes has spread even to relatively humble places like the Collingwood Children's Farm Café, where you can have House-made sausage rolls with grass-fed Warialda beef served with freshly made slaw and tomato relish. And here it is. Now I love sausage rolls and I'm sure this one is delicious, Still - what you get on the plate is not nearly as fancy looking as it sounds is it? The slaw, to be mean, looks like something out of a Coles packet, the tomato sauce could be a slightly fancy jar of tomato relish and the sausage roll - well it's just a sausage roll.

But do notice the emphasis on provenance. They also have Truffled Yarra Valley brown mushrooms on ricotta toast with roasted garlic, parmesan and poached eggs. (I couldn't find a picture of this one.)

Elsewhere at Matilda a fancy barbecue restaurant run by celebrity chef Scott Pickett, there is Humpty Doo barramundi with grilled lettuce and hen egg - $44! for a piece of barramundi and an egg. 'Hen egg' - is that necessary? I think this is a similar dish but not quite the same as there is no 'hen egg.' Matilda also does Macedon Ranges duck for two with cherry and black garlic ($98) and a Pineapple tart latin with buffalo curd. I couldn't find a picture of that one but there was a picture of Rotisserie pineapple, olive oil and finger lime.

Very pretty but it's just some pineapple really isn't it?

My last example - no picture I'm afraid is from Seven Seeds which has for breakfast, Crab scrambled eggs with a Sichuan pepper caramel sauce and cilantro and mint salad. Cilantro is coriander isn't it? Are they just trying to confuse people?

Sorry I'm not really saying much here. But I just couldn't let those names pass. Maybe I should start dreaming up such descriptions for my daily dinners. The creamy mushroom ham pasta, by the way, was really nice. Del Verde pasta from the hills of Abruzzo in a sauce made from smoked Australian ham, Victorian champignons de Paris, farmhouse cream, Dijon whole-grain mustard and home-grown garlic chives. How's that?


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