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Restaurants & Bars Australia/New Zealand

Loam [Geelong]

mr_gimlet | | Sep 14, 2010 12:52 AM

Short version: Go there. Now.

Long version: At the end of a dirt road on the Bellarine Peninsula, about fifteen minutes from Geelong, is an olive farm overlooking the wetlands. In that olive farm is a shop, and above the shop is a cafe. That cafe is now Victoria's newest two hat restaurant.

Seasonality is the real deal here - no tomatoes here in spring - but lots of locally gathered leaves, flowers and, interestingly, pollens. Technique is excellent without being overpowering, so there are plenty of molecular techniques but not very dominant. Examples would be a steak tartare with a sous vide egg yolk smeared onto a tile, or some horseradish snow on swimmer crab. Everything was local to Victoria with the exception of a scottish cheddar for the cheese course (more like a course containing cheese)

The menu is a two (presumably lunch only), four or seven course affair (additional courses available). We gannets went for seven courses over 3.5hours. There is no menu, just a list of ingredients for the day, and if you don't like you tell the waiter and presumably the kitchen does something else. There are paired wines available and a good, short wine list.

Definitely deserving of two hat status, the cooking rivals the Royal Mail - I would put their cooking on a par, though Royal Mail is a much more serious restaurant, Loam still feels a bit like a cafe.

I'll be back later this year.