First, I would like to thank those fellow chowhounds who answered my posting and provided me with some valuable inputs. We picked Scaramouche from a short list of 4 restaurants ( Avalon,Canoe,Senses and Scaramouche) mainly because Keith Frogett was willing to substitute the meat course of our tasting menu with venison. (a favourite of my guest).
We ordered the 5 course tasting menu with wine pairing. In general, the wait staff was very friendly and knowledgeable (more so on the food, less so on the wine). However, this was compensated by the ever smiling and knowledgeable manager/sommelier 'Ian'. The meal started off with an amuse of house smoked ocean wild trout on crostini. This was paired with a glass of Cremant from Burgundy. The first appertizer was 3 pristine quality Malpaque oysters with fresh horseradish dressing et al. It was paired with a very complex and floral Sancerre. The second course was a salad of greens, Spanish Serrano ham, shaved aged Parmeggiano Reggiano and Romesco dressing. It was paired with an un-identified Rose. ( the noise in the dinning room by then was very loud, drowning the voice of our gently spoken waiter who tried to introduce the wine). Then came the highlight of the evening. A generous slice of perfectly cooked halibut, crispy on the outside, moist and juicy inside. This was topped with a surprisingly big slab of wonderfully seared foie gras. The duo was then placed on some amazingly tasty and fragrant, braised leeks. We never realise a vegetable accompaniment can taste THAT good! The pairing of the dish with an off-dry Pinot Blanc from Alsace really brought everything together. As eluded to previously, the meat course was a piece of wonderfully tender venison loin grilled rare and served with one of the most complex Bordelaise sauce I've ever tasted. (and this include quite a few Michelin starred establishments in France!) The dish was paired with a medium bodied Aussie Cabernet. Very nice! The only 'mild' dissappointment was the fairly ordinary dessert. A buttery piece of very light sponge cake topped with liquor flavoured fresh cream and a berry compote. However, this was rescued by the glass of Muscat beaume de vermise dessert wine.
Overall, at $78 for the tasty and generously portioned food and $48 for the well chosen wine, my guest and I both thought the meal was a steal! In the past 3 months, my guest and I have sampled tasting menus with wine pairing from Splendido, Perigee, George, Fat-Cat and Celestin. I would rank George the most enjoyable with Perigee and Scaramouche tied second. Splendido, on the other hand was a great dissappointment. The food tasted mediocre and the portion size was badly judged and out of balance. Whilst our waiter was most friendly, however, the sommelier was most arrogant and never smiled the whole evening!! And James Chatto gave it 4 stars?!!!!