Dinner CAPE Restaurant at RACV Cape Schanck Resort
The new CAPE restaurant at RACV Cape Schanck Resort is bringing a truckload of technique and finery to the dining scene on Mornington Peninsula. We visited this new restaurant to experience the degustation (choose either 5 or 8 courses, naturally we chose the 8 courses) amid stunning ocean views. RACV exceeds expectations (OK not everyone expects a world class dining offering at an RACV Resort) with CAPE restaurant part of a $135 million investment and Wood Marsh Design.
We've stayed at the Resort, which is epic enough, but a world class degustation completes the experience. We visited CAPE with legendary school friends; the company was epic as we shared stories from our private school adventures. But it would be remiss not to write up this fine dining odyssey.
Prosecco at the bar.
The degustation at CAPE hits the ground running with off the menu bowl of salt and vinegar infused saltbush (the best indigenous snack ever), smoky skewered ox tongue with lilly pilly (a personal favourite), a take on Fish n Chips with potato emulsion-topped seaweed crackers and cured kingfish (another personal favourite), and a Green Ant Cracker. Extraordinary "canapes" that are fun.
The Brioche with Chicken butter is pure indulgence. In fact at one stage I found mysself just eating a spoonful of the butter itself. The saying is that "butter makes everything better" but surely chicken butter makes everything "better again".
Chef Jordan Clavaron is a Frenchman with a background in in Michelin-starred restaurants who is bringing the best of modern French cuisine to CAPE, honing in on native Australian produce and ingredients.
Scampi with kangaroo tail and saffron bisque was another showstopper. At this stage we were pairing courses with Ocean's Eight Chardonnay.
Our waiter explained that he lost his office as the admin department of the Resort gave way to CAPE. We mourned his loss (he was magnanimous about it all) and complemented him on "taking one for the team".
Another stunning course full of theatre was Borlotti Bean with Mushroom and Wild Garlic. A winter dish of note. The advent of truffles further elevated this rustic dish.
Service was more than accomplished; it was truly professional and engaging.
Perhaps the dish of the night was the John Dory with Celeraic, Mollusc and Borchii. The broth was compelling.
Another main to impress was the Otway Venison with Pumpkin and Alyssum. By now we were enjoying Merricks Creek 2018 Pinot Noir, a perfect pairing, thank you Peter Parker for your hard word and flair.
Dessert featured Buttermilk and Raspberry, a refreshing offering.
Our degustation then ended on a high note with a Tribute (not a rock song but a tribute) to the humble bee with honeycomb and pollen with camomile and yoghurt. Real honeycomb presented with intricacy and pure sophistication.
We were given hand-made local chocolate to take home; a lovely touch.