We had been quite excited about trying out Maurice Esposito’s new digs after having thoroughly enjoyed Esposito’s in Carlton, which is also all about sustainable seafood.
After a short wait in the entrance outside Saint Peter’s Restaurant and Bar, and another short wait while the waiter who asked if we had a reservation disappeared upstairs without seating us(!!!), we were shown the way to our table by the window.
Soon after we were seated, we were given our menus and the wine list. We ordered a Mojito($16), a Negroni ($17), some Cape Grim Sparkling Mineral Water ($10 / 750ml) and our food.
Four slices of fresh baguette arrived swiftly, which we had with quality self-poured olive oil, and soon afterwards we were treated to a wonderful complimentary appetiser of Seaweed with a Mustard Fruit, Sesame Oil and Thai Basil dressing.
Not long after our plates were taken away, our entree’s arrived. Ritsy ordered the “Northern Territory Mud Crab salad, green apples, avocado and a garlic mayonnaise” ($22) which looked quite nice apart from the strange spinach leaf draped over the top. The mud crab was absolutely delicious, textural crunch provided by a julienne of green apple.
I had the “Seared Canadian Scallops with an essence of asparagus and spinach, salmon roe and baby parsley” ($19). I’m not too sure that whole asparagus tips counts as “essence of asparagus”, and due to the extremely overpowering flavor of the asparagus I can’t help but wonder if the kitchen made a mistake. Once I took the asparagus away from the dish, I was much happier – the saltiness of the roe played nicely with the sweet scallop meat.
Midway through this course, our cocktails finally arrived – the Mojito was spot on, and the Negroni, although quite strong (by design – it’s basically equal parts Campari, Gin, and Vermouth), was also quite good.
Next up for Ritsy was the “Potato gnocchi with South Rock crayfish in a cherry tomato and crustacean reduction” ($35). Unfortunately, this was the let-down of the night – overcooked, soggy gnocchi and tough, rubbery crayfish 🙁
My main course was the “John Dory with mud crab, white asparagus, radish with a Cinzano Bianco mayonnaise” ($38). Whilst the John Dory was very nice, I was a bit asparagus’d out at this point, so the dish as a whole didn’t do it for me. The mud crab salad was pretty good but could have done without so much mayonnaise. It overpowered the delicate flavor of the thinly sliced radishes.
We opted not to have dessert, as the only thing we really felt (“Hot strawberry and almond tart with pistachio ice cream”) had a minimum 20 minute wait time.
Unfortunately, we left Saint Peter’s pretty disappointed. It was quite expensive ($160 all up, remembering we only had one drink each and no desserts), and a little bit clumsy (especially in the service department).
Maybe that’s the price of sustainable dining.