Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maze by Gordon Ramsay - (Melbourne)

  Maze by Gordon Ramsay has encountered some difficulties in its global administration and  operations,  and unfortunately the Melbourne arm of the Maze restaurant has been caught up within this messiness!    Maze is soon going to be renamed into something totally forgettable and unmemorable (I’m rather perturbed by the lack of imagination behind whoever is renaming this whole thing, it sounds so uncool) but will remain being managed under the Crown  Casino complex.   The executive chef will remain unaltered and their current Gordon Ramsay influenced recipes are actually not that bad at all,  especially the desserts.   With a 1 Hatted status,  some dishes here worked better than others, especially when a few ho hum main courses didn’t really follow up with what were some decent entrée dishes.



Now to be renamed -
Into something sounding like a bee and it’s cave,
I kid you not…  totally irrelevant.



Interior is Chic -
But found in an unloved part of the 3rd hotel of Crown Casino.



Some House Wines, 
by the glass




Home Made Italian Bread,  called Staccata by the kitchen,
With Seaweed butter.   The latter when added with sea salt tasted like worchester sauce for some reason over 2 separate visits.   The bread was great,  but the butter is definitely no Bordier seaweed quality… 

Yes more Wine -
The more the merrier..

More Rose wine again -



Roasted Scallops, Sherry Caramel,  Wild Rice and Spice -  AUD $19
This is decent for the price and well enough cooked.  The wild rice and spice gives it some crunchy factor,  yet the sherry caramel was barely detectable -  which might be a great thing as it complements rather than spoils the natural scallops taste?      ~  7/10


Tete de Cochon,  with Compressed Watermelon, Kohlrabi and Crispy Pigs Ear -  AUD $16
Simply awesome.  Pigs head meat is made into a crumbed rectangle,  and despite the fattish and very moist meat and fat,  was well balanced by the fruits and kohlrabi.   The pigs ears however weren’t very apparent in the dish as without taking a photo,  one could barely remember them.   ~    9/10



Yellow Fin Tuna, with White Radish, Yuzu and Black Garlic -  AUD $16
The white radish in the description turned out to also incorporate normal radish discs,  the black fermented garlic definitely seems to be a world trend these days, probably borrowed from Korean/Japanese cuisines as I’ve experienced this a few times lately.   The yellow fin tuna was surprisingly plump and tasty even though the endangered blue fin tuna normally gets the connoisseur’s knod.    I liked how this came as chunks rather than mashed bits of tuna.  ~  9/10


Marinated Beetroot with Goat Curd,  Cabernet Sauvignon Vinaigrette & Toasted Pine Nuts -  AUD $14
Excuse my photo but this looked better in real life.  This recipe has been almost done to death,  but let’s not rob it of its final taste which was great.   I didn’t think this was a culinary achievement but it was a balanced dish which worked itself out ~   8/10




King George Whiting,  Smoked Paprika Brandade, Black Olive -
I had a big problem with this dish actually because the paprika brandade tasted nothing like paprika or cod.  (?).     The whiting by itself was decent but ultimately this sounded better than it tastes ~    6/10

Yarra Valley Duck Breast,  Roasted Squash and Beluga Lentils -  AUD $24
Arrrr… when this arrived I was thinking this is a tiny Main Course.   The duck was pink but the skin was flappy.  The lentils were good but overall this dish left a lot to desire for,  even disregarding its atrocious portioning as a main.   ~   6.5/10


Otway Pork Valley, Cavalo Nero, Soybeans, Dashi -  AUD $22
The Japanese side of the equation finally reared its ugly head here,  but that is being a bit harsh.  The Dashi broth was Japanese in taste but unexpectedly and despite being totally out of context by Japanese spirits,  actually worked with the pork belly but just.   The skin wasn’t crisp enough but the belly meat was tender enough.   This was so strange a dish and in taste,  but I must admit I did fall for it in the end even though in theory it shouldn’t work Confused smile.  Fluked effort perhaps ?  ~  7.5/10


Cape Grim Short Rib, Potato Puree and Shallot Gastric -  AUD $26
This was again tiny for a main course,  but was cooked decently with a nice gravy like thick sauce.  The meat was slightly stringy but acceptable.  The potato puree was buttery.   I thought this recipe and presentation was at most mediocre but the taste was ok in the end.  ~  6/10

Gisborne Duck Leg, Sweet Corn, Cracked Wheat Fig Jam - 
This tasted great but rather predictable.   A lack of good garnitures made this dish seem more normal than it seems.   Enjoyable and executed well.   ~   7/10



White Chocolate, Yuzu Jelly, Eucalyptus Ice Cream -  AUD $16
This was minty from the eucalyptus ice cream,  which is such an Aussie recipe.   I didn’t really get the white chocolate palette beneath or its relevance to the slightly sour yuzu jelly.  ~   6.5/10



Caramelised Pear Trifle -
This was very good actually,  we were pleasantly surprised as the brief description belies the more structured components beneath,  with a toasty and honeyed wheats and multiple layers of pears and trifle and cream.   Dig deep into the verrine glass and it is very enjoyable ~  10/10



Rhubarb Compote, Yogurt, Freeze Dried Raspberry -
Another interesting dessert which tasted better than it looked.  The rhubarb compote beneath the yogurt (not shown on photo) was balanced enough.   This was definitely a great dessert by taste rather than by appearance or recipe on paper,  4 ingredients are sometimes the max when it comes to great recipes in the end?   ~    8.5/10

Chocolate Truffles with Salted Caramel -
This was another underestimated petits fours.   The very runny and salted caramel centre was liquid like and really addictive,   it was out of this world good.   It almost carried a nice runny liquor centre,   it definitely tasted better than it looked by a large margin.   ~  10/10

Price: AUD $60 – $80 per person
Food:  ♕♕♕♕1/2

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sun  12:00pm - 2:30pm,     6pm – 11pm

Address:  Crown Metropol, Level 1, 8 Whiteman Street
Ph: 03 9292 8300


  1. i remember having extremely bad tasting pork here. guess they had enough complains to warrant a 9.5 and a 7.5 from you. heheheh

  2. AUD 60~80 per person!!! Road side Chow Meen tasted better and more satisfying and it only cost me AUD 1.



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