On Saturday night, Tim treated me to dinner at a lovely restaurant called Wildflower, tucked away just off historic Maling Road in Canterbury. Wildflower is self-described as "modern Australian cuisine with old world charm", and Wildflower certainly is a charming restaurant.
Wildflower is located in an old style building, where the facade has been left largely untouched. Entry is via a shabby chic wooden door with a metal handle in the shape of the restaurant's namesake. There are upstairs and downstairs dining facilities, with the upstairs seemingly occupied by large groups for functions, while downstairs is reserved for other diners. When the weather is warmer, there is also outdoor dining facilities. The tables are set with crisp white linen and sparkling silver cutlery, adding to the traditional charm of the place, as does the semi-dark mood lighting.
On arrival, we were served with cute little savoury brioches in tiny ramekins, as featured at the top of this post. The brioche was served with garlic butter. We washed down our brioche with some sparkling wine.
For entree, I ordered salmon citrus carpaccio with scallops and roe:
I have no idea what the crunchy bits were on the plate, but they made the dish - I wiped up every last crumb with the delicately flavoured, citrus cured salmon served elegantly in small curls.
Tim ordered the duck breast with fried quail eggs:
Again, this dish was served prettily with a shot glass of soy sauce and edible flowers. Tim gave me one of the quail eggs, which squirted runny yolk on being cut. I found the quail egg a little rich, and much preferred my own entree, though Tim enjoyed the richness of the dish.
For my main course, I ordered the lamb, which was served with carrot and potato dauphinoise:
I have no idea what the jellied substance on top was, or the meat in the white casings (perhaps marrow?), but I do know that it tasted good, although of course quite rich, being lamb. The dauphinoise comprised of alternating layers of thinly sliced carrot and potato, sliced into a neat rectangle, and was visually quite stunning, if not overly flavoursome. The sauce accompanying the dish complemented it nicely.
Tim's main course was the devine suckling pig served with apples and broad beans:
I stole a slice of cooked apple from Tim's plate, and it was delicious.
I cannot give more accurate descriptions of any of the above dishes as I did not take notes, and the menu online does not match the menu that we chose from on the night.
The real star of the evening for a sweet lover like me was the desserts. Wildflower has an extensive dessert menu, which you can find on their website, and the hardest part was choosing what to have.
Tim chose the chocolate creme brulee with hazelnut and cherry financier, served with a rose petal and yoghurt sorbet:
My dessert (over which I swooned and wanted another immediately) was a rhubarb custard and tuile, Turkish delight, rose foam and vanilla bean icecream:
This dessert was so gorgeously plated to be as pretty as a picture. The rhubarb custard is the pink nut encrusted part in the top left. The tuiles were like very thin rhubarb fruit roll ups. The Turkish delight, in the top right, was sweet, melt in the mouth and coated thickly with icing sugar. The vanilla bean icecream, in the bottom left, was smooth and silky and pleasantly sweet. Only the rose foam was not quite my thing. Overall, this was a marvellous dessert, and I would order it again.
The thing I loved about all of Wildflower's food was that it was all light and non-overpowering, so that we each finished three courses without a struggle (even I, who had had a three course lunch at a work charity function earlier in the day).
The service was delightful and attentive, especially the pretty blonde waitress who greeted us on arrival and periodically served us, topped up our water glasses and took our dishes away.
I would go back to Wildflower in a heartbeat - it was a wonderful dining experience at the slightly higher end of the dollars scale.
And to prove that we actually exist, here is a photo of Tim and I at Wildflower at our shopfront window table, perfectly placed to watch the world go by (though on a Saturday night, there is very little action other than young girls dressed to go clubbing passing through to the train station):
1 Theatre Place
Canterbury VIC 3126
Canterbury VIC 3126