When one of my best friends suggests a Friday afternoon lunch with her and her mum, out in my old hood, I couldn’t really say no. BrownKorte’s, in Kangaroo Ground – on the way to the Yarra Valley – offers more than you might expect from a little country restaurant.
Gordon Brown and Martin De Korte are the men behind this one. Martin and Gorden have worked at the likes of Michelin starred Le Pont De la Tour and De Goede Reede and The Grand Hyatt in Melbourne. They have also both put their skills to great use as teaching chefs at the Eltham College Swipers Gully training restaurant and NMIT. They have now come together at Brownkorte’s to present beautiful food, both in taste and presentation. Brown is also a part time tattoo artist. What’s with chefs and tattoos?
On this particular lovely sunny Friday afternoon, the three of us managed to try nearly everything on the reduced lunchtime menu. We kicked things off with light and delicate entrees.
I went with the Chardonnay vine smoked free range tempura chicken, house made nori roll and lemongrass ginger dipping sauce. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the tempura was light and crisp. The sauce came with a little spoon. So cute.
The others ordered the chilli salt squid, green paw paw salad, Asian herbs and palm sugar lime dressing as well as the signature pork belly, apple, red radish, sweet and sour cabbage and crackling dust.
The squid was perfectly cooked and light while the pork belly was sticky and the apple was the perfect accompionment.
My main was the Goats cheese tart, shallots, vine ripened cherry tomatoes, frisee and fine herb salad with honey mustard dressing. A rich and creamy dish, perfectly portioned for a lunch time.
My friend – who has a serious thing for fish and chips – ordered the beer battered flathead tails, murray sea salt seasoned chips, homemade tartare sauce and lemon. She was pretty pleased with her choice.
Now dessert was a bit exciting. I had been craving lemon tart, my favourite dessert, for a while and I was very pleased to see a caramelized lemon tart with Chantilly cream and berry compote on the menu.
It was perfectly crisp on the top and tart in the centre, with buttery pastry. I was off in my own little world of lemon tart heaven.
The kaffir lime panna cotta, toasted coconut and pineapple and lychee salad was very well received.
As was the pink Moscato sorbet with minted strawberry salad.
I really enjoyed that they managed to pair gourmet dishes with approachable execution and presentation. It’s simplicity at it’s finest.
I also loved that the lunch menu was made up of lighter dishes with smaller portions, making three courses doable in the middle of the day without needed a nap. I’ll certainly be back to try the full dinner menu. And fingers crossed that lemon tart stays put.