Anise Wine Room, New Farm

In the sometimes fickle hospitality industry, a restaurant marking its 15th birthday is something to celebrate. Congratulations to Anise Wine Room!

Ed+bK’s Alexander Stone when along to preview their birthday dinner which will be held on Wednesday, July 22.

Although I’ve spent a bit of time in Newfarm and walking along Brunswick Street over the last 10 years, I've never actually made it to Anise before.

I even used to live on Heal Street, just around the corner from Anise and after the dinner I had there last week I'm a little disappointed in myself that it was my first time. The food was great and so were the wine and staff. I also had the opportunity to drink wine that was older than me for the first time!

Originally opened by Tony Harper 2000, the restaurant was taken over three years ago by Thames Delaforce.  James added my personal favorite Anise touch, a large collection of great vinyl that spins while you enjoy the food. You can sit along the bar and chat with their knowledgeable staff about your meal or wine throughout the course of the evening.

The chefs at Anise seem to take a lot of pride in their work which comes through in the flavour and meal presentation.

We started with sugar cured kingfish with black sesame, grapefruit, radish and sorrel followed by  scampi, purple carrot, jerusalem artichoke and karkalla – a succulent leafy beach vegetable with a delicate, slightly salty flavour.

There was duck breast with pumpkin, pecan, broad beans and truffle cigar, and a wagyu flank with pine mushrooms, cavolo nero and lotus roots. The wagyu flank was by far my favourite. It was prepared sous-vide (as much as a I tried the chefs refused to tell me how long for), sealed in a pan and then finished in the oven.  The beef was cooked through but still raw enough to satisfy someone who normally eats their steak blue. It was melt in your mouth good.

I've never tried truffle in a sweet setting before and was pleasantly surprised by how well the truffle and honey parfait, pistachio cake and fig dessert worked. It was very light and had just enough consistency to not be over powering which left me able to walk out at the end of the night feeling full but able to still consider kicking on for a cheeky nightcap.

Taste this thoroughly indulgent food for yourself at a degustation dinner Anise is holding a on July 22.  The cost is $200  per person with Krug champagnes plus they'll be breaking in to some of their other great wines to help you enjoy the night. I know I'll be back.

Recommended for:  Those who like to try something a little different.

Bottom line: Anise offers a seven course degustation from Tuesday to Saturday for $100 ($155 with matching wine).

Top Tip: Magnum Mondays sees Anise offer a four course set menu for $45 per person, plus they open large format bottles of wine that are generally more than ten years old.

Disclaimer:  The writer was a guest of Anise.

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