When I first threw open the front door to Jacques Reymond, which is located in a stately Victorian mansion on a leafy suburban Prahran road a little over a year ago I knew that I found somewhere special. After returning last week to placate my hungry self with their degustation and matched wine option, it not only felt like I never left but it reminded me of home. Don’t assume that I grew up in a Victorian mansion but I use the word “home” in the romanticised way that we dream on occasion of having a kept life filled with wonders and perfection. I know that I strive to get closer to that goal on a daily basis and since reintroducing the world of Jacques Reymond into my life, I have effectively moved one step closer to living the dream.
It had been over a year since I dined in the restaurant and I didn’t even live in Melbourne at the time. Seeing familiar faces working on the night is a testament to the restaurant as they are able to retain quality staff for long periods of time. The familiarity in turn immediately brought a sense of calm as we were escorted by the maître d’, a very affable chap called Gareth, that not only recalled my last visit to the restaurant but assured me that the same table near the fireplace and most importantly the Dom Pérignon branded card was being made available for the festivities which I suppose I have garnered quite the reputation for enjoying.
As we settled into the corner, the sommelier provided us glasses of 2003 Dom Pérignon to take the edge off not knowing that we had assimilated into the comfortable seats in my favourite corner of the world quickly and easily. It was with no hesitation that we announced that we would be enjoying the nine course degustation with matching wines and after uttering the one sentence, the biggest decision of the day was made. Jacques Reymond also serves from I can tell quite a stellar and comprehensive vegetarian-based degustation menu. After David Chang made headlines when he proclaimed that he would not cater for vegetarians (which I am not close to being but I know a few) it is refreshing to see a renowned restaurant and chef making the effort to cater for this lifestyle choice.
Proceedings commenced with a contrast of ocean trout – both slow cooked and smoked being matched with a 2010 Kientzler Gewürztraminer from Alsace Ribeauvillé, France. Stark contrasts with the trout and a very aptly paired wine along with the sharp, knowledgeable, professional and engaging restaurant team made the first course perfect in every way. The sommelier was always happy to top up the wine glasses and seemingly had eyes in the back of his head as he always knew when my allocated supply was about to be exhausted.