The Fifteen concept was originally started in the UK by Jamie Oliver. The idea was to bring in groups of underprivileged youngsters, and to train them up to become professional restaurant staff. That concept still continues today as part of the Fifteen Foundation.
Fifteen Melbourne opened here approximately four years ago, under the guidance of Jamie Oliver's friend, Toby Puttock, who I would classify as a semi celebrity chef here. He does get on TV quite regularly but as far as I know he doesn't have his own show anywhere. Ever since the restaurant opened we have been meaning to go. One of my friends had been designated organiser, but she really wasn't going to do it, so in the end, one of us (yes me!) just picked a date and rang up and booked!
For our main course, I chose Pan-seared yellow fin tuna with green beans, baby vine tomatoes, rosemary, sardines and crispy battered zucchini flowers which was really very nice. Unfortunately we didn't think about taking photos until the dessert came out. Have to remember to do this a bit more regularly! My main reason for choosing this dish is that I never, ever cook tuna at home except for Tuna Mornay using canned tuna which isn't exactly the same, and also because zucchini flowers get mentioned quite regularly in cook books, but I don't think they are something I would ever go out of my way to cook either. It was very nice! Other options that my friends chose were Pan-fried whole flounder with capers, parsley, lemon and Fifteen’s olive oil and Lamb ‘cut of the day’ with spring vegetable sott’ olio and an anchovy and rosemary dressing (the cut of the day was shoulder).
For the sides we had Radicchio salad with pine nuts, honey and balsamic dressing, Mixed greens, garlic, lemon and olive oil and Duck fat potatoes. Now I have heard on cooking shows loads of times about how you should cook your potatoes in duck fat, and I never really expected that it would make that much difference, but we had to order a second serving of the potatoes because they were oh so good and all five of us wanted more!
And then dessert. Oh my goodness was my dessert good. My friends liked theirs as well, which were Honey and praline semifreddo with hot chocolate sauce and Chocolate ice-cream and grappa cherries, although I did think the presentation was a bit boring, particularly on the chocolate ice cream which just came in a glass bowl, but of the three different desserts that I tasted, the waitress was correct in suggesting that the Prosecco poached peach with mint ice cream and frosted almonds was her favourite dessert because the peach was amazing and the mint ice cream was divine!
I have poached pears before myself, and having had this dessert last week, I am very keen to try and find the recipe that I cooked a few years ago which was poached pears served with mascarpone. Expect to see that as a weekend cooking post at some point in the future.
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