Winter Warmth - Harvest Espresso

 Buffalo Mozerella with watercress and beetroot salad, toasted rye, crushed minted peas ($18.50)

Buffalo Mozerella with watercress and beetroot salad, toasted rye, crushed minted peas ($18.50)

 Harvest smoked salmon fillet with two poached eggs, leek ash, toasted buckwheat, hon shimeji, braised leek, salmon caviar and butter lettuce jus ($26.50)

Harvest smoked salmon fillet with two poached eggs, leek ash, toasted buckwheat, hon shimeji, braised leek, salmon caviar and butter lettuce jus ($26.50)

 Steamed mandarin pudding with Lochan Ora jelly, creme fraiche, coconut cream gel, toasted muesli and Earl Grey tea crumble ($18.50 for two puddings)

Steamed mandarin pudding with Lochan Ora jelly, creme fraiche, coconut cream gel, toasted muesli and Earl Grey tea crumble ($18.50 for two puddings)

 Braised beef cheek with celeriac puree, pedro ximenez jus, remoulade ($26.50)

Braised beef cheek with celeriac puree, pedro ximenez jus, remoulade ($26.50)

Two of everything please. And a table large enough to fit six people. Winter is definitely warmer at Harvest Espresso. Cosy, comfortable and delicious - the winter menu does not disappoint. As August draws to a close there is no better time than to scoot yourself down to Victoria Park to test out the winter dishes which will soon be replaced with the new Spring menu. Which I am just as excited about of course!

A rainy Saturday was spent outside trying to balance hunger needs and table surface space. Hungry eyes and claw hands (Tash has the best picture of this) grabbed the dishes closest to us. Forget the Full Harvest, we went for the creative dishes that change every season. That's not to say the Full Harvest doesn't have its qualities, a creative bunch like us enjoy trying new things. 

The salmon was cooked just right. It was soft but still retained a sweet pink colour and the poached eggs were gooey and orange. Feeling a bit fancy, Tash ordered a sprinkle of grated truffle atop the layered hon shimeji and leek. Each of the ingredients combined really well together and the softness of the braised leek and jus were offset by the textures of the mushroom and the crisp salmon skin. 

The beetroot and watercress was my kind of salad, the minted peas had a good medium soft texture and the mozzarella was delicious.  I am almost tempted to say that the braised beef cheek was the most indulgent dish. The beef was soft and the flavours of the remoulade were simple but striking. Forks slid through the beef like a knife in butter and Matthew and Jinn found themselves fighting over the remnants while Sarah and I used our saucers as make shift dinner plates.

The mandarin puddings had a nice texture, reminding us of a semi-dried mandarin itself. The combination of the lochan ora jelly, earl grey crumble and muesli were a good mix and the coconut and creme fraiche compleemented the flavours well. Mandarin was a good choice for winter - with all the citrus in abundance it just made sense. The puddings screamed "winter", appropriately warm and welcoming on the rainy day. Not to mention how incredibly pretty it is as a dish. Best eaten warm, puddings soft to the touch. 

Resounding around the table we agreed the best three dishes were the salmon, braised beef cheek and the mandarin pudding. We always thoroughly enjoy visiting Harvest. It is always busy however this doesn't prevent Catherine and her team in the kitchen from providing great food, friendly service or well priced dishes. 

I'm hoping we can all catch up again soon once these adventurers and this stunner of a photographer are back from their travel adventures... accompanied with the new Spring menu of course.