We booked a groupon deal for a 9 course degustation at J's Atelier, we checked the reviews beforehand and for not much more than $100 for 2 people we thought it was great value to give it a go. We turned up to the restaurant which is in a little row of shops, not the best location but the restaurant had tried to build a nice atmosphere with a little outside balcony with fairy lights. The wait staff were very friendly and attentive and it wasn't long before we had water, wine and our first course. Most dishes were served on nice slate platters which set the food off really well. First course was veg some a little pickled with lemon miso and a black sesame Japanese mayo- the dish looked lovely and tasted fantastic - it actually ended up being one of my favourite dishes. Second course was wine poached morteton bay bug with avocado, chilli salsa and salmon pearls, as a non chilli eater I asked for no salsa, the dish was still delicious, again presented well and the little pearls on the top just popped in your mouth. Third course in was truffle chicken in a truffle butter with sweet potato fondant - all cooked nicely the sweet potato really tasty but this was in fact my least favourite dish of the night - it lacked the level of flavour of other dishes and the truffle just didn't shine through. Course four - a nigori sake sorbet - a real hit - not normally a fan of these I really enjoyed the sharpness and clean flavour. Course 5 - small piece of fish with a miso dressing, parsnip puree and leeks -- the fish again was nice, I prefer a nice white fish but with small portion I was fine - the miso dressing was really nice but you only needed a little bit for each mouthful to make the difference. Course 6 -Lamb with cabbage, leeks, onion and beansprouts in a sesame, lemon sauce - this came in a little hot plate, it was a very homely dish really tasty and reminded me of a dish we had in Eastern Europe on our recent travels... I just love the cabbage- great in an asian inspired dish - again the sauce really nice. Course 7 - Beef short rib marinated in soy, ginger and caramel with a gnocchi which was like a little flat cake - this was maybe my second favourite dish of the night the ribs were melt in your mouth - really well cooked, falling apart and very rich. Course 8 and 9 were deserts - first an asian inspired Eton mess the yuzo meringues were really soft and gooey and stuck to your teeth and the lemon curd and raspberry really worked nicely alongside. The final desert was a Yuzu baked cheesecake - again really lovely. All in all a really great meal, nicely presented, great value, friendly staff. They do other a la carte dishes not just the degustation so I would recommend anyone giving this a go.
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