On a recent sunny winter’s day in Melbourne, curiosity got the better of us and we had to find out what is was that Melbournian’s find so irresistible about Golden Fields, one of a ever-growing number of eateries spawned by the unpretentiously talented chef, Andrew McConnell.
Any visit to Golden Fields is going to include a comment about his now legendary take on New England Lobster Roll (actually using crayfish), but it seems even more pertinent having the other day been charged $425 for an Australian crayfish dish at Singaporean restaurant. What makes it worse is it is my favourite Cantonese restaurant so I can hardly ark up about it. And it was partly my fault as I had a blonde (grey) Kiwi moment and interpreted the $33 as per kilo, for our 1.3kgs specimen, but durgh… it was per 100grams.
Despite having a mild heart attack when receiving the bill for outrageously overpriced crayfish, the dish was sensational (yes it would want to be) moreover this extravagance did justice to the bottle of mind-blowingly good Leroy Puligny Montrachet Champ Gain 1978 that my mate Richard had bought along – one of those bottles that defies logic and so profoundly complex words are not enough – but oh what a gastronomic moment! https://ja.twitter.com/wanderingpalate/status/238227191362617344
Anyway, reflecting on our visit to Golden Fields, McConnell’s “New England lobster roll, hot buttered bun, cold poached crayfish, watercress & Kewpie”, certainly lived up to its reputation and met with full marks from my daughter, the roll actually Chinese white style bread which has an irresistible doughy sweetness and the combination of relative richness/sweetness of the crayfish tail and Japanese mayonnaise makes for a enticing mini lobster burger that would appeal to anyone.
At A$15 for two rolls, it seemed a bargain, well compared to my Singapore/Australian Crayfish incident! Another signature dish, “Twice cooked duck, steamed bread, vinegar and plum sauce” this time the more traditional steam bun and the duck somewhere between European ‘confit’ and Bali Bebek crispy duck that has been first steamed then deep-fried. This dish was less successful or seemed excessively salty and quite dry.
We were somewhat underwhelmed by our experience, although putting this into perspective it was a very quick lunch and my feeling is the ambience and even the food would take on a whole different feel at night and can imagine it heaving with people, socializing and communal dining hitting the spot perfectly with the cosmopolitan menagerie… I’ll be back.