When in Collingwood, do as any sane foodie in a 3km radius should be doing, and book a table at Saint Crispin; the very best dining experience North of Melbourne. Scott Pickett (Estelle), brings his foodie know-how to this glamorous and welcoming restaurant on Smith Street. With an international and well thought-out wine list, and tantalising menu that caters for all tastes, Saint Crispin ticks all the boxes for return visits (plural intentional).
With menu options to choose from either two courses at $50, three at $65, or the chefs’ choice of seven at $120, you can be modest or go all out. Don’t hold back out of hesitation though, because when it comes to dining at Saint Crispin, the more the better.
When asking for a description of the ‘snap, crackle and pop’ menu item, the answer was what dreams are made of; ‘Prawn crackers made out of pork fat’… The rest of the menu is more self-explanatory, but no less mouth-watering. The quail is cooked perfectly, tender and juicy and sits on a bed of chorizo, polenta, sherry and South Australian olives with an olive puree. Pure genius on a plate. The Western Plains pork is so soft it practically dissolves on the fork, and is accompanied with creamy and rich barley, shiitake mushroom, sesame and miso. An unusual combination that works brilliantly.
Then for dessert. Because after many moans and unrepeatable noises of appreciation during the entreé and mains, how could anyone turn down the sweets? Well, someone who spots St Agur on the menu, that’s who (that’s why sharing is caring). The St Agur is served up with a crunchy radicchio and apple salad, with a tangy blueberry dressing. With crispy wafers this dessert item is creamy, fresh, and satisfying all in one. But the Brillat Savarin cheesecake is the menu item to return for. With a mandarin (officially the best dessert flavour) meringue and beurre noisette, it’s really, really hard to share this dish.
From the South African Chenin Blanc, to the Punt Rd Botrytis, the wine list personified deliciousness. The meals were all stand-outs, with no disappointments from start to finish (in case you hadn’t noticed, serious food-fangirling happening over here).
For a memorable and money-well-spent food experience, head North to Saint Crispin. You’ll need to book though, as they’re a favourite of locals and fangirls from Bayside alike.
300 Smith St, Collingwood
Rated out of 10