Home > Australian, brunch > Graze at Martin No. 38

Graze at Martin No. 38

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

At the second Graze restaurant, Graze at Martin No. 38, Chris Donnellan had helm of the kitchen. Yenn Wong‘s Epicure set the stakes high by continual reference to his award as The Age Good Food Guide’s Young Chef of the Year 2009 in their publicity.

Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road
Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road

Hecker Guthrie, an interior design firm from Melbourne, set out to give the place a neighbourhood (said neighbourhood being Robertson Quay not Toa Payoh) vibe, making use of the high ceiling and spacious interior of the former godown (warehouse) for ceiling-to-floor windows for light, and for playing with long parallel lines – white chairs with black tables, chair display walls, a row of bright blue SMEGs, a line of wooden boards drying, and a lengthy counter (which unfortunately, was cluttered with empty wine bottles and assorted stuff one of the times we visited).

But interior decoration could only do so much for the concept, with the front of house and food/drink having to hold their own. While service from the two who seemed to be the manager and supervisor was competent and thoughtful, the rest of the staff either stared blankly at us while we were trying to attract their attention (or contemplatively at an uncleared table) or kept interrupting conversations to ask if we had any orders (this happened so many times during the course of one night, even after we pointed out to her each time that we were talking, that we left in frustration and had dessert elsewhere).

Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin RoadFortunately, the food was exciting (if you ordered the signature dishes):

signature cast iron pan two free-range organic eggs – poached with roast potatoes, bacon, sausage, baked beans, roast tomatoes, mushrooms. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Toast, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road

brunch: the “signature cast iron pan two free-range organic eggs – poached with roast potatoes, bacon, sausage, baked beans, roast tomatoes, mushrooms” was not a signature dish of Chef Chris but a hold-over from Graze at Rochester Park. At S$25, it was expensive for a normal fry-up and the nice bread had to be ordered separately.

Complimentary bread and dip, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Complimentary bread and dip, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road

at dinner, the fresh seafood really stood-out, and the pairing of sumac, cumin and pomegranate in some dishes – quite brillant:

Pacific Oyster 70mm, naturally farmed in Marlborough Sound, New Zealand, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin RoadPacific Oyster 70mm, naturally farmed in Marlborough Sound, New Zealand;

sumac seared scallops, cauliflower cream, cumin oil, pomegranate. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Roadsumac seared scallops, cauliflower cream, cumin oil, pomegranate – the flavours were a hit;

pan-seared barramundi, chorizo broth, watercress, salad of ruby red grapefruit, avocado, mint. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Roadpan-seared barramundi, chorizo broth, watercress, salad of ruby red grapefruit, avocado, mint – fantastic layering of tastes;

220g eye fillet, grain fed from Murray Bridge, South Australia, crispy spring onion, chopped parsley, rocket salad, house butter. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road220g eye fillet, grain fed from Murray Bridge, South Australia, crispy spring onion, chopped parsley, rocket salad, house butter;

4 jumbo tiger prawns, skinny frites, house sea urchin butter, chopped parsley, ruby red grapefruit. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road4 jumbo tiger prawns, skinny frites, house sea urchin butter, chopped parsley, ruby red grapefruit – good;

oven-baked sea bass, bamboo shoots, ginger, lemongrass curry. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Roadoven-baked sea bass, bamboo shoots, ginger, lemongrass curry – a bit too familiar to avoid comparisons with Thai curry;

thick cut chips with harrisa. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Roadgreen leaves, house dressing and thick cut chips with harrisa – the chips were undercooked and soggy;

tomato, pomegranate, sumac, cumin salad. Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Roadtomato, pomegranate, sumac, cumin salad.

Provisions Storage, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Provisions Storage - tins on chairs, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road
Provisions Storage - Olive Oil, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Provisions Storage - Fudge and Homemade Products, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road
Provisions Storage - french biscuits in tins, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road

In an enclave, past the communal table with its towering flowers, was the Provisions store stocked with gourmet bottles, tins, cans and boxes.

Provisions Storage counter - Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road Provisions Storage cake display, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road
Flat White, Graze at Martin No. 38, Martin Road

The sweets (in the British sense) displayed on the counter were also for consumption within the restaurant. Coffee beans from Graffeo.

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  1. June 23, 2012 at 10:14 am

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