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Graham Pearce

Graham Pearce writes

“ This is possibly the French-est place in Melbourne. Small dining room, rough beamed ceilings, mirrors with specials and desserts scrawled across them, well dressed tables and blackboard menus.
Moretons bills itself as a grillade; its card adds that it is a “traditional French grill brought to you by the family that loves food”. The Rees-Walsh family has come back to Australia after more than two decades in France and England. And they have indeed brought good food with them. Added to that, they still adore what they are doing, and they love to see people enjoying what they cook.
We began with some very good linguine, drizzled with truffle oil, a little parsley and a mixture of sautéed Portobello and field mushrooms. Very good.
We grazed on traditional snails in garlic butter, served not in their shells, but in purpose made dish with six cavities.
Loks pepper steak is done not as a large slab as we usually know it – but sliced into three pieces, char-grilled and then tossed for a few seconds in a good pepper sauce before being served on a large hot plate. A huge dish of fries and green salad come automatically with the main dishes.
Also wonderful was a tranche of salmon cooked to pink perfection and served atop wilted spinach and a brunoise pepped up with tiny-diced tomato and smoked salmon. All with a frothy sauce of cream and white wine.
For dessert, we had a not bad, version of a tarte tatin (upside-down caramelised apple pie) and a superb chocolate mousse with griottines (bitter cherries) that was made from dark lindt chocolate and so was not sweet.
The wine list was short, but adequate, and you can bring your own special bottles if you wish.
The service is friendly and quick and on a cold winter night you could well imagine yourself in Paris. And you will certainly eat a deal better than many places there.”

Sunday Herald Sun – Sunday Magazine – July 6 2003 - gave 8/10 points