Hamsley and I were lucky enough to be invited down to Mornington with a few others, to sample the food at Counting House.
The name Counting House is based on the nursey rhyme – Sing a Song of Sixpence, with cute little references around the restaurant, even in the toilets!
Counting House is set in a 99 year old bank building, with the original vault still in place. They plan to use that as their wine cellar in the not to distant future.
The menu and settings are French inspired. Chef Gavin Ong is a protégé of Curtis Stone while at Marco Pierre White’s London restaurant, Quo Vadis.
There are five dining areas, including a private dining room which we were lucky enough to dine in. We sampled wines and beers from the local region, along with the vast array of fantastic food.
Sashimi style tuna, avocado and gazpacho sauce $17
I loved the little kick of spice from the gazpacho sauce in this dish. Light and refreshing.
Zucchini flowers with Persian feta and leeks $19
Not normally a dish I would order, but the creamy centre was perfect with the crispy flowers.
Quail trio, pan seared breast, terrine and scotch egg $19
The breast had an amazing flavour, I didn’t know how we would be able to divide up such a small breast between 5 people but I-Hua managed to with some of her crazy knife skills, and I was so glad she did, as I was ready to just let someone else have my share.
Scallops, pea puree, crispy carrot and sweet wine reduction $17
A delicious combination. Sweet scallops, cooked to perfection. I could have had a whole plate to myself.
Pork belly, ginger vinegar, apple puree and braised witlof $17
Crispy crackling and sweet apple puree, it was a flavour match made in heaven!
Snapper, pepperonata, pesto sauce $30
Scotch fillet, bernaise sauce $31
Hamsley got the steak, and of course I had a bite, or 5 of it. It was perfectly cooked, medium rare as requested, and the bernaise sauce was fantastic.
Corn fed chicken, sherry vinegar sauce, maraconi cheese $33
I had the chicken, and it was cooked very well. I LOVED the posh maraconi and cheese it came with, the perfect accompaniment. I forgot to take a photo, so this dodgy instagram one will have to do!
Pumpkin gnocchi, sauteed green vegetables, boursin cheese $23
Crispy duck breast, foie gras, stuffed figs $32
Herb crusted rack of lamb, eggplant puree $34
French peas, pancetta $7
Potato dauphinoise $7
We were trying to pick what desserts might be on the menu with a French inspired restaurant. I put my bets down for chocolate fondant, and luckily I was not let down.
Bread and butter pudding, clotted cream $13
Lemon curd, chocolate basket, fresh berries $12
Chocolate fondant, strawberry ice-cream $14
This was the highlight dish of the night for Hamsely and I. As good as the mains and entrees were, crossiant bread and butter pudding his not good for the hips, but something we will be definitely stopping by for the next time we are in the neighborhood!
787 Esplanade, Mornington VIC 3932
Phone: 03 5975 2055
Bookings available online through the website for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Sunday. Closed on Monday.