Marque IV for my birthday dinner was such a treat. We'd tried to go back several times since my last visit (see July 2005 review), but each time they were fully booked. We went the whole hog - appetiser, entree, main (the stomach didn't quite stretch to dessert though, I'm afraid).
It was a lovely night, and our waiter was attentive and helpful. He recommended the Domaine Laroche chardonnay ($40) to accompany our meal. I'm not a real fan of chardonnay, but having decided to place my trust in his recommendation was pleasantly surprised. The French chardonnay was not as dry and dusty as an Aussie chard. It was very pleasant indeed, and a great match to our dishes.
As appetisers we'd ordered the Bothwell Goats Cheese and Lime Raviolo (big fat pillow stuffed with goats cheese, with a lovely beetroot marmalade on the side) and the Seared Spring Bay Abalone (divine). Our entrees were the Seared Spring Bay Scallops with smoked salmon and a delicious beurre blanc and the West Coast Crayfish Panna Cotta. Both were fabulous, the scallops were little clouds of moan-worthy heaven, while the crayfish was as delicate as a panna cotta should be, with a smooth ocean flavour.
In short - appetisers and entree were exquisite.
Mains were a bit heavy-handed for a balmy summer's evening. I'd had the Three Degrees of Macquarie Harbour Ocean Trout on my last visit. Not wanting to order the same dish again, I realised how winter-oriented the rest of the mains menu is. In the end we settled on Pork Saltimbocca (nice, but a bit of a confused dish) and the Spatchcock Poached in a Chinese Master Stock. The latter was difficult to eat: Spatchcock and noodles floating in a soy-heavy broth. Trying to eat this with a knife and fork was clumsy, and dangerous given my lovely white cocktail dress was making its debut.
I'd love to see a summer mains menu from Marque IV, or at least a specials menu (if there is one in existence, we weren't offered it on the night). Monsieur Foreman's handling of his appetisers and entrees is divine, but the mains left me slightly disappointed. A refreshed mains menu with more of a seafood focus, akin to the appetisers/entrees, would be a sight to behold.
I know the restaurant is young and the work involved in designing a seasonal menu of the complexity of Marque IV's style is a mammoth task. But a girl can dream, can't she?