Melbourne’s hotel food scene continues to boom as business travellers are spoilt for choice with a brand new menu at Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens served up by talented new executive chef Vishal Khulbe. Fresh from experiences at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts and the legendary El Bulli in Catalonia, Khulbe raises the bar with some daring beautiful dishes that are pressuring guests to stay put for all their dining needs.

Chef Vishal settles in

The standard of quality world-class chefs in Melbourne’s budding hotel dining scene just bumped up by one with the appointment of Vishal Khulbe as Executive Chef at the Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens and its HQ’s restaurant. It’s yet more proof Melbourne’s dynamic food scene is packing a mighty punch beyond the traditional big name restaurant areas and into hotels offering business travellers and guests even more dining options.

With stints at Chicago’s Charlie Trotter’s, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, and Catalonia’s legendary El Bulli under his belt, Khulbe launched his debut menu for the hotel’s flagship HQ’s restaurant this month, and his mind-bending, tastebud twisting ‘Faux Tartare’ is its star attraction.

A cupola of compressed Roma tomatoes, dressed with time-honoured tartare seasonings including Tabasco, mustard, and basil (in place of the traditional parsley), topped with a glistening spherification of mango puree, Khulbe’s ‘Faux Tartare’ is a foodie pun – a visual play on its Parisian-pedigreed namesake that’s 100 percent vegan, yet almost indistinguishable in taste and texture from the raw ground beef and egg yolk of the traditional dish.

“It’s said that we eat our food 65 percent by eye,” says Khulbe. “Our perception of what is on the plate is dominated by what we see, then our tastebuds follow. You could put this dish in front of anyone and their first impression will be that it’s definitely beef.”

A menu to be reckoned with

While Khulbe’s Faux Tartare is a triumph of molecular gastronomy partly inspired by 15 months spent working as assistant to legendary chef de cuisine Oriol Castro at the iconic El Bulli during its final season, his debut dinner menu at the hotel’s flagship HQ’s restaurant is by no means a slave to culinary science.

Khulbe’s Spring/Summer menu offering features a selection of starters, grazing plates, mains and desserts that would sit comfortably on the menus of any of the fine dining establishments that punctuate Melbourne’s CBD.

 

Notable dishes from the mains selection include the Tender Valley Black Angus Short Rib, braised for 48 hours until meltingly tender, dressed in a deliciously unctuous, aromatic jus, and served with a light, crunchy, Thai-inspired cucumber, tomato and quinoa salad. A fresh, new-classic alternative to the mash or fries traditionally served with meat on the bone.

For starters…

Another stand-out on the starters list is Khulbe’s Charlie Trotter’s-informed, Japanese influenced Hiramasa Kingfish Crudo; delicate slices of raw Kingfish with cumquat, radish, jalapeño, togarashi and confit king oyster mushroom, French and Italian techniques blending with an Asian minimalist approach to create a zesty, summer-loving, flavour bomb.

Notable dishes from the mains selection include the Tender Valley Black Angus Short Rib, braised for 48 hours until meltingly tender, dressed in a deliciously unctuous, aromatic jus, and served with a light, crunchy, Thai-inspired cucumber, tomato and quinoa salad. A fresh, new-classic alternative to the mash or fries traditionally served with meat on the bone.

Fresh flavours galore

Centrepiece of Khulbe’s new lunch menu is his Compressed Melon Salad, a sweet-savory confection of intensely flavoured rockmelon, cantaloupe and watermelon (the latter visually indistinguishable from tuna sashimi due to the compression process), accented with cucumber, radish and tiny pickled onions, and served with truffled labneh and sumac spice.

Again, this science-inspired stand-out sits alongside hotel lunch classics such as Fish and Chips, a Victorian Farmed Beefburger and a Homestyle Chicken Curry, which are also available on the room service menu (and to order off-menu for dinner at HQ’s for homesick guests seeking the familiar comforts of conventional hotel dining).

Six Senses inspirations

Drawing on the farm-to-table philosophy Khulbe learned from 18 months spent working at Thailand’s Six Senses resort, all his menus feature seasonal Australian produce, with the option of matching dinner courses with carefully thought-out local wine pairings from some of the country’s finest vineyards.

“I really want people to come in from the street to try my new menu because it’s something different and I believe the flavours will speak for themselves,” says Khulbe. “I believe if you put your heart and soul into something, it will be successful, and I have left everything on the table with this menu.”

HQ’s on William at Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens is open for lunch from 12pm to 3pm and open for dinner from 6pm to 10pm

Book your Accommodation with CT Connections

Speak to an expert from the CT Connections team

Scott Podmore

About Scott Podmore

Managing Editor of The Departure Lounge and award-winning writer, newspaper editor, photographer/videographer and bestselling author who specialises in travel, music and lifestyle content. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. We use cookies on our website to personalise content and to analyse our traffic. You can change your cookie settings at any time.