by James Ridenour
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In 1999 Teage Ezard decided to take the giant step of opening his own restaurant and I am so glad he did.  For years now Ezard has been a leader in the fine dining scene in Melbourne.  Simply put, Ezard consistently rates as one of the best restaurants in town.  It’s reputation is well-earned and Ezard is an experience that should not be missed.

Ezard is a modern Australian restaurant that fuses contemporary cuisine with Asian influences to create a menu that is a stand out for culinary excellence.  Diners have the choice of the à la carte or degustation menu.  Either choice is sure to please with inventive and moreish combinations such as chinese style roast duck, green chilli and oyster sauce dressing with coconut rice and asian greens or citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt with a tangerine vinaigrette both of which are superb.  You can also enjoy seared Canadian scallops, cauliflower and blue cheese cream, white asparagus and black caviar with a crispy leek and sorrel salad or slow cooked bangalow pork belly, apple pudding, fennel, celeriac and calvados jus which we had paired with a traditional French cider which was an earthy and refreshing pairing.  Ezard’s also offers a dessert tasting plate which is also one of the best in the city, you simply must save room.

Ezard is also my go to restaurant for vegetarians.  The eight course vegetarian degustation menu is the best in Melbourne.  Often when I choose to eat a vegetarian meal I feel like the limitations of not cooking with meat can sometimes hinder the creativity of the chef.  This is simply not the case at Ezard.  The genius of this menu is that the flavours and textures can easily stand on their own and are a culinary experience in their own right.

Ezard’s front of house team is headed up by the charming Quentin Ferguson (ex sommelier at Vue de monde).  Quentin has a sophisticated yet relaxed and affable demeanour which matches the ambiance of the restaurant perfectly.  You will find the service team friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and engaging; everything you could ask for.  Quentin still keeps a keen eye on the wine pairings and will happily tell you the background on each of the wine selections that accompany your meal.  The skill of keeping up to date with fine wines from around the world is a mammoth task and one that is mastered to perfection by the team at Ezard.

One of my favourite things about dining at Ezard is the dinning room itself.  Ezard is located underneath the Adelphi Hotel on Flinders Lane.  On arrival you descend into another world.  Cool  colours, slick music and elegant contemporary furnishings all combine to transform a long narrow room into and elegant enclave.  Ezard has mastered the art of creating a space which is intimate and luxurious with clean lines and muted tones that are elegant without being obviously over the top.

I have been lucky enough to dine at Ezard several times and always look forward to returning.  Simply put this is one of my go to restaurants for locals and visitors alike and Ezard always delivers.  Guest inevitably return to the hotel raving about their experience and that in itself is the highest praise.

Ezard is located at 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne and can be contacted on (03) 9639 6811 or on Twitter @ezardmelbourne

Ezard was awarded 2 hats and the Diners Choice Award in The Age Good Food Guide 2013.

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