OK. Let me first point out, I was not expecting fine dining; the menu tells me that the definition of ‘Jorg’ is “informal European dining”. The décor, most of the menu and the prices (including the very reasonably priced wine list) support this. However, I expected more from the chefs /owners, who previously held positions at two reputable places (ex-sous chef @ Church St Enoteca and ex-head chef Jacques Reymond) and therefore I had anticipated the execution of the dishes to have been better than what it was… we’re talking simple errors, but large enough to stuff up the dish and the experience.
My partner and I ordered a couple of starters to share; a chicken liver mousse and a goat’s cheese panna cotta. The mousse had not set and the choice of serving vessel (more suited to fine dining rather than ‘informal European’ dining) was a slightly curved, petite glass, which made it difficult to (neatly) access the mousse with your knife without creating a mess. I made a mess, not helped by fat fingers. A separate serving of piccalilli was also ordered was just right; crisp, tangy, sweet.
The panna cotta (served around 15 minutes after the mousse, which left us a little confused as to whether we were getting the dish at all, given we were sharing) was ‘cute'; four small lozenges of… goat’s cheese with a few tiny wedges of beetroot and micro herbs. There was no real evidence that the cheese had been through any process other than that of making goat’s cheese as it lacked the lightness (it would have been too small to demonstrate a panna cotta ‘wobble’) of a true panna cotta and the texture wasn’t far off the firmness of a chevre, without the crumbliness. [EDIT: This was before I encountered the goat's cheese panna cotta @ Eureka 89, which was spot on].
For mains, my partner had the steak ‘du jour'; the cut of beef served on whatever day you dine is served as ‘steak frites + condiments’. The steak on the night was a scotch fillet, which was presented on a wooden board and served with a wine jus and some onion rings. My partner requested some mayonnaise for her chips and the server duly and promptly returned with some fine, home made mayo (tick). The steak itself was cooked to the correct order of doneness and the frites were definitely home made (another tick) and served in its own faux-newspaper printed cone. Nice touch.
For my main dish, I had a selection of seafood (mussels, clams, prawns a couple of small pieces of barramundi and pork sausage in a tomato saffron broth. I had something very similar a few nights earlier at L’Osteria – a cheap and cheerful family-run Italian joint on Nicholson St. L’Osteria won. Jorg’s seafood was excellent; the ingredients used were of high quality, but it was missing something… some crunch and something to mop up the broth… a nice crouton perhaps?
Dessert was a let down. We shared a pear and apple crumble; far too sweet and the crumble topping resembled hot muesli – it wasn’t clumpy and lacked the ‘crumble’ like its name-sake. The accompanying ice cream was described as ‘rhubarb’ – probably there to balance the overly-sweet fruit and crumble, but there was no tartness, nor evidence it was rhubarb-flavoured.
This place has potential, and we’re local so I’m certain we’ll dine there again soon, just to be sure the simple errors we encountered were simply first week faults.
203 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North 3068
(03) 9482 3002