Palazzo Versace restaurant, Vanitas took advantage of the leap year to celebrate their new-look launch on February 29. A dining experience like this only comes around every so often, so the date was fitting. The newly appointed chef de cuisine, Dayan Hartill-Law, used locally grown produce to create a whimsical fine dining experience, matched with locally sourced wines as selected by sommelier, Megan Cox.
The evening kicked off with a lightly aromatic dish of golden onions surrounded by liquid nitrogen and infused with onion broth. As visually enthralling as it was delicious, it set the scene for an evening that would leave no sense untouched! Throughout the dinner, guests were treated to a myriad of dishes showcasing Hartill-Law’s technique and vision.
A decadent plate of tooth fish, served with a creamy coconut lime, was perfectly accompanied by the wooden flavours of the Witches Falls Wild Ferment Chardonnay. The unique ‘Foie Rocher’ was everything you might guess! Goose liver pate encased in a Ferrero Rocher made for an unexpected yet positively memorable flavour experience. A decadent Wagyu dish was served with Cabernet Sauvignon, followed and a gorgeous pumpkin sorbet with Chardonnay vinegar.
One of the stand out dishes for the night was the chocolate and espresso with jerusalem artichoke served with Burleigh Brewing Co’s My Wife’s Bitter with a dash of sherry, aka the Vanitas ‘twist’.
The menu finished with a cauliflower Cornetto – chocolate cornetto with a hint of creamy cauliflower, subtle enough for taste buds to adjust and allow the chocolate to desirably take the show.
Hartill-Law is setting himself an incredible challenge by writing a new degustation menu every fortnight. If you are up for a new dining experience, here you have it! The setting is equally enjoyable. Vanitas in name, ‘vanity’ in translation; the Versace restaurant wouldn’t be complete without its indomitable 13 metre wall canvas depicting Gianni Versace hanging over the elegant dining room (with lagoon pool views to boot). The regular menu will also change regularly, offering guests the opportunity to try something exciting and new each time they visit the venue.
Words and images by Candice Groves