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Degustation At Home: Part 2

Renee Martillano Eureka 89

The nucleus of every successful commercial kitchen is its head chef – the invisible force behind the rave reviews and consistently booked out dining room. A head chef not only takes command of the workspace but also strives to create dishes that always surpass the last winning one. And the recipes are, of course, fiercely guarded secrets.

So when Renee Martillano, the head chef of Eureka 89, agreed to divulge two of her culinary secrets, woman with drive made sure to take careful notes. Especially since they were both mega hits on the restaurant’s recent degustation menu.

The first degustation dish of Quail, Cauliflower & Mushroom can be found here. Renee has christened the second dish, Scampi, Kumato, Chrysanthemum & Sea Herbs.

She used New Zealand scampi for this degustation dish, which she proclaimed to be “the sweetest in the world.” Kumato, Renee explained, is an heirloom tomato with a colour ranging from green to reddish brown and even purplish black. Its flavour is similarly varied, from none at all to sweeter than ordinary tomatoes.

While Renee has adapted this recipe for the home chef, she promises that the flavours remain uncompromised and as luxurious as what she plates in Eureka 89’s kitchen.

Also read: Degustation At Home: Part 1


Scampi, Kumato, Chrysanthemum & Sea Herbs

Serves 2



2 medium scampi                                                          ½ fennel bulb

2 medium kumato                                                         1 bay leaf

1 shallot                                                                           1 sprig tarragon

1 clove garlic                                                                   1tbsp tomato paste

1 medium brown onion                                                50ml Pernod

1 stalk celery                                                                   100ml dry white wine

½ stalk leek                                                                     10g Murray River pink salt

7 sprigs thyme                                                                1.5L Tuscan oil

1 pinch saffron                                                                Salt and pepper



Kumato fondue

Dice the kumato into small squares and finely slice the garlic and shallot. Combine the kumato, garlic, shallot, leaves from three thyme sprigs and 30g butter in a hot pan. Reduce until the liquid is almost dry.

Add 50ml of dry white wine, reduce the liquid to half and season with salt and pepper. Add caster sugar if it is too bitter. Blend until smooth and set aside.


Scampi Oil Preparation (Serve warm)

Clean, wash and crush the scampi heads. Set aside.

Shave a little of the fennel bulb for garnishing. Dice the remaining fennel bulb, leek, celery and brown onion into small squares and set aside.

Cut the garlic in half and put both halves into a hot pan with the diced vegetables, tarragon, remaining thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Sauté in 30ml of oil for 15 minutes or until everything wilts. Add the scampi heads and continue cooking until the heads are light pink and aromatic.

Add the saffron and tomato paste, and reduce the liquid by half. Then add the Pernod and remaining dry white wine. Reduce until the liquid is nearly dry then add the remaining oil.

Gently simmer the liquid for 30 minutes and leave to cool before straining through a fine strainer. Set aside.


Scampi tails (Can be prepared in advance)

Prepare a bowl of cold water. Bring 500ml water to a hard boil and poach the scampi tails for five seconds. Quickly remove the tails and pop them the cold water to stop the cooking process, then peel the shells off and set the flesh aside.


Serving (Have everything ready before cooking the scampi)

Place 500ml water, remaining butter to a pot and bring to a light boil. Whisk the remaining butter into the water so the mixture emulsifies. Quickly poach the scampi in this liquid for another five seconds, then remove them from the pan and season with Murray River pink salt.

Put one tablespoon of tomato fondue on the plate and place the scampi on top. Garnish with the shaved fennel bulb, and then drizzle with the scampi oil.

Also read: Australia’s Best Dessert Degustation Menus


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