The Mess Hall – Favourite Seafood Pasta!

panda 4 rating
Black & White Tagliatellewith Mussels, Prawns, Clams and Salmon @ The Mess Hall

I had been to The Mess Hall years ago – prior to me ever starting this blog and remembered that the food here was pretty good. So on the night of the Stereophonics concert, I needed a place for food and The Mess Hall happened to be near where they were playing. The Mess Hall is quirky and funky looking place complete with wooden tables and interesting accents in the form of decor around the place. The staff are friendly and welcoming. The food served is Italian style and they are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as for snacks.

The Mess Hall is a rustic and intimate menu and despite being simple is a great place to visit for a romantic occasion with its soft lighting. The menu is short and simple, with many dishes catching my eye but I settled on the Black & White Tagliatelle with Mussels, Prawns, Clams and Salmon. I have to say this has been on my favourite seafood pasta dishes ever! The pasta was perfectly cooked and the flavours were simple yet delicious. The Seafood was fresh and all cooked to perfection with each separate component complimenting each other. The serving size of the dishes are just as great as the actual food and are quite generous.

I did also get to try out their coffee which was nutty and creamy. As we had to rush off to the concert, I didn’t get a chance to check out their dessert menu but from the sounds of it – it sounds delicious! I definitely do want to come back and try out some of their other dishes for dinner – but high on my list is to come here and try out their breakfast menu – the corn fritters sound great.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu: http://www.themesshallmelbourne.com/ – you can find all the Menus under the Menu heading
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Comfortable, Casual and Cosy. Really great for a dinner date with that special someone.
Service: Friendly and Welcoming
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.themesshallmelbourne.com/
51 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9654 6800

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:30am – 10pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am -10pm

The Mess Hall on Urbanspoon

The Atlantic – THE Freshest Seafood!

The Fresh Oysters on Display

Oyster Island Inlet – Tasmania

Roasted Cauliflower – Onion and Almonds

Thrice Cooked Russet Potatoes – Rosemary, Garlic, Sea Salt

Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction

Pan Roasted Hapuka – Braised Green Lentils, Sauteed Mushrooms, Jus Gras

The Atlantic is newly opened restaurant at the Crown Entertainment Complex which can seat up to 300 guests over many different dining areas. The Atlantic is the brainchild of Donovan Cooke and shares an “Ocean to Plate” philosophy.

The venue is set in stylish tones of blue and grey and draws on inspiration from the famous New York meat packing district as well as the  hustle and bustle of the fish markets, together with New York’s Grand Central Station. This is evident in the naming of the Private Dining options as well – The Engine Room, The Cabins and The State Room (descriptions about and the capacity of each room can be viewed at http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic/dining/private-dining. There is a mixture of glass and wooden panels which really adds to the nautical feel and does make you feel like you are under the sea.

One of my two favourite things about the design and layout of this restaurant is the selection of Fresh Seafood that is on display from the outside for people walking past the restaurant. This selection changes daily as does the menu. The extensive selection of Australian wine is also on display. My second favourite part is the impressively sized open plan kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing your meals. It is easily one of the biggest kitchen’s I have seen in a restaurant!

Just when you think this place cannot get any better – venture on downstairs to The Den. The Den is an intimate lounge area where you can get together with a group of friends for amazing drinks. They do some of the best mocktails I have had (refer to the picture of the drinks above). The Den is styled with white leather couches along the length of the room together with different styles of chairs and a classy fireplace. It stays true to its name and is an underground escape away from the busy city night life.

Now onto the food – to put it simply – it is the FRESHEST and FLAVOURSOME seafood I have had and in my opinion lives up to its “Ocean to Plate” philosophy. I was impressed from the moment I walked in till the time I  left. My drink was a mix of passionfruit and pineapple with a hint of tang which was both refreshing and revitalizing. The oysters were fresh and the vinegar and shallot dressing was the right amount of tang. The sides of Cauliflower, Onion and Almonds changed my opinion of the vegetable Cauliflower as I have never really been a fan – but the flavours in this dish made me want to give this vegetable a chance. The fish was definitely the best dish of the day. I had the Wood Fire King Fish and the smokiness was just the right amount and the fish was still juicy with no dryness in site. The Blood Orange Reduction isn’t one I’ve seen coupled with Fish but it definitely suited the smoky woody flavour – in one word AMAZING!

The prices might be a little bit dear – you are looking upwards of $35 for a main serving for fish – but you really need to visit The Atlantic and try it out. Be it a special occasion or a group dinner with some great friends this restaurant will definitely impress. I can’t wait to go back and try the Oyster Bar out. The only reason this restaurant hasn’t gotten 5 pandas is because I ran out of time to try out the selection of desserts. Once I do however, I will re-assess the rating.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$$$
Menu – A la Carte Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/de52daec/21102012_DINNER_MENU.pdf
The Dessert Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/22c7f28f/13102012_DESSERT_MENU.pdf
The Oyster Bar Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/9e8e83d3/18102012_-_Food.pdf
Please note the menu changes daily.
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Stylish and Classy. It feels like you are in New York and under the sea all at the same time.
Standout Dish: Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction
Service: Friendly, Helpful and definitely on the ball!
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://www.bookarestaurant.com/details/The-Atlantic-Restaurant/3287?ref=BAR03287R
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic
The Riverside at Crown
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Tel No: 9698 8888

Opening Hours:
The Atlantic Restaurant
Lunch and dinner : 7 days

The Oyster Bar
Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – Late
Friday-Saturday: 12pm – l.00am

The Den
Monday to Sunday: 5.30pm-3.00am

The Atlantic on Urbanspoon

Trucks and Burgers – Good Mix!

Trucks and Burgers - Good Mix!

There is always this argument in and around Melbourne of who has the best hamburgers. Since I don’t eat the traditional hamburger which consists of the meat pattie and all the extra lashings that come with it – I have to judge on the Veggie, Fish or Mushroom burgers.

Who said burgers out of trucks don’t taste that great? The burgers from the Beatbox Kitchen truck is one of the better Mushroom Burgers I have tasted. I’ve tried the mushroom burger at Strange Wolf (http://strangewolf.com.au/) and some cafes – but Beatbox Kitchen wins hands down. The only other burger that I would rate better is the Veggie burger from Andrew’s Hamburgers (http://www.andrewshamburgers.com.au/). The Grilld burgers I must say – Garden Goodness – is one of my fave veggie burgers as well, but they are my fave in a different way to the Andrews Burgers.

The Mushroom Hamburger from Beatbox Kitchen is juicy and has just the right amount of flavour in it. Added to this is the chippies that come with a selection of three different types of dipping sauces – depending on how hot or mild you want your sauces to be.

This whole food in trucks is all the rage and has been massive over in America. In order to find to find out where these trucks will be you need to follow them on Twitter or on Facebook as they post their locations of where they will be. Following these food trucks adds to the fun of eating.

Beatbox Kitchen can be followed on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beatbox-Kitchen/108806049145877
or on Twitter at
https://twitter.com/beatboxkitchen

Beatbox Kitchen (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

Vue De Monde – Melbourne Restaurant of the Year? – Definitely

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Dinner at Vue De Monde beckoned one Friday night (after a 3 month wait =p) and it was well worth the wait. I had already previously dined at the old Vue De Monde which was located at Little Collins Street … Continue reading