Teppankai – Contemporary Japanese

panda 4 rating

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Teppankai is the idea from Malaysian born Richard Tan to create a Japanese fine-dining experience in Melbourne. Located just behind the bustling Chapel Street in South Yarra – Teppankai is both an a la carte and teppenyaki Japanese restaurant.  I was invited to a Blogger’s night to trial the new menu that was being put into place and was excited to see what the night had in store.

Richard and his childhood friend (from New Zealand) are the creators behind this venue and he explained the meaning of Teppankai – the first two characters of the Japanese logo mean open-grill and the third character “Kai” – translates to ocean in Japanese but also means food in Maori. The name needed to reflect the blending of the Japanese and New Zealand cultures and as a result means “seafood grilled on a plate. “

Teppankai was designed by the award winning retail and hospitality architect, Wayne Finschi. The entrance has an alfresco outdoor dining area complete with heaters and clear “curtains” to aid out the weather elements if it is raining or windy. It is also a great option on a sunny summery day – letting the natural sunlight in as you dine or even have drinks. As you walk into the restaurant thru the timber posts you are greeted with tones of red and black.  There is a private dining area to the right which has tables for a more intimate dinner. The main feature is located past the bar to the left of the entrance – which is the Teppanyaki grill which takes up the length of the restaurant – surrounded by chairs and tables just behind the main grill so you can watch as the chef prepares your meals in front of you.

The focus of Teppankai isn’t all the fun, tricks and throwing of food that comes with the association of Teppanyaki but there is more focus on creating beautiful dishes with great technique and skill together with the importance of being attentive to customers and providing great service.

The chef is Nooei Martens who has 25 years hospitality knowledge specialised in Japanese Cuisine, Teppanyaki and Asian Cuisine. He has used his experience in the food industry to create traditional Japanese meals but in a contemporary style.

The night starts off with a Starter dish of Horenso Ohistahi – Chilled Blanched Spinach & Shitake Mushroom in Light Soy. This comes served in a small stone dish with the brightness of the green spinach standing out against the black dish. The dish was a great starter to get the palate working thanks to the light soy sauce.

The next four dishes were classified as entrée dishes and are part of their new tapas style menu. The first entrée dish served up was Salmon Carpaccio – Salmon Sashimi with Tosazu & Micro Shisho. The salmon was of great quality and literally melted in your mouth. Each individual slice of salmon came with a wedge to add extra acidity and tang.  The tosazu sauce was another great flavour addition to complete a mouth-watering dish.

The second entrée dish was the Spicy Fish Tempura Roll – Lightly tempura battered spicy Salmon Sushi Roll with our special sauce and shredded Dried Chilli. The tempura batter was light yet crispy and had the perfect amount of coating on the fish roll as well as on the vegetables that came with the dish. The salmon in the sushi roll was an added contrast to the crispness of the tempura and was soft, tender and delicious. I loved the addition of the special sauce – it was creamy and spicy at the same – it added another dimension to the dish. All the components together worked really well and it was a great dish – you must try it out.

The third entrée was the Kai Kani Maki – Teppan seared Crab Salad wrapped in Nori Sheets & Barramundi, smothered in our Secret Aioli, flamed and topped with Tabiko and drizzled with a Sweet Soy Reduction. This has to be my favourite dish of the night – both in terms of taste as well as watching how it was made. This dish is crab meat sushi which have been wrapped in both barramundi fish and nori, covered with the secret aioli sauce and blow torched to create the most amazing dish. To finish it is topped with Tabiko (fish rose) and sweet soy sauce. The crab meat is soft, tender and flavoursome – paired with the crunchiness of the fish and seaweed and completed with the creaminess of the aioli and tang of the soy. It is a definite must try – even if it is the only thing you eat!

The last entrée was the Braised Japanese Hamburger – Braised beef ball in Japanese teriyaki glazed with Poached Egg and Lotus Root Chips with Matcha Salt. I didn’t try this dish as I couldn’t eat the meat, but I did see the dish on the tables around me and it was perfectly presented – a mini hamburger stye.

There were two main dishes that were served, the first being the Kaisen Teppanyaki – Chef’s selection of assorted seasonal Seafood cooked at the Hot Plate with Soy Ponzu Dipping Sauce and the second being the Kobe style Eye Fillet – Grain-Fed Eye Fillet seared on the Hot Plate with a splash of Sake, Assorted Mushroom and Miso Dipping Sauce.

The Kaisen Teppanyaki consisted of prawns, scallops, mussels, salmon and scampi – all of which were grilled on the hot plate and presented impeccably on an oval plate. Each piece was cooked perfectly and the addition of the dipping sauces complemented the dish. Overall it was a great dish to showcase the great taste of seafood.

To finish dessert was a Black Sesame Tiramisu –Ladyfinger with black sesame syrup and mascarpone. I am usually not a fan of black sesame and have definitely never seen it being used in a tiramisu so was very interested to see how this dish would work. The flavours actually did work really well together and it was an enjoyable dish. The ladyfingers soaked in the black sesame when combined with the creaminess of the mascarpone was tasty and removes the black sesame flavour for people who are not big fans of the taste.  It certainly did reinvent the traditional tiramisu dish.

The night at Teppankai was very enjoyable and the atmosphere was buzzing. Being able to talk to fellow bloggers as well as the owner of the restaurant was a great opportunity. With fellow bloggers you get to share your foodie experiences and swap notes on which places should be tried out and speaking to the owner of the restaurant allows you to understand their vision and plans.

The food is exquisite and really does showcase delicious Japanese dishes in a contemporary style. It really has had be wanting to visit Japan even more. For a truly authentic take on Japanese dishes, located away from the hustle and bustle of chapel street, check out Teppankai – whether it be for a great Teppanyaki experience or simply enjoying the tapas style dishes.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Refer to http://www.teppankai.com.au/#!food/c1jo3 – You can find the Restaurant menu, Banquet Menu, Lunch/Special Menu, Sake Menu and Drinks menu here.
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Elegant and Welcoming. The front alfresco area is great for after work drinks or even drinks on a great sunny day! Also great for celebration dinners.
Standout Dish: Kai Kani Maki – Teppan seared Crab Salad wrapped in Nori Sheets & Barramundi, smothered in our Secret Aioli, flamed and topped with Tabiko and drizzled with a Sweet Soy Reduction
Service: Friendly and always full of smiles even when they get really busy! Welcoming and warm.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.teppankai.com.au/
34 Bray St, South Yarra
Tel No: 9827 8822

Opening Hours:
LUNCH
Monday to Saturday: 12:00pm – 2:30pm

DINNER
Monday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Teppankai on Urbanspoon

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Saint Crispin – Heavenly Dishes

panda 3.5 rating

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Menu:
Menu at Saint Crispin

It was time for our regular work catchup dinners and Saint Crispin was the venue of choice. We had to see what the recently awarded “Best New Restaurant” by The Age Good Food Guide 2014 was all about. Saint Crispin is located on Smith Street in Collingwood and has taken over where Cavallero used to reside. Saint Crispin is named after the patron saint of cobblers, tanners and leather workers and also ties in with the buildings original use as a cobbler’s workshop.

Scott Pickett (The Estelle) and Joe Grbac (ex-The Press Club) form a partnership to create this one hatted restaurant. As you walk in through the strong wooden doors which are flanked by cast iron black lattice you enter a classy yet casual venue. There is an exposed brick wall on one side and the long marble bar on the other side. Towards the back is the open kitchen, where you can see chefs creating each of the dishes that go out. The tables are strong wooden non polished tables and I like this – adding to the rustic feel which links it to the surrounding area – paired with leather comfortable seating on one and wooden chairs on the other with cushioning. There is seating at the bar as well on high stools which allows you view the kitchen from a better vantage point. The interior was designed by Leah Hart.

The menu is centred around using seasonal and fresh local produce and covers a variety of types – there are seafood, food, chicken, pork and vegetarian dishes on offer. There is also Alba White Truffle available for an extra $40 a serving which we were told was flown in that morning. The way the menu is designed is that there is a selection of three a la carte combinations. There is the two course ($50), three course ($60) and the chef’s tasting menu ($120) – which comprises of seven courses – five savoury courses and two desserts. There is also the option to order Little Bites and Sides. The Little Bites consist of charcuterie. Crudites, Oysters, Eel Croquettes and an interesting named dish called Snap, Crackle and Pop (which I learnt was the Pork Crackling in a Prawn Cracker format).

There for four of us and three of us decided to go for the three course menu and one person did the two courses.  Before deciding to order – we were given small starters that arrived on a wooden circle piece of wood. On this day we had Chickpea squares with Marshmallows. The squares were really delicious bite sized morsels and the marshmallow provided a sweet palate and was very soft and cloudlike. Once we had ordered our food we were served bread which came with a serving of butter and the yummiest Caramelised Onion and Cream Cheese spread. It really is a spread that makes you go ‘WOW’ and my only qualm would be that we received too little of the spread.

What I do like about Saint Crispin is when each dish is placed down they explain what each dish is and what is in it. I like this personal touch. For entrée I ordered the Sand Flathead, Mussels, Sea Vegetables and Crème Fraiche. I was interested to know what Sea Vegetables were and when I asked the waiter – he didn’t offer much of an explanation other than “things that you find by the sea shore.” The fish is the centrepiece of the dish, with the sea vegetables around and on top of the fish with the mussels on the side. The Crème Fraiche comes in a separate little jug which the waiter then pours on top of the fish for you. The fish was cooked just right and came in two pieces – however I felt that it could have been seasoned a bit more as I couldn’t eat the fish on its own – it needed the addition of the Crème Fraiche. As a whole the dish with all its elements especially the mussels, worked well together and the Crème Fraiche was delicious and perfectly seasoned. The sea vegetables were interesting and I am still not quite sure what each of them were called.

The others ordered the Atlantic Salmon, Shaved Calamari, Oyster, Squid Ink and Saffron for their entrées. I was lucky enough to try some of their dish. The dish was an extremely colourful dish set against the backdrop of a large black plate. The Salmon was cured and poached and as a result was tender and flavoured very well. There was shaved calamari and an oyster which was hidden underneath the salmon, together with a crisp tapioca coloured with black squid ink placed on top of the salmon which gave an added crunch. The combination of all the elements together with the saffron sauce and squid ink sauce created a truly magical dish.

After our entrees we were asked if we wanted more bread and how could you resist more of the Caramelised Onion and Cream Cheese spread – sadly however this never came.

For mains I ordered the Swordfish, Maloolabah Prawn, Nicola Potatoes and Kohlrabi. The swordfish came out beautifully presented. The piece of swordfish was thick and juicy and wasn’t dry at all – which is a sure good sign of a fish being cooked well! The addition of the balsamic sauce really made the dish and paired really well with the fish. The potatoes were creamy and smooth and added further compliments.

The others ordered the Bannockburn Chicken, Kalamata Olive, Cos and Spring Garlic. This was essentially chicken done in three ways – a popcorn chicken style – with crumbed and fried chicken which they all enjoyed, a coiled piece of chicken and a large thick seasoned piece of chicken with crispy skin. They seemed to like the dish but not love the dish and said elements needed to be worked on  or a different combination of ingredients added.

With our mains we ordered Sebago Potato Crisp, Seaweed Mayonnaise which was as expected really delicious. I did love their take on the seaweed mayonnaise – and it worked well with the crispy and crunchy potatoes.

Next up was dessert – which is the part of the meal that I look forward too. There were really great options to choose from but I opted for the Mango, Coconut, Vanilla and Verbena on recommendation from the waiter. He informed me that it was a pannacotta – and that was all he had to say to have me order this dish. I LOVE PANNACOTTAS. This dessert came out in a bowl and had a wafer like biscuit on the edge which looked like a spoon which I thought was quite funky. The Mango, foamy Coconut and other elements which included pretty pink and purple verbena flowers sat on top of the pannacotta. There were additional white chocolate balls which added crunch and texture. As a whole the dish worked really well together – I love the combination of mango and the creaminess of the pannacotta – it really is a great summery dessert. My one gripe though was for me there were too many white chocolate balls – and it made the dish too sweet for me, so towards the end I had to avoid eating them and just enjoy the other parts of the dish.

V ordered the Blood Orange Parfait, White Lemon, Yoghurt and Mandarin which I must say was the best dessert of the night. The dish when it came out looked fantastic – the presentation was amazing. – the rectangular parfait was topped with a colourful array of ingredients all placed on top of a white lemon smear. The parfait was creamy and smooth and had a really tasty cake crumb at the bottom and together with the acidity of the blood orange and the mandarin was the perfect balance of flavours. It was one of these desserts that you could eat a lot of and still not get sick of.

C ordered the Chocolate, Earl Grey, Milk and Ginger – which once again was nicely presented. This dessert was a chocolate mousse slice which was rich but light and airy just as a mousse should be. The Earl Grey ice cream was a great combination and worked well the rich and creaminess of the chocolate and really was the perfect addition. As a whole a really great dish for any one that loves chocolate.

As we were seated near the kitchen area, for most of the night we heard the head chef yelling out for the orders and telling the staff when the dishes were ready, which made it harder to keep a conversation going with people on the table. However, it did showcase the efficiency of the kitchen. To finish as we were waiting for the bill a wooden box made to replicate The Bible was placed on our table with a set of sweets inside – on this night we had a nougat – which had the perfect amount of stickiness and tasted delightful. It was a great way to finish off a good meal.

Saint Crispin delivers good food, presented exceptionally and provides great atmosphere. They provide interesting combination of ingredients together with some hidden surprises and familiar flavours. Desserts are definitely their strong point, as well as entrees following suit. I would like to see what dishes they serve up in the next menu change.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – Refer to the menu in the link above. You can also look at http://www.saintcrispin.com.au/menu.pdf. There is a choice of a Two Course ($50), Three Course ($60) and a Chef’s Tasting Menu – 7 courses ($120)
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Relaxed yet classy and very enjoyable. Great place for a catch-up dinner with friends or family.
Standout Dish: Atlantic Salmon, Shaved Calamari, Oyster, Squid Ink and Saffron and  Blood Orange Parfait, White Lemon, Yoghurt and Mandarin
Service: Friendly and Attentive although sometimes forgetful?
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.saintcrispin.com.au/
300 Smith Street, Collingwood
Tel No: 9419 2202

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm – Late
Friday to Sunday: 12pm -3pm and 6pm – Late

Saint Crispin on Urbanspoon

Madras Banyan Tree – Tasty Indian!

panda 3.5 rating

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halal (1)
Madras Banyan Tree has relocated from Brighton right into the city – located on King St. It serves Southern Indian cuisine and serves authentic Andhra, Kerala,Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Chettinadu in the eloborate menu.

The owner Suresh Chakravarthi, who was previously a Tamil comedian and TV game show host, also explains that you will find no pork or beef on the menu, and they also use only halal meat. Goat is only available on certain days and can also cook up Paya which is the south’s famous goat trotter curry.

There are also many vegetarian dishes available such as deep-fried marinated cauliflower, firm doughnut-like vadai or plump little idli rice-flour cakes. And there’s seafood such as scallops, calamari or prawns deep-fried and spiced.

Desserts include the favourites such as gulab jamoon, kulfi ice cream and payasam rice pudding.

On this lunchtime – I ordered the Roti Thali which comes with 3 pieces of roti with a selection of two meat curries – I chose Lamb Curry and Butter Chicken. Both the curries had their plus points. The Lamb Curry was cooked with the addition of chilli and the gravy was thick and delicious. The Butter Chicken had the creaminess and thick texture that you would expect from that type of curry. The Roti was made really well and tasted just as good. There was butteryness to it yet it was quite light to eat – you just wanted to keep eating more & more.

Check out Madras Banyan Tree for great tasting Indian food that doesn’t really cost that much!

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $
Menu – A huge selection of Southern Indian cuisine – including Andhra, Kerala,Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Chettinadu
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Relaxed
Service: Friendly and Helpful
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
169 King Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9670 1551

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: Open for Lunch
Thursday to Saturday: Open for Dinner

Madras Banyan Tree on Urbanspoon

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

Gong de Lin – Vegetarian and MSG Free!

panda 4 rating
Gong de Lin - Vegetarian

Gong de Lin is a newly opened all Vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. It is a bit hard to find as it is located at Level 3 and you need to enter another restaurant and take the lifts up to the restaurant itself.

The restaurant itself has a green and white theme and I associate those colours with vegetables (green = veggies) and has individual wooden tables as well as booth style tables. We had a group of four and we were allocated to a booth which overlooked Swanston Street, so it was quite a nice view – watching people bustling around on the streets of Melbourne. The feel is quite bright and vibrant.

Gong de Lin is entirely vegetarian and the menu is extensive to say the least. There are pages and pages of different options that you are left bewildered and not sure in what you want to pick. The menu has icons which tell you the recommended dishes by the chef, as well as the level of spiciness of the dish. The menu which is entirely MSG FREE (which is a big WIN in my book) – is made of up of many mock meat and seafood dishes, as well as many mushroom and vegetable dishes. There are also some interestingly named dishes such as the Hedgehog Mushroom, the BBQ Boletus Edulis (which we were told is a type of mushroom), Mountain Mushroom. There are also some pictures of some of the dishes if you need some help deciding, otherwise the friendly waitresses are happy to make suggestions of what dishes you should try.

There are smaller dishes and starters – such as dumplings, wontons and baos. The vegetarian pancake (which is similar to the spring onion pancake in most asian restaurants) is delicious and crispy.

The dishes are decently sized and this place is great if you go with a bunch of friends and share a whole lot of dishes – this way you get to sample a bit of the menu. Mind you with the amount of variety you will need to come back here many a times before you get through the whole menu! The dishes are also plated up quite nicely as well – always with a purple lily on the side. Another plus is that the dishes are priced very reasonably.

This place is a great addition to Melbourne and one of the first ALL vegetarian places that I have tried. The food not only looks great but tastes fantastic as well. There are so many interesting dishes on the menu such as Vegetarian Goose, BBQ Boletus Edulis and Vegetarian Sea Cucumber – just to name a few.

This place is great for vegetarians who want to “try” meat without any fuss or for meat lovers as well. The food is pretty great. I will definitely be back to try out many of their intriguing dishes!

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $
Menu – An extensive menu of Vegetarian dishes
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Comfortable and great for a catchup dinner with friends. Its better to go in a big group so you can all share multiple dishes.
Standout Dish: Vegetarian Pancake and the Spicy Vegetarian Chicken with Cashew Nuts
Service: Friendly and Helpful. As we were located in a booth in the corner, they didnt come around many times so it was hard to get our water glasses filled up or ask them for more rice – but this is just something minor.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
Level 3
264 Swanston St, Melbourne
Tel No: 9663 7878

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 10pm

Gong dè Lin on Urbanspoon

The Meat and Wine Co – Steak Goodness!

              

There aren’t many places that I can eat at steak at due to the Halal factor. So when I heard that at The Meat Wine and Co they used Halal meat I was excited to try it out. I went there in July for my Birthday with my family (who by the way love their meat dishes). I have previously been to The Meat and Wine Co and had seafood dish, which I thought was pretty good. The serving sizes are quite generous as well.

We ordered two different types of Steak, the Lamb Ribs and my sister (who isn’t a massive meat fan) ordered the Grilled Chicken. Additionally we ordered a Prawn and Beef skewer. When I think of a skewer – I think pieces of meat/seafood on a wooden stick of a normal size. The skewer from The Meat and Wine Co is MASSIVE. It comes out on a huge aluminium skewer that hangs above a big bowl of their Super Crunchy Chips.

The steaks were juicy and the in-house basting that they use was delicious. Their different types of mash – spinach mash and mushroom mash – isn’t the best mash out there, but the added veggie does taste pretty good and put together with the steak makes for a winning combination. With steak the key is cooking it to how the customer ordered and in our case – they were cooked to perfection. The Super Crunchy Chips were indeed super crunchy, which is just the way that I like them. The Mushroom Pie was a special menu they had on the day and I loved the pastry that encased the mushrooms. As for the mushroom filling – I thought there could have been a bit more flavour.

When it came around to dessert time – we couldn’t look past The Grand Finale which consisted of : A Chocolate and Pistachio Fondant with vanilla bean ice cream, Caramel and Chocolate Tart, Vanilla Creme Brulee and White Chocolate Pannacotta with Berry Coulis. For the price of $29 and getting 4 desserts, as a pose to paying $10-$15 per dessert – The Grand Finale was well worth it! The dessert came out on a impressively long platter with the 4 desserts across it (as you can see in the picture above) and after a very filling meal of meat, meat and more meat – the size of these individual desserts were perfect. You don’t expect a restaurant that specialises in Steak to have desserts that are fantastic – but this is where The Meat and Wine Co impresses even more. I think you can judge a good dessert restaurant by its Brulee and this Brulee was really really good, as was the Pannacotta!

Overall, I would definitely be coming back here for more Steak and Meat, as well as for the yummy desserts! It is a little on the pricey side, however once you get your meals I am sure you will be impressed. The service we had was great as well and the staff were attentive and answered all my parents questions in a friendly and kind manner.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – A la carte Menu – can be found at http://themeatandwineco.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/a-la-carte-May-2012.pdf
Dietary Requirement / Allergy Menu – can be found at http://themeatandwineco.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Dietary-Requirement-Menu-May-2012.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Stylish – the upstairs area has a nice view overlooking the Yarra River and overlooks part of the city.
Standout Dish: Any of the Steaks and The Grand Finale
Service: Fantastic – Attentive and Friendly and willing to help out if you did want to modify the menu. If they couldn’t change things around they suggested other things.
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://themeatandwineco.com/locations/australia/victoria/southbank
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://themeatandwineco.com/locations/australia/victoria/southbank
3 Freshwater Place
Queensbridge Square,
Queensbridge Street, Southbank
Tel No: 9696 5333

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 12 pm – 10pm
(Lunch and Dinner)

Friday and Saturday: 12pm – Late
(Lunch and Dinner)

Meat & Wine Co. 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

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