New Spring menu @ Arbory Bar & Eatery

Arbory Bar & Eatery is a unique venue in Melbourne overlooking the iconic Yarra River and built out of the disused Sandridge Line at Flinders Street Station.

The menu boasts an array of modern Australian cuisine by Executive Chef Nick Bennett alongside craft beers, local and international wines and cocktails.
Bennett (whose experience spans stints at Trocadero and Cecconi’s) along with Chef Michael Fox (2012 Young Chef of the Year) have created a casual, approachable menu for this unique Melbourne venue. We enjoyed the freshness and simplicity of the food which allowed for the produce to speak for itself.
Rainbow chard arancini, lemon & goats curd; Fried zucchini flowers, ricotta & tomato

A traditional comfort-food classic, the arancini balls were beautiful. Each morsel was sufficiently seasoned and flavoursome. The tempura zucchini flowers were similarly delicious.  The batter encasing the zucchini flowers was ethereally light and crisp while the stuffing was rich and flavoursome.  
Curried cauliflower salad, labne, golden raisins & capers

The Curried cauliflower salad was an enlivening salad of different textured cauliflower, luxurious labne, golden raisins and capers. It was a medley of exciting flavours and textures which would appeal to even the most carnivorous individuals.
Soft Shell Crab Burger

A current menu special, the Soft shell crab burger was delicious. The soft shell crab burger's lightly toasted buttery brioche buns were the perfect canvas for the beautifully crispy and juicy soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh.  
Asparagus risotto, roasted scallops & truffle vinaigrette

The Asparagus risotto was irresistible. The rice in the risotto was puffy and al-dente and served with perfectly cooked scallops.
Roasted kingfish, warm artichoke salad, shrimp & almond salsa

Having been cooked to perfection, the kingfish had an enjoyably firm yet soft texture and was bursting with flavour. The warm artichoke salad and fresh shrimp and almond salsa were a brilliant accompaniment to the fish.
Ice cream sandwich, chocolate chip cookies & peanut butter ice cream

The playful dessert of crumbly chocolate chip cookies and luscious peanut butter ice cream sandwich was decadent and delicious. 
Popcorn and salted caramel sundae

The Popcorn and salted caramel sundae was stunning. Each layer had a wonderful flavour intensity that worked beautifully together. We savoured every spoonful.
Espresso martinis on tap

One of Arbory’s most exciting additions, the Espresso Martini on tap ensures you’ll wait no longer than a minute for this cocktail to be served. A good three weeks of trial and error later, this espresso martini is made in-house, exactly the same way as the staff makes a regular serve – the cocktail is poured into a keg and pumped with nitrogen as part of an arduous process to ensure that creamy and foamy top is achieved every time. The perfect wat to end (or start off) an evening at Arbory.
Arbory Bar & Eatery combines a wonderful ambience within an iconic location, delicious food and an interesting drinks list to great effect. 

Location: Flinders Walk  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9621 2260
Cuisine: European

Arbory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Arbory.

Collins Quarter

Collins Quarter is a sleek restaurant that occupies a Victorian terrace which boasts an inspired blend of 19th and 21st century design.
The dining room is at once traditional and relaxed, shunning the grungy look that is today’s Melbourne norm in favour of a more conventional bistro atmosphere. Dimly lit with scattered pockets of luminescence emitting from tabletop candles, it is a comfortable setting.
The menu has distinct European influences and focuses on fresh, local produce. 
Seared scallops, Soused Mushrooms, Black Garlic & Kalamata Olive Tapenade

The scallops were beautifully seared and boasted natural sweetness while the mixture of mushrooms, garlic and olive tapenade added a lovely salinity to the dish. 
Hot smoked ocean trout 

The salty smokiness of the trout was complemented by the fresh salad of quinoa, fennel, baby beetroot and orange which provided a medley of exciting flavours and textures while the crème fraiche and horseradish brought all the elements together.
Roast corn-fed Macedon duck breast

The slices of duck breast were cooked to perfection with the mellow white bean and kale cassoulet allowing the rich flavour of the duck to transpire.  The accompanying cigar was filled with tender shreds of confit duck leg encased in a crisp pastry skin and provided a delicious flavour which was punctuated with subtle aniseed notes. The sweet and sticky pickled rhubarb chutney provided the crowning element to a wonderful dish.
Cape grim beef cheek bourguignon, Paris mash

The slow braised beef cheek was excellent - Simple, delicious and very well executed. The beef was exceedingly flavoursome and "melt in the mouth" while the accompanying mash was luxurious.
Selection of house made ice creams
Hot chocolate fondant 

The chocolate fondant would have pleased any chocolate love with its rich billowing chocolate centre and slightly crisp cake exterior. The vanilla bean ice cream which accompanied the fondant matched it well and was refreshingly light and fragrant while the poached spiced pear and salted honeycomb added interest.
Collins Quarter impresses with well executed dishes which highlight innovative, yet familiar, flavour combinations. A truly compelling dining option. 

Location: Collins Place, 86A Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne,
Phone: 03 9650 8500
Cuisine: European, Modern Australian

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Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Collins Quarter.

The [turning] Point

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Point.
Open for over a decade, The Point has recently undergone a radical and exciting transformation aimed at elevating it well above its roots as a premium steakhouse.

Sommelier and Restaurant Manager, Joseph Griffiths and Executive Chef Andy Harmer have been charged with the responsibility of bringing The Point to the forefront of fine dining in Melbourne and refocusing this institution on contemporary and creative cuisine, premium wines and seamless service. And based on our recent tasting, this transformation is well underway. The current menu impresses and surprises with elegant dishes of flawless execution which showcase seasonal, local ingredients - and perhaps a few artisan ingredients from our friends overseas. 
Not to be outshone is the wine list which reads like a work of literature, boasting a carefully curated wine collection spanning the best of old and new world wines. Of course if you prefer, you can leave wine matching in the expert hands of Joseph Griffiths. 
Cep mushroom crème fraiche, kipfler potato, ground roast chestnut fraiche, kipfler potatoes, mushroom and ground roast chestnut

Bursting with umami, this luxuriously textured amuse bouche awoken the senses with an outstanding depth of flavour. It is difficult to imagine a better start to a meal. 
Taleggio raviolo, walnut, grape and sorrel
Matched with: NV Dosnon et Lepage Champagne Rose de Saignee, Cote des Bar France

A playful reinvention of a cheese platter, this was a delightful combination of well-considered textures and flavours. The Champagne was the perfect playmate with its summery ripe peach characteristics and citrus aroma. 
Spanner crab, almond gazpacho, sauce Jacqueline
Matched with: 2013 Condes se Alberei Alberino, Rias Baixas Spain

Beneath the dense cloud lay crab meat perched above a moreish almond gazpacho. The delightful sweetness of the crab meat was retained and accentuated by the sauce Jacqueline. This dish deeply impressed with its finesse and textural delicacy.
Autumn in the Park
Matched with: Lustau Rare Cream Sherry Solera Superiore

A masterclass in textural balance and layered flavour. The ground seasonal mushroom powder, scattered morsels of parsley sponge and pine mushrooms evoked feelings of an edible forest floor and was only enhanced by the powerful fragrance of generous shavings of black truffle. The creamy celeriac acted as the perfect canvas and brought all of the elements together. Although initially surprising, the accompanying sherry paired exceptionally well with its sweet yet savoury nuances and taste-bud enlivening freshness.
Murray Cod, fennel and yuzu salt
Matched with: 2012 Cantina Terlano Vorberg Pinot Bianco 

A delicate dish which allowed the natural sweetness of the cod to shine, we enjoyed the interesting textural interplay between the sous vide fish flesh and the intensely crispy shards of skin. The minerally yet fruity pinot bianco echoed the delicate savouriness of the dish and matched well.
Wagyu (marble score 9) short rib, smoked eggplant
Matched with: 2011 Denton View Hill Nebbiolo, Yarra Valley Vic
2010 Pio Cesare Barolo served as a taste alongside

The slices of Wagyu short rib were cooked to a wonderful perfection with the subtle, delicious smokiness of the eggplant elevating the rich, buttery meat to magical levels. This dish highlighted a new wave of steak dishes that occupy The Point's menu emphasising elegance and completeness. The Nebbiolo was a perfect match with its black fruits, aromatic complexity and vibrant acids. We also were lucky enough to try a Barolo side by side in a classic battle of new verses old world - the big, tannic Barolo boasted a bouquet of dark fruit aromas, mint and liquorice.
Pre dessert: Lemon cake, vanilla poached quince and warm white chocolate mousse with lemon and mint water
Honey and eucalyptus parfait, Jerusalem artichoke, milk skin and thyme oil
Matched with: 2010 Kracher Beerenauslese, welshriesling chardonnay, Burgenland Austria

Consistent with the savoury courses, the dessert was superbly executed. The flawless harmony of sweet, creamy parfait contrasted with the savoury crisp, salty Jerusalem artichoke chips. An innovative and well-executed dessert. Once again, this dish was matched beautifully with welshriesling chardonnay - thick and syrupy with intense honeysuckle aromas and a fresh acid finish.
Under the careful guidance of Joseph Griffiths and Andy Harmer, The Point has shown itself capable of exceeding the legacy forged over the past decade. Having experienced these very exciting changes firsthand, it is clear that The Point is establishing itself firmly in the upper echelons of Melbourne’s premium culinary institutions. 

Location: Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake
Phone: 03 9682 5566 
Cuisine: Modern Australian 

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Winter @ Cecconi’s

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Cecconi's.
One of Melbourne's premier fine dining institutions Cecconi’s is a Melbourne icon that requires no introduction.
Cecconi’s continues to deliver with dishes that are consistently well executed and highlighted by innovative, yet familiar, flavour combinations. The restaurant’s colour palette mixes black, white and copper while incorporating varying textures and tones to create contrast, producing a space that possesses familial warmth. 
The luxe, dark and clubby basement space of Cecconi’s boasts one of the more theatrical kitchens in Melbourne – wide-open and centre stage.
Caramelised scallops, crispy pork belly, shaved fennel, blood orange dressing

The scallops were perfectly seared and bursting with natural flavour while the pork belly was punchy with a delicate lining of pork fat and crunchy crackling providing an added kick of sinful pleasure. The subtle sweetness of the shaved fennel further and the fruity acidity of the blood orange dressing introduced further layers of complexity.  
Moreton bay bug tortellini, mustard fruit butter sauce, fried leek

The tortellini was exceptional. The filling of deliciously savoury and perfectly cooked Moreton Bay Bug was encased in al dente pasta. The accompanying crispy fried leek and stunning mustard fruit brown butter sauce made this a perfectly executed, expertly balanced and intelligent dish.
The slow cooked wagyu brisket, truffled gnocchi, spinach puree, red onion jam was decadent and flavoursome. Incredibly tender, it fell away easily with the weight of our forks. Coated with the earthy braising sauce, the dish was very enjoyable to consume with the light gnocchi which captivated with its delightfully pungent truffle aroma.
Roasted duck breast, confit leg, brussel sprouts, bacon, chestnut spaetzle

The slices of duck breast were cooked to perfection with allowing the natural rich flavour of the duck to shine through. The accompanying confit leg was tender, the skin crisp while the hearty chestnut spaetzli adorned with crispy bacon provided the crowning element to this luxurious dish.
Dessert tasting plate - Gianduja cheesecake, hazelnut nougat, Oreo crumbs, chocolate sorbet; Banana and passionfruit sorbet, blondie, toasted marshmallow, brandy snaps; and Lemon yoghurt cream, cassis jam, crispy meringue, vanilla sugar

Continuing the trend for the evening, the desserts were delicious. The rich cheesecake was beautifully made while the Banana and passionfruit sorbet was zesty and well-balanced and the Lemon yoghurt cream was silky smooth.
A modern Italian restaurant where food, wine, service and atmosphere blend beautifully together, Cecconi's boasts delicious Italian cuisine while taking great pride in using only the freshest ingredients available. The new Cecconi’s winter menu is, as expected from its predecessors, excellent.

Location: Basement, 61 Flinders Lane  Melbourne
Phone: 03 8663 0500
Cuisine: European, Italian, International

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Restaurant & Bar Dansk

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Restaurant Dansk.
Restaurant Dansk impresses with outstanding contemporary Danish cuisine. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the Restaurant Dansk is a brilliant introduction to Nordic cuisine and focuses on modern techniques to emphasise clean, crisp flavours, especially from hedgerows.
The menu created by top Danish chef Bente Grysbæk and Head Chef, Zoran Micevski is exciting without being over-theatrical, featuring lighter and traditional dishes like smørrebrod to bolder and more heartier dishes. 
The design of the dining room is Nordic cool at its best - egalitarian, clean, understated and timeless. 
Copenhagen - Bols Genever, Cherry Heering, lime juice, Angostura Bitters

Our dining experience at Restaurant Dansk commenced with a lovely cocktail over some traditional dark Danish rye bread based starters. The Copenhagen, a classic Denmark House cocktail combined a slight anise flavour from the Bols Genever and was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the Cheery Heering liqueur while delivering a fresh sourness from the lime and aroma from the Angostura Bitters.
Curried herring on organic rye bread

The curried herring (a cherished staple) was a smooth exotic taste combining flavours of the orient and the north. 
Pate on organic rye bread

The pate on the other hand was light with beautifully caramelised onions which added sweetness and crispy bacon which added an addictive salinity to the dish.
Seafood sausages made with scallops and prawns served with sautéed spinach and creamy scallop sauce

This seemingly casual dish sausages was the absolute highlight of our evening. Carefully and intelligently composed to combine texture and flavour in exciting ways, the delicate seafood sausage of emulsified mousseline was poached to perfection before searing. The result was sensational - a light in texture and flavoursome scallop and prawn sausage with luxurious scallop beurre blanc and wonderfully wilted spinach. The addition of coriander was a masterstroke which added interest and a delightful freshness.
Braised pears and apples served with sweet crumbs, whipped cream and pear chips

The pear apple crumble consisted of syrupy morsels of pear and apple which harmonised with the biscuit-like crumble.
Warm beer porridge and white chocolate ganache

Made from Dansk Restaurant’s organic rye bread and dark ale, the bread and beer porridge had a wonderfully rich, complex taste. We loved the addition of decadent chocolate ganache which echoed the creaminess of the porridge. It was both interesting and absolutely delicious.
A Danish oasis with plenty of gastronomic rigour, Restaurant Dansk stands out from the crown with Nordic clean-tasting, honest dishes made from impeccable ingredients. 

Location: Level 3, 428 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9600 4477
Cuisine: Danish, European, Nordic

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Arbory Bar & Eatery

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Arbory Bar & Eatery.
Arbory Bar & Eatery is a unique new venue in Melbourne overlooking the iconic Yarra River and built out of the disused Sandridge Line at Flinders Street Station.
We experienced a night of celebrations with the best of Executive Chef Nick Bennett’s menu, craft beers, local and international wines and live musical performances.
Bennett (Trocadero, Cecconi’s) along with Chef Michael Fox (2012 Young Chef of the Year) have created a casual, approachable menu for this unique Melbourne venue. We enjoyed the freshness and simplicity of the food which allows for the produce to speak for itself.
With a wonderful ambience within an iconic location, Arbory Bar & Eatery is sure to be Melbourne’s hottest new opening.

Location: Flinders Walk  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9621 2260
Cuisine: European

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