Waterslide Bar

An exciting new addition to the Southgate precinct, the Waterslide Bar is located in the precinct’s opening onto the spiral staircase overlooking the Princes Bridge and city skyline.

Waterslide’s Venue Manager Tim Wastell has an impressive resume. Australian Bar Manager of the Year 2009, Wastell has plied his craft at some of Melbourne’s best loved bars such as The Blue Diamond on Queen St and The Saint St Kilda. He comes to Waterslide after a year pursuing excellence at Rockpool Bar and Grill in Perth.
Less than a week old and the bar is already making splashes with its tribute to the colourful area once known as “near Princes Bridge”. Favoured as a circus location and outdoor playground since the 1870s, Princes Bridge was Melbourne’s entertainment hub until well into the 20th century. Just metres from Southgate’s spiral staircase, adventure seekers used to hop into a water chute taller than the skyscrapers of the time. They would then be propelled down a wooden waterslide, fully dressed to the nines!
Various elements from the history of the cocktail were an inspiration in the concept with added contemporary quirky characteristics like, swing seats, lounge nooks, dramatic bottle display, rocking chairs and rotating stools as subtle touch points for customers to draw to.

Tones of gold, dark timbers and deep reddish-purple hues set the scene for the interior, through the use of curtain waves, eccentric banquette seating and reflective metallic mirror finishes.
Wastell has joined forces with Black Pearl’s Fred Siggins to design a fun and accessible cocktail menu and drinks list that incorporates modern techniques, seasonal ingredients and unique flavour combinations, as well as the highest quality spirits and some cracking grower produced wines.

We commenced our evening with a couple of outstanding cocktails.
Grace Kelly

Our first cocktail of the evening was the Grace Kelly cocktail which was made from Hendrick’s Gin, fresh pressed pear juice, Earl Grey, honey, cinnamon syrup, dehydrated apple garnish. A delicious fruity cocktail with plenty of character, it was an enlivening start.
Sage Advice

Our favourite cocktail of the night, the Sage Advice was magnificent. Not one for the faint hearted, the cocktail was a heady combination of Talisker 10yo Scotch Whiskey, Johnny Walker Black Label, Benedictine, apricot & sage syrup and orange bitters.
While Waterslide Bar is dedicated first and foremost to the art of drinking, the bar also offers a laid back environment for catching up with friends and family with Mediterranean inspired food designed to share which goes down a treat with their drink offerings.
Hand harvested Cuca sardines in olive oil and crusted ciabatta bread

Don’t let the “being served from a can” aspect fool you. The sardines were a delight, boasting a wonderful depth of flavour.
Market choice fish carpaccio, Juliann fennel, dill, lemon and olive oil

The fish carpaccio was beautifully presented and tasted even better than it looked. It was a wonderful mélange of different textures, natural sweetness and acidity. The fresh cured slices were embellished with pockets of fennel and dill. The lemon and olive oil dressing added the final touch to an enlivening combination of ingredients.
Mediterranean style pickled and marinated octopus with grated goat feta

The octopus pieces were tender and matched well with the medley of herbs and luxurious feta.
Cuban sandwich Roasted pork, premium shaved ham, melted gruyere cheese, Dijon mustard and pickled cucumber

An extravagant toasted ham and cheese sandwich containing luscious roast pork, gruyere cheese, pickle, mustard and slices of ham which added a nice touch of saltiness to the creamy cheese fusion. The sandwich was the perfect supper treat.
Suntory Yamazaki 18 y.o. Osaka

Our evening at Waterslide concluded on a great high. Overwhelmed by the brilliant choices available, we asked for a Japanese Whiskey recommendation and were presented with the outstanding 18 y.o Suntory Yamazaki. It was a delicate yet profound expression of a Japanese single malt. Smooth, well-balanced with great complexity and a lovely balance of fruit, silky malt and a touch of smoke. Just one of the many examples of the high end offerings available at the Waterslide.
The Waterslide Bar is the answer to your dreams. Finally, a bar that takes its drink choices very seriously, but not itself. With offerings for all enthusiasts (whether you are a craft beer aficionado, cocktail geek, spirit epicurean or wine appreciator there are a range of choices to suit your needs), the bar caters for everyone from those that are out for a fun night with mates to those looking to be inspired.

Location: Shop MR3, Mid Level East, Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Link: http://www.waterslidebar.com.au/
Cuisine: Bar, Mediterranean, Cocktails, Wine, Spirits

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Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Waterslide Bar.

Southgate Moveable Feasts: Bluetrain | La Camera | The Deck [14 June – 3 August]

Southgate Moveable Feasts are back this winter with a program of Sunday lunches and Monday dinners that take diners on a delicious journey across a variety of global cuisines.

Showcasing three delectable courses each from a different Southgate restaurant, Southgate Moveable Feasts epitomises the changing dining trends of today as Melburnians look for new and different casual dining experiences.

We were led through a unique dining experience as we wandered from restaurant to restaurant, sampling unique world-class cuisines from Italian to Modern Australian.

First Stop: Bluetrain
Phone: 03 9696 0111
Cuisine: Modern Australian
An expansive café and bar with floor to high ceiling windows overlooking the Yarra River, Bluetrain is a brilliant Melbourne meeting spot.
It’s 2013 major facelift sees the restaurant spotting a new look which combines eclectic and quirky materials, bespoke designs and a light feature using yellow bicycle wheels to adorn the walls and graffiti art pillars. 
Marinated Kangaroo fillet served on a salt bush and fresh raspberry salad with candied prosciutto and an Australian bush finger lime dressing

A dish of fresh and delicious flavours, the kangaroo was perfectly cooked with its flavours further enhanced by the lovely bush finger lime dressing.  The fruity acidity of raspberry salad and the restrained savouriness of candied prosciutto introduced further layers of complexity.  
Calamari Dusted with Smoked Paprika, cumin and chickpea flour with a lime and bronze fennel leaf yoghurt

Tender ribbons of battered calamari were perfectly seasoned with smoked paprika and cumin and went beautifully with the lime and bronze fennel leaf yoghurt.

Second Stop: La Camera
Phone: 03 9699 3600
Cuisine: Italian
La Camera encapsulates the Italian style of dining, urging patrons to "Mangia! Mangia!" in an intimate gathering while cherishing a meal which honours classical Italian flavours. 
Gnocchi con coda di bue brasato

The potato and ricotta gnocchi was a superb dish that was highlighted by the light gnocchi which captivated with its “melt in your mouth" texture. We loved the flavoursome oxtail and just the perfect amount of heat delivered by the chilli which cut through the overall richness of this hearty dish. 

Filetto di Salmone

The skin of the salmon was perfectly seared to be very crisp while the flesh was delicate and moist. It was a dish that allowed the natural subtle sweetness of the salmon to be enjoyed. 
An Italian restaurant with Italian hospitality La Camera delivers warm and friendly service and an authentic Italian dining experience which celebrates the smells, taste and comfort of a country-style Italian home.

Third stop: The Deck
Phone: (03) 9699 9544
Cuisine: European
Conveniently located right next door to Melbourne's Hamer Hall and Arts Centre, The Deck offers exquisitely prepared European and international inspired cuisine.

The elegant setting which features a French style charcuterie and a full wine display set the tone for a modern yet inviting atmosphere.
We absolutely adored both the desserts we sampled at The Deck.
Chocolate ganache, mandarin, milk crumb

The visually attractive dessert of “Chocolate ganache, mandarin, milk crumb” was beautiful. The slightly tart mandarins, together with the milk crumb, worked well with the decadent dark chocolate ganache to produce a balanced and delectable dessert. We enjoyed the addition of dually crunchy and airy meringues which contrasted perfectly with the soft ganache.
Hazelnut mousse, toasted brioche, pear

The dessert of “Hazelnut mousse, toasted brioche, pear” was again, beautifully presented. The mousse was rich with decadent hazelnut notes and had a luxurious velvety texture which was thoroughly enjoyable.  The sweet morsels of pear harmonised with the biscuit-like crumble and mousse beautifully. It was an exquisite dessert.
Click to add a blog post for The Deck Southbank on Zomato

Get on it! 

With a host guiding the journey to each establishment, discoveries will be made along the way uncovering the stories behind Melbourne’s eclectic world of riverside eateries.

What: A three course journey throughout Southgate’s restaurant precinct, sampling unique presentations of world-class cuisines.

When: Sunday 14 June - Monday 3 August. 12pm Sundays & 7pm Mondays

Where: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, Melbourne. Southgate is located on the south bank of the Yarra River, directly opposite Flinders St Station.

Cost: Choose from three course dining options for $65pp or $85pp. Entrée and main courses each include a glass of wine and dessert is served with tea or coffee.

Bookings: Online bookings only, at www.southgatemelbourne.com.au

Enquiries: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, 03 9686 1000

 Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Southgate.

Munich Brauhaus

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Munich Brauhaus.
Munich Brauhaus is where Munich meets Melbourne. Bringing to life a traditional Bavarian bierhaus, the restaurant is the land where Oktoberfest never ended. A place to dine, drink and party in a state-of-the-art waterfront venue which seats over 900 people.
The space embodies the heart and soul of Munich and boasts three distinct bars: The Wundabar; Jäger Bar; and Über Bar. Each perfect for after-work or casual weekend steins.
The generous menu has something for everyone from light lunch options to weekend dinner feasts to nibbles from the deli menu and share plates out in the Bier Garten.
We particularly loved the emphasis on all things pork on the menu which included schnitzels, sausages, pork belly and pork knuckle, as well as suckling pig (all sourced locally from Rivalea). 
We adored Munich Brauhaus' impressive Bier list which features the restaurant’s own signature Munich Lager alongside a series of exclusively imported Bavarian Biers. The Biers are brewed using only the finest source water, purified for over 40,000 years and in accordance to the strict Bavarian Purity Laws (Reinheitsgebot) of 1516 and comprise of just four natural ingredients – malt, hops, yeast and water. 
Waldpilz Flammenbrot

We loved the earthy taste of the Waldpilz mushrooms intertwined with luxurious goat’s cheese and pecorino. The flammenbrot (Bavarian pizza) was well made, flat and as thin as a tortilla we loved its firm texture.
Goulaschsuppe - Spicy Goulash Soup

The spicy goulash soup was hearty, well-seasoned and had beautiful flavours.
Munich Schmankerlplatte - Munich Tasting Platter 

The Munich Tasting Platter was the showstopper to what was a fabulous dinner. It comprised of a respectable assembly of Crackling Pork Belly, Artisanal Haus-made and Smoked Sausages, Crisp Roasted Pork Knuckle and Schnitzel as well as sides and sauces (Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, Apple Compote, Mashed Potatoes and Bier Jus). 

The guys at Munich Brauhaus have truly mastered the art of pork roasting. The pork belly was succulently roasted to retain a porky juiciness, achieving a healthy layer of melt-in-the-mouth fat in the process. The pork knuckle was yet another memorable item on the platter which combined flawless texture with equally superlative flavours. Each moreish morsel was tender. 

The feature item on both the knuckle and the belly, the crackling, possessed the ultimate crunch and acted as the ideal partner for the tender pork meat. 

The bier jus on the other hand had a delightful sweetness to accompany the various items while the traditional German side dish, the Sauerkraut was an absolute must-have, with tangy notes cutting through the richness of this meaty platter.
Rinderfilet - Beef Fillet 

The Beef Fillet met our expectations admirably – a light searing ensured that it was lined with a thin crisp layer packed with caramelised beef flavour.  The meat was intense with a deep earthy richness and texturally it was sublime with a decadent melt in the mouth, almost buttery, consistency.  
From left: Black Forest Cake; Krapfen (German doughnuts)

Our visit to Munich Brauhaus concluded with desserts and a couple of shots of schnapps from Munich Brauhaus’ impressive schnapps list.
Munich Brauhaus offers patrons the opportunity to experience Oktoberfest 365 days of the year in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling South Wharf.

Location: 45 S Wharf Promenade, South Wharf
Phone: 1300 686 424
Cuisine: German, Bavarian, Craft Beers

Munich Brauhaus on Urbanspoon

Southgate Fiesta at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival [28 February - 1 March 2015]

From 12pm-6pm on Saturday 28 February or Sunday 1 March, Southgate will be serving up $15 tasting platters at some of their fantastic restaurant which includes entry into the boutique wine tasting area on Southgate’s promenade.

Taste your way through a range of boutique Australian wineries as you enjoy live music and entertainment on the banks of the Yarra River. 

The Southgate food and wine Fiesta is part of the opening weekend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, also featuring specially designed tasting platters at Southgate restaurants.

What: Southgate Fiesta at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
Where: Promenade / Southgate Melbourne
When: Feb 28 & March 1st 2015
Time: 12-6pm
Get more information here.

Our top tasting plate picks...

Red Emperor
Red Emperor will be serving it's "Entrée Platter" of Steamed prawn dumpling, Steamed prawn, coriander & water chestnut roll, fried rice paper prawn roll and spicy salt & pepper calamari.

Read more about Red Emperor here.

Hophaus Bier Bar Grill 
Hophaus presents the "Taste of Hophaus" which features it's delicious Pulled Pork, Sausage Marinated Herring, Corned Salt Beef, Toasted Rye, House Pickle.

Read more about Hophaus here.

Tutto Bene
Iconic Italian restaurant, Tutto Bene will be putting on something special for the sweet tooths out there with a sample of 3 desserts created by Head Chef Nathan Scarfo – including peanut butter semifreddo with caramel popcorn, eton mess with blackcurrant marshmallows and chantilly cream and our new upcoming dessert... so you can discover something new.

Read more about Tutto Bene here.

Good Food Month Signature Dish @ Tutto Bene

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Tutto Bene.
For the entire month of November as part of The Age Good Food Month, Southgate’s restaurants are serving up their favourite Signature Dish along with a matching glass of wine or beer (or cocktail) from $15 to $35.
As part of the The Age Good Food Month’s Signature Dish festivities at Southgate, Tutto Bene will be serving up their Granchio Risotto. 
A Tutto Bene signature risotto, the Granchio Risotto was a stunning dish which combined spanner crab perfectly with tomato and chilli. As expected, it was superbly executed.  The rice in the risotto was puffy and al-dente and, coupled with generous amounts of tender spanner crab and lashings of chilli, had a wonderful depth of flavour.  The risotto had hints of fresh seafood with a robust undercurrent.
The glass of Te Mata chardonnay, Hawkes Bay NZ was the perfect match. The wine was fresh and expressive with floral and peach notes which cut through the heat from the Granchio Risotto perfectly. 
A meal at Tutto Bene would of course be incomplete without some of their delicious gelato. 

We love Tutto Bene's gelato. The quality ingredients mean the results speak for themselves - texturely perfect gelato with beautiful flavours. The passion for artistic expression using quality ingredients can be tasted in each scoop.
As always, our meal at Tutto Bene was of excellent quality. “Tutto Bene” is an Italian phrase that translates literally to “everything’s good” - a highly appropriate name which evokes memories of the warm familial atmosphere, of the consistent excellence of its cuisine and, inevitably, of their revered risotto.

What: Good Food Month Signature Dish @ Tutto Bene
When: Throughout November
Location: Shop M28 Southgate Plaza, Southbank
Phone: 03 9696 3334
Cuisine: Italian

Check out the list of dishes and accompanying wines/cocktails from participating restaurants here.

Man Mo Completes Dining Precinct at WTC Wharf

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Man Mo.
The newest addition to the northern banks of the Yarra River, Man Mo WTC offers traditional Chinese cuisine at its best.
Upon entering Man Mo, we were captivated by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience.
Designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion, the expansive dining room is adorned with traditional Lucky Charmed Tassels and paintings, and with red and gold lashes of colour throughout the restaurant. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting.
The menu features traditional and modern Chinese dishes. Unlike its sister restaurant in New Quay, which has a more Malaysian fusion offering, Man Mo WTC provides a more traditional Chinese cuisine including a strong focus on live seafood and clay pot dishes. 
Left: Scallop & Egg lettuce leaf
Right: Baked Crab Shell

We loved the cheesy baked crab shell which featured deliciously sweet blue swimmer crab meat with onion, bacon and mushroom. 
Peking duck

A highlight of our meal was the Peking duck with pancakes. Each portion was carefully prepared to ensure that each was fresh and warm when consumed. With a generous slice of duck breast, fresh spring onion, warm pancake and ample sauce, it boasted a crisp skin and unctuous fat.
Garlic butter and king prawns with jade noodles

The prawns were very fresh and the herbs provided punchy fragrant flavours.  The accompanying noodles were slippery and coated in a delicious garlic and butter sauce. It was a good dish that was highlighted by the natural sweetness of the prawns and complimented by the noodles which retained a pleasant elasticity. 
 Cape Grim tenderloin with truffle oil and special fried rice

The eye fillet was delicious, exhibiting the characteristic charred flavour that normally accompanies a wok-tossed item.  Well-seasoned, the warming pepper was very welcoming on a cold Melbourne day. 
Crème brulee 

The consistency of the custard in a crème brulee was velvety smooth and delicate and featured atop the decadent custard, the requisite sugary hard shell.
Banana fritter with ice cream

Man Mo’s take on the traditional banana fritter was delicious. The banana had an ethereally light and crispy batter and was soft and sweet inside. Served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, this was a pleasant end to our meal.  
Man Mo is a brilliant addition to the WTC Wharf dining precinct, sitting perfectly alongside the existing premium restaurants and further enhancing WTC Wharf‘s position as a world-class dining destination for Melbournians and international visitors alike.

Location: River side of World Trade Cntre, 38 Siddeley Street, Docklands
Phone: 03 9077 9598
Link: http://www.manmowtc.com.au/
Cuisine: Chinese, Seafood

Man Mo @ WTC on Urbanspoon

Scoopon Red Carpet Restaurant experiences | Win a Chinese banquet for two at Man Tong Kitchen (valued at $189)

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Scoopon and Man Tong Kitchen.
Between 14-20 July, Scoopon will be celebrating Melbourne’s love of food by offering discounts to some of the top rated restaurants in the city as part of its Melbourne food week.

Customers can benefit from up to 65% off some of the top rated restaurants on Urbanspoon, satisfying their desire for great dining experiences without the high price tag. From modern pub fare to Mexican street food - Scoopon’s food week includes a mix of cuisines from some of Melbourne’s favourite foodie hotspots. 

Scoopon 8 Course Chinese Banquet with Wine @ Man Tong Kitchen
Sister Restaurant to the Highly-Acclaimed Hu Tong, Man Tong Kitchen offers exquisite Chinese cuisine. 
Upon entering Man Tong Kitchen, diners will be wowed by the restaurant’s plush dining ambience. Designed to capture the bygone era of Imperial China in a contemporary fashion, the expansive dining room is adorned with textured wood pillars and wall panels dressed in rich deluxe colours like gold and red for a stunning contrast. The restaurant’s dining space is further enhanced by the mood lighting.

Purchasers of the Man Tong Scoopon will imbibe in 8 divine courses...
Left: Signature Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings (4 pieces)
Right: Chicken San Choi Bao in lettuce cups (2 serves)

While many Chinese restaurants in Melbourne serve Xiao Long Bao, Man Tong’s variety are a cut above. The allure lies in their gracefully delicate pastry skin enveloping rich pork-seasoned broth.  
Left: Sweet Corn Soup with crab meat and chicken (2 bowls)
Right: Peking Duck with Pancakes (2 pieces)

Another highlight of our meal was the Peking duck with pancakes. Each portion was carefully prepared to ensure that each was fresh and warm when consumed. With a generous slice of duck breast, fresh spring onion, warm pancake and ample sauce, it boasted a crisp skin and unctuous fat.
Stir Fried String Beans with Minced Pork and Szechuan Chilli Sauce
Juicy Eye Fillet with Honey and Pepper Sauce

The eye fillet with honey and pepper sauce was delicious.  Well-seasoned, the warming pepper was very welcoming on a particularly cold Melbourne day. Overall, a superbly executed dish.
Man Tong’s Special Fried Rice
Deep Fried Banana Fritter with Ice-Cream

Man Tong’s take on traditional banana fritter was delicious. The banana had an ethereally light and crispy batter and was soft and sweet inside. Served with a creamy vanilla ice cream, this was a pleasant end to our meal.  
Man Tong Kitchen affords a valuable dining experience that comprises delicious food and wine in a mesmerizing setting located at a prime location. 
Savour Man Tong Kitchen’s legendary xiao long bao and exquisite Chinese cuisine at Crown in the heart of Southbank by purchasing the Man Tong Kitchen scoopon here.

What: Scoopon's Melbourne Food Week deals 

Win 1 x Scoopon voucher to dine at Man Tong Kitchen!

Gastrology has teamed up with Scoopon to giveaway 1 x Scoopon voucher to Man Tong Kitchen to indulge in a decadent Chinese banquet for 2 with wine each which is valued at $189 to 1 of our lucky readers!

How to enter 

All you have to do is: 

  1. Follow us on twitter (if you have not already) 
  2. Send us an email answering “What is your favourite dish and why?” 

The best entry, as judged by the Gastrology team, will win 1 x Scoopon voucher to Man Tong Kitchen.

The competition will run from Monday, 14 July 2014 to 5:00pm Thursday, 24 July 2014 (winner to be announced on this post on Friday, 25 July 2014. 
Man Tong Kitchen on Urbanspoon
The fine print: 
Only entries made using a valid email address are eligible. Your email address will not be published. This competition is a game is of skill not chance. This giveaway is open to readers in Australia only. Prize is not transferable or exchangeable or redeemable for cash. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. The image of the prize is purely representative and the actual prize is subject to change. 

To find out more or purchase one of the deals, visit www.scoopon.com.au/melbourne.

[25/07/2014] Announcement: Winners of the Blog Giveaway: Man Tong Banquet Scoopon

Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winner is…

Jayne L. with the following entry:

“While it is difficult to choose a favourite (they all look absolutely delicious), my most favourite dish is Man Tong's signature Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings. Their Xiao Long Bao's boasts finesse that make them several notches above the average ones you receive at other establishments. I love the delicate dumpling skin which envelopes the decadent broth. It is always a pleasure piercing through the thin casing and slurping the hot and flavoursome broth within and flavouring the remaining pastry and minced pork with just the right amount of black vinegar and heaty ginger. 
Would love to win this banquet to try all these other dishes and find out more about what Man Tong has to offer beyonf the Xiao Long Bao pork dumplings.” 
… Congratulations, the winner will be contacted via email.

Competition Now Closed.