The past month I’ve been on many date nights with my beau to enjoy the foodie heaven side of Melbourne. Of course I could write a blogpost per restaurant (as I did with a few), but it’s more efficient to inform you in just 1 article 😉
Tulum – 217 Carlisle street, Balaclava
Although the word ‘Tulum’ makes me wander off to the Mexican little heaven on the Yucatan Peninsula, it is however a Turkish restaurant. In Turkish this word means workwear or overall. I miss the link with food…nevertheless I love Turkish food. I’ve been in Turkey a few times and with the increase of tourism it’s getting harder and harder to find traditional Turkish food. Which is a pity, because it is soooo good.
In this restaurant the owner is said to have taken a modern take on regional cuisine. We choose a 5 course tasting menu with pairing wines.
It started with small dishes, making me wonder if at all it would be enough. But..that was the beginning as the portions grew each course. The food was ok and tasty, but not as Turkish as I would have wanted.
What did bother – and I guess it’s a Melbourne thing – is that we wanted to have a look at the desert menu and have another drink and maybe als a coffee but that was not an option as our table needed to be free again by 08.30 pm. That made me wonder, what if we had choses the 7 courses? Would they have given us a doggybag to go? And if they are in such a hurry (which I find very rude and not at all hospitable) why did it take them so long to poor us a drink in the beginning?
Would I go back, probably not. Also because there are way too many restaurants to try in this lovely city.
Ezard – 187 Flinders Lane, CBD
We had just arrived in Melbourne and were tired of moving to another hemisphere. Still, it is important to have date nights, so Ezard it was. It is a welcoming and elegant place, with plates like paintings and delicious wines.
What always makes me laugh a little at fine dining restaurants is that the waiter is explaining in all earnestness about the little bite in front of you. Personally, I could not taste the difference between a quince and a pear or whether the sage is baked or fried. Nor do I believe the waiter can. Plus, it’s such a list of ingredients that by the time he’s finished I’ve forgotten most. And…talking about hospitality, I was talking to my companion and we had to stop our conversation for what exactly? I used to work as a waiter in similar restaurants, so I did as he did. But as a guest, I would prefer a little note explaining the dish and it’s origin.
Would I go back, maybe, yes, as it was really good food. Bring your creditcard though.
Coda – 141 Flinders Lane, CBD
This is definitely on my fav list. The personnel is friendly, the atmosphere is great, the food is lovely. It’s the kinda place you wanna stay for a while longer and order that second bottle, just because you can. ( they did not tell us to go elsewhere for desert..haha) It’s an industrial, chic/trendy basement with chatty folk and Vietnamese fusion dishes. Do I go back here? Yes please, several times if possible.
Lentil as Anything – 41 Blessington Street, St. Kilda
This one has been on my ‘I want to go there’ list for a while. It’s a restaurant you can’t make reservations for, so for date night, I’m not fond of waiting outside till a table is vacant. I went here by myself for lunch.
The concept is that you pay as you please, though they do give a suggestion what to pay. But, theoretically, you could leave without paying. They serve delicious vegan dishes. I ordered a chai and the lentil burger and yes, it was great. Taste wise I would go back, but as I have a minor version of mysophobia I can’t say I trust the hygiene in this place. But that’s my fear brain speaking as they have no trackrecord of making their guests ill.
Chin Chin – 125 Flinders Lane, CBD
This was the first restaurant me and my beau tested and it was a hit. We ordered the famous spicy chicken larb, which is indeed very, very spicy. We sat next to an Indian couple and they complimented me on being able to actually eat it..hahaha it was too much for them. But the dish that won that night was the barbequed cauliflower with spiced coconut cream and chilli. Absolutely wow, and definitely a reason to come back.
The only downside – and I know I must sound like a old, boring lady – is the loud music. Don’t get me wrong, I like music, but when I’m eating out, I prefer to hear what the other person is telling me. Still I wanna go back here. Maybe I should go by myself and just order cauliflower and white wine…