Basement, 115-117 Collins St(Enter via George Pde)Melbourne, Victoria
Reservations:1300 799 415
It has become a bit of a tradition to come here for Marks birthday, for a few reasons... One is its nice to treat ourselves to a beautiful meal... Two, they do a lovely vegetarian option, and seeing as though Mark is a vegetarian that helps... Three, all profits go towards helping more young people get into the program...
A nice space, we were seated in the less cosy area this time, unfortunately the wood seats aren't comfortable enough for a two hour meal, they really should keep this seating for the express customers and give the more comfy seats to those eating the 6 course degustation menu...The service is always spectacular, it hasn't yet disappointed... Strangely they have changed the pricing structure so that the vegetarians price is the same as the meat eaters price which seems a bit rich to me, but more profits for the kids I guess?!? The cheese board went from being full the first time, to 5 or so cheeses last time down to one cheese this time... It does make sense as I'm sure everyone is always too full to eat it, but its a noticeable drop in cheese there!
Overall I did enjoy my meal and I am assured that Mark enjoyed his, though I was a little disappointed in a couple of the courses, we will be back next year!
Cheese rice and tomato in a batter covered in salt with aioli - one of the best parts of the meal!!!
1st course vegetarian option:
Bread salad - there wasn't a vegetarian option on the menu for this course, we thought it might have been a bit of an afterthought...
1st course meat option:
Porchetta ‘di testa’ with Fifteens pickled vegetables
This was probably my least favourite course, not hot on uncooked meats...
Ribollita: a thick Tuscan bread soup with cavalo nero, cannellini beans and lashings of Oliveria's Fifteen olive oil
This was a hearty soup, but it lacked seasoning and really felt like something I could easily whip up at home...
3rd course vegetarian option:
Rotolo of baby spinach, baked ricotta, sliced mushrooms, marjoram and lemon with nutty brown butter, crispy sage and Parmigiano Reggiano
3rd Course meat option:
Tagliatelle with a rich beef shin ragout, rosemary and orange gremolata and Parmigiano Reggiano
The tagliatelle was lovely, the star of the show was the beef which melted in my mouth...
4th course meat option:
Slow roasted, crispy Berkshire pork belly with oozy parmesan polenta, jus and salsa verdi
This was by far the most outstanding pork belly I have ever had, not too fatty, the pork tore away and melted in my mouth, the crackle was perfect, the polenta complimented it all, just freaking divine!!!
4th course vegetarian option:
‘Torte di verdure mista’: ricotta and mixed seasonal vegetables in a rustic pastry case with crème fraiche and pangrattato
Orange sorbet to refresh the palate before dessert
Orange and vanilla frangipani tart with mascarpone
On its own the tar was lovely, a little heavy but with the mascarpone it lightened it up, a delightful dessert!
Goats cheese and fig chutney
It was supposed to be farmhouse cheddar but they were out of it
I was far too full to try this but Mark said that the strong cheese was good...