Lunch whilst in Melbourne
A really good friend of mine (one of my besties) lives in Timor Leste, so on one of her return trips home to Australia we decided to meet in Melbourne for a long weekend. I hadn’t seen Sandy for some time so I was very much looking forward to seeing her. Jane and I departed Canberra on the Friday at lunch time and we both used our frequent flyer points to upgrade to Business class – very nice! We started off with a glass of wine each in the Lounge.Jane chose Matteo’s, an Italian restaurant after some searching on the internet and booked for lunch on the Sunday – its located in Fitzroy, a suburb about a ten minutes taxi ride from the centre of the city and in a very popular street that is known by most people who visit Melbourne (Brunswick Street) and there we met another good friend who lives in Melbourne.The restaurant had a good feel from the outside and was really lovely inside with white linen tablecloths, great artwork and two fabulous waiters.The menu is extensive and the restaurant also has a Lazy Sunday Lunch Menu for meat and fish eaters and for a little more $, comes with a glass of wine accompanying each course which is what my friends had and there is also the Chef Buddha Lo’s Spring Vegan Tasting Menu which as soon as I looked at I wanted. The vegan tasting menu comprised small dishes served over five courses. My first dish was a sweetcorn soup and I must say does not look all that great in my photo, but it was so tasty.Second course was tempura zucchini flowers with a cashew ‘cheese’, tandoori-spiced beetroot, toasted nuts, seeds and grains. This was also very good and the cashew cheese was excellent.Next was stir-fried asparagus spears, Otway shiitake mushrooms, steamed ho fun rice noodles and hoisin sauce. At this stage I was very full but knew I had two more courses coming…My final main course was Miso-baked eggplant filled with bean curd and cauliflower couscous along with kohlrabi and a warm rice vinaigrette. I just love eggplant but must say this dish was not to my liking – I didn’t like the miso baked eggplant unfortunately. And probably because I was full I didn’t eat much.The girls started off with 4 tastes…oyster ‘Kilpatrick’, tempura zucchini flower with goats’ feta, BBQ pork doughnut and a Queen scallop with XO condiment accompanied by a 2016 Serafino ‘Bellissimo’ Fiano from South Australia.
Their next course was a choice between a Bonito mackerel with asparagus, charred onion and a vichyssoise sauce accompanied by a glass of 2016 Port Philip Estate Pinot Gris from Victoria OR a seafood tortellini with Otway shiitake mushrooms and a miso consommé; accompanied by a 2015 Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewurtraminer from New Zealand. The girls chose the seafood tortellini dish.Their next course was a quail ballotine roasted with streaky bacon with Chinese sausage, cauliflower puree and steamed leeks, red wilton and quail jus accompanied by a 2015 Clos Leon Bordeaux Merlot from France OR a pan roasted Flinders Island lamb fillet with a master stock lamb belly, grilled cucumber, watercress, wild garlic and a sansho pepper sauce and wine for this course was a 2014 Red Edge Degree shiraz from Victoria. Sandy and Jane ordered different dishes for this course.Then it came time for dessert; mine was a passionfruit-lemon sorbet and coconut gelato with candy yuzu peel and a coconut ‘milk’ mousse – it looked fabulous on the plate and was very nice but I was still a bit too full to eat it all.The girls were served a plate of three small desserts each; warm caramelised apple tart with macadamia praline, strawberries and cream and a vanilla bean ice-cream with blackcurrant sorbet and their final glass of wine was a 2014 Richards Muscat DBV from the Southern Rhone Valley in France.We were the last to leave the restaurant having arrived at 1pm and finally departing at 4.45pm…there was just so much to eat, so much to drink and so much to catch up on…what a fabulous afternoon. We were all so full we decided to walk back into the city – only about a forty-minute walk but most enjoyable.