Early in July Monsieur Poisson had the fortune of being sent on a week-long training course being conducted in Melbourne. As his accommodation and airfares had been paid for by the training company, I decided to take advantage of said free sleeping and showering premises and purchased myself a plane ticket to accompany him. I hadn’t been to Melbourne for five years and this was a great opportunity for me to wander the streets and sample food I’d previously had, food I’d read about, food I’d heard about, food that had been recommended to me and food that I can’t get in Sydney.
I researched extensively and planned a list of things to see, do and eat whilst Monsieur Poisson was busy during the day. It pays to plan ahead as I discovered it is more common for Melbourne restaurants to be closed Sundays or Mondays than in Sydney. So, armed with my list I booked restaurants to try and wandered through most of Melbourne CBD during our week there.
After checking into the hotel, our first stop is the Docklands area which has been developed into a dining hub since my last visit to Melbourne. I was particularly interested in their ‘Slow Sundays’ promotion which involved several restaurants providing a small meal paired with beer or a glass of house wine for only $15 from 2pm-6pm each Sunday during July and August.
We decide to walk there after having spent the morning on a train, a plane and a coach. It is a cold windy day but expected for this time of year. Of the places participating in ‘Slow Sundays’ we select Kobe Jones as Monsieur Poisson’s never been, not even the one in Sydney. However when we arrive just before 3pm, we are told their lunch service is finished for the day and that the restaurant is closing for the afternoon. So we glance down our list and decide to go to Steakhouse instead.
The place is empty when we walk in. It is 3pm on a wintery Sunday after all. We are seated at a corner table for two near the front window which is an interesting arrangement, as they really could have seated us at a roomier table elsewhere. The waiter doesn’t seem to know much about the ‘Slow Sundays’ deal when we enquire about it, despite there being a flyer attached to one of their windows, but produces us the appropriate menu after a brief disappearance. There are two choices available: black Angus beef carpaccio or mushroom risotto with either Heineken or chardonnay. We order one of each dish and each drink.
The carpaccio is a little dry but the toppings of rocket, shaved parmesan and flash-fried capers are very fresh. The risotto is creamy and has plenty of mushrooms as well as the intriguing inclusion of tiny carrot dice. The serve is bigger than I expect and comes presented in an asymmetrical satellite dish-shaped bowl. Not being a beer drinker, I take the chardonnay leaving Monsieur Poisson to tackle the beer.
On our way back to the CBD centre we pass by DFO South Wharf which has a chocolate café at the front. Theobroma Chocolate Lounge is teeming with people as a major football match has just concluded at nearby Etihad Stadium.
The interior is dark brown which is only befitting a place that sells chocolate. You order at the counter, collect a number stand, seat yourself and wait for your food and/or drinks to be served or for collection at the takeaway counter.
When I place our order, they have run out of clean cups for hot drinks and have to sell everything in takeaway cups instead. Monsieur Poisson has a hot chocolate which I did not photograph as I would only be taking a picture of a disposable cup. We also get a ‘Strawberry Sensation' which is melted milk chocolate with strawberries for dipping. I find the chocolate a bit too sugary for my liking and leave the store without purchasing any of their chocolates.
We pick up some fruit bread for Monsieur Poisson to have as toast for breakfast through the week before retiring to our hotel to ponder what to do for dinner. Having only lunched at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, our appetites are a little out of whack!
66 New Quay Promenade, Docklands VIC
Tel: (03) 9640 0808
Opening Hours: 7 days lunch & dinner
DFO South Wharf, Shop 219, 201 Spencer St, Docklands VIC
Tel: (03) 8689 7570
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-6pm