Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Press Club - Melbourne

Name: The Press Club

72 Flinders St
Melbourne 3000 VIC
Phone: (03) 9677 9677

Food: Modern Greek
Average price: Entree: $21-$29.90
Mains: $34-$42
Dessert: $14-$18.90
Kerasma menus: four courses $74, five courses $84
Degustation: 8 courses for $135pp.

Complimentary: Bread with olives.

We ordered an 8 course degustation (this was quite a long time ago so I can only comment on the dishes I remember):

Watermelon and ouzo jelly cubes

I did not like these at all - not sure how vegetarian they could be as most jelly does contain gelatine.

Prawns – tomato soup, olive sponge, young basil, kefalograviera crisp 

The others thought the skewers were ok. The saganaki cigars were lovely but the soup was a little lacklustre and too bitter for me. What we all went nuts over were the potato crisps with a paprika seasoning - absolutely awesome, I would love to know what they were spiced with, best chips ever.

Flowers - zucchini, feta, maniataropita, sweet kalaboki 

This was ok, nothing special.

Oysters with olive oil   

The olive oil was smoking as it was a liquid nitrogen concoction. Although once it melted it made the oysters a little too liquid.

Beetroot – raw, pickled, pressed, roasted, horseradish yoghurt, cumin vinaigrette

I really enjoyed this. The  highlight was the powder streak going down the plate, it had a wonderful flavour and just brought everything else to life. Lovely dish.


Everyone thought this was nice.

Chicken – pastelaki of its wings, kritharaki, mytzithra snow

Everyone enjoyed this. Mine didn't have the chicken of mytzithra but corn instead. I would have liked the kritharaki to be a little more cooked as it was just a touch too doughy for me, but then again I grew up with it mostly in soups so I am used to it being really soft. The flavours were lovely and it was a comforting dish.

Pig – baklava, loin, belly, apple horiatiki

This was ok.

Lamb – neck, sweetbreads, black garlic

Mushroom Pie - black garlic

I hated this. I've never seen anything like it in reek food anyway, mushrooms aren't exactly a big thing and I thought the pie was lacking in flavour. I actually didn't like the tangy black garlic either, I barely touched this dish.

Tzatziki glyko – candied cucumber, honey cream, yoghurt snow, pistachio powder

We all liked this.

Aphrodite - white chocolate mousse, cherries, roses, soil, scent 

Reading the description I was beyond excited - chocolate, cherries and roses are my idea of dessert heaven.
Boy was I surprised - I did not like this at all. I kept trying different spoon combinations - anything to try and enjoy this but in the end I gave up.The white chocolate blob wasn't tasty or texturally pleasant, the chocolate soil was just bitter and powdery, the lovely rose petals were lost with the tangy berries and horrible jelly blobs.
Plus side - it looked gorgeous on the plate. And G, unlike the rest of us, liked it.

Cost: $540 for an 8 course degustation for four people (the boys also ordered beer but I no longer have the receipt so I am unsure what they cost).

Service: Ok. Whilst one of our waiters was really friendly and helpful, the other was quite rude, especially when I mentioned that I don't drink alcohol. Other than that the service was fine.

Atmosphere: Dark and stylish. The best feature is the window which wraps around the restaurant on both sides and lets some light into the to otherwise pitch black restaurant. Like most restaurants these days you can see into the kitchen.

Parking: Limited street but plenty of paid underground car parks.


Hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm
Sun-Thu 6pm-10pm
Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm

Would I return: No. It's pricey and none of the dishes really knocked out socks off.

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