Monday, November 22, 2010

No. 35 - Sofitel - Melbourne - review

Name: No. 35

35/25 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

(03) 9653 7744

Food: ModOz

Average price: Entrée: $19-$25, Mains: $34-$110, Dessert: $18-$22, Degustation menu: 7 courses, $185

Complimentary: Foccacia and butter.

The bread was both oily and dry at the same time.

A mushroom soup?

I remember this being pleasant.

We ordered: tasting menu - $125 and some other dishes for me.

salad of beetroot, root vegetables, local goats curd, roasted hazelnuts - $21

Tasting menu version on left.
R loved it - reminded him of the dishes from Persimmon.
I thought it was nice, but I didn't like the beetroot in jelly form - just not a fan of the texture. I also would have liked more goats curd to balance the sweetness, other than that it very pretty on the plate.

slow cooked pork belly, caramelised skate wing, onion puree, puffed rice

Too much of an 'Asian' taste for R - he also did not like the skate wing one bit.

Atlantic salmon, compressed cucumber, fennel, sorrel

R thought this was ok but the cucumber jelly ruined it for him.

wild barramundi, parsnip, brussel sprouts, pig trotter

rangers valley 300 days grain fed waygu rump cap, new season onions, caramelised bone marrow

R enjoyed this.

heirloom carrot salad, fennel, oregano, mint - $10

This had an almost fruity tang to it. Some of the carrots were a touch undercooked and hard to cut through but otherwise the flavours were fresh and went well. I enjoyed the addition of pinenuts. The plate wasn't practical though - half of my carrots would just slide off onto the table

risotto with white onions and thyme, honey, sherry vinegar, king brown mushrooms - $34

The rice was well cooked and flavours were pleasant apart from the mushroom stems which were very rubbery and unpleasant to eat in terms of both texture and flavour.

coconut tapioca, passionfruit, mint - $18

Tasting menu version on left.
Both R and I had this, he enjoyed his.

I found that the first mouthful of this tasted like toothpaste which for me, is not pleasant. The second mouthful  tasted like an Imperial leather soap bar which was again unplesant.
However, once I had more of the passionfruit curd on my spoon it was OK. I was expecting more tapioca pearls and whilst there were a few there weren't many, just the marshmallow like cloud that only got its coconut flavour from the desiccated coconut sprinkled on top. Although I could see the ginger shredded on top I couldn't taste the ginger. Overall, the flavours just weren't balanced well, it could be a great dish but somehow it just didn't work this time.

chocolate, hazelnut, pear

R loves anything chocolate but this just left him cold. I tried a mouthful and the pear which was in jelly form, was completely lost amongst the chocolate and hazelnut. The chocolate itself was extremely mild in flavour with the hazelnut being the dominant flavour. Nice but nothing memorable and does not satisfy a chocolate craving.

Cost: $208 for one 8 course tasting menu and 1 entrée, 1 main, 1 side and 1 dessert,

So-so. Our waiter was fantastic, however the kitchen let the service down. Despite the restaurant being only 1/4 full it took over 3 hours to get 8 dishes.

Atmosphere: Very chilled out with a ton of space. The ceilings extend to extraordinary heights with floor to ceiling windows giving you an almost 180 degree view of the CBD, best views I have seen in a CBD restaurant yet. The decor was neutral dotted with red accents as well as a gorgeous marble floor and hanging light sculptures. The noise level was very low and the vibe was romantic and calm. 

Parking: Ample - chance a street parking or choose one of the many underground paid parking lots.


Hours: Open Daily 7:30am-10pm

Would I return: Yes, despite the slow service the decor was lovely and the food was good enough to warrant a second try.


  1. Ooh great review. Too bad the food wasn't spectacular though as I'm staying here on my Melbourne trip after Christmas and am compiling a list of places to try!

  2. That last dessert dish looks amazing so I'm formulating a cunning plan on how to do something that looks similar but works. Whenever I visit your blog I'm left wondering how a kitchen can put out art by the pass but taste goes out the window.


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