Nicola and I had arrived in Melbourne at mid-afternoon, after a leisurely drive up from Mornington, taking in the Moonlit Sanctuary on the way. It’s more of a zoo really, with Australian wildlife in enclosures including koalas, kangaroos and wallabies which roam freely, wombats, dingoes, a Tasmanian devil, and an emu. There are also various birds in enclosures, some of which you can enter to get a closer look; and “experiences” which you can pay for, such as walking the dingoes, having a python wrap itself around you, and cuddling a koala. We decided to do the cute koala thing, but also met one of the snakes, Charlie (they also have one called Noodles and one, inevitably, named Monty), who had beautiful coloration.
We stopped for lunch at Frankston, which is a bit of a “…meh” place, and then drove up to the big city. This entailed navigating our way to the correct carpark for our apartment hotel, which we managed on the third go. We then had a bit of time to ourselves to explore and walk down to the river, and on the way locate the restaurant for the evening. We also discovered the Little Press Club, now renamed Gazi Restaurant, which is the casual dining sister of the Press Club. We formulated a cunning plan to go back there later for a cocktail before dinner, a plan which was executed with ruthless efficiency.
We arrived at the restaurant at 6:00pm, as we were in for an early sitting of their dégustation menu. Jason, Elissa and Nellie showed up shortly afterwards, and we got stuck in.
The wait staff explained the menu and brought wine matches for each course as we went through the individual plates. Unfortunately I neglected to take a pic of the menu, so you’ll just have to take a look and see what my somewhat fuzzy recollection of the descriptions were:
|Hors d'oeuvres, including carrot crisps|
|Crab raviolo with bisque|
|Octopus tentacle! Yum!|
|Trout with fennel|
|"Pre-dessert" - lemon curd, honey ice cream, yoghurt foam and fennel pollen|
|Table decoration with dessert to give a whiff of pine|
|Chocolate and, er, stuff|