Foodiefile

Independant Foodie reviews from Melbourne

What would possess someone reared vegetarian to open the most meaty restaurant in Melbourne. February 17, 2010

Filed under: Restaurant Reviews — foodiefile @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , ,

A couple of weeks ago a group of us visited La Luna Bistro in Carlton, and it has taken me 2 weeks to get down off foodie high. I’ll be clear – this place is my favourite restaurant in Melbourne right now and it will take a lot for me to find a new favourite.

.
To start – we arrived early… I like to relax before a big meal, have a glass of wine and wait for my other diners to arrive… But we arrived 45 minutes early to a restaurant without a bar… All i can say we were welcomed with very welcome arms by Adrian’s team and this was the opening to a beautiful evening.

.
We started with a bottle of a French white called Ormarine Sur Lies from Langedoc– A grape varietal call Picpoul de Pinet which, from my understanding, is not grown in Australia – a kind of mix between a Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, it was perfect for the meal that followed, and we didn’t change to anything else until coffee after dessert! (If you want to hunt some down, Randall’s in Albert Park and Hawthorn stock it, as well as the non-Sur Lies version.

Well entrees … Even though the menu at La Luna doesn’t have a multitude of choices for each course, I found it a little difficult to choose. My partner and I eventually decided to share an entree of the House made cured meats. A lovely mix of textures and flavours with the usual bits and pieces – Cornichons, olives and some lovely pickled pears. A great size for a sharing plate.

.
My friends…. well… Julie had a little middle eastern spiced lamb pie (a recipe featured in Adrian’s book – Meat) and it was delicious, lots of pine nuts, with spicy and sweet flavours…

.
Pip had the Pickled Octopus, which was small and dainty, but apparently a perfect size, and Amanda and Julia had the Soufflé – which was one of the most amazing soft cheesy lumps of goodness I have tried for a VERY long time… you can always tell a true foodie table by the number of time each fork is passed across the table!

.

.
Before arriving i had decided that although there was duck on the menu – a firm favourite, i was going to have the crackling wrapped loin of pork… Well… Although it is another featured recipe in Adrian’s cookbook Meat, it was an amazing dish, and I was so pleased I had ordered it – the crackling was perfect and crisp, the mash was perfect, and the slaw – light and green…

I just wish I could have fitted in 2 main courses and also had the duck. Perfectly cooked duck breast and leg (so much duck! There was plenty to share) and other dishes on the table included Bull Boar sausages, Porterhouse steak cooked perfectly and a slow braised beef ragu gnocchi.

.

.

.

.
I was however, severely disappointed with the sides we ordered with our main. The spinach we ordered, whilst it was good spinach – it was just spinach and the sweet beets – i was expecting heirloom beets in rainbow colours, and we received normal beetroot that tasted far too much like tinned beetroot that had been heated up. I didn’t even photograph them.

The service was exemplary through the entire meal; the wait staff who looked after us had personality, which I appreciate as I cannot stand distant staff – from working too long in restaurants myself.
Well, dessert time came… Since Kendall and I had shared the entree, we decided to share the small dessert tasting plate – a lovely brulee, rum and raisin and berry ice creams and the richest most moist brownie ever – an awesome choice!

.
Other desserts included pannacotta with fresh figs, that was so cute and an amazing Portuguese custard pudding, that tasted like a not-so sweet bread pudding and it was a beautiful dish to finish – I highly recommend it!

.

.

All in all, a lovely evening with amazing service that didn’t cost the earth, and we were all so full! The portions were a fantastic size and we are going back to try them for the “Restaurant Express” at the food festival (we are also trying Taxi)
Adrian’s cookbook “MEAT” can also be bought at Books for Cooks and all good bookstores. He has another one in the making a little birdie told me, and I cannot wait to own it!

La Luna Bistro
320 Rathdowne Street
Carlton VIC
www.lalunabistro.com.au
03 9349 4888

p.s. apologies that some of the photo’s are not as good as they should be – we had some trouble with light on the night…

Advertisements