I am fast burning bridges to my former life as a pseudo-anorexic. The good thing about this is I eat out and enjoy eating out immensely. The bad thing about this is there seems to be so many wonderful culinary stalwarts around Melbourne that I’ve never dined at before. The European Restaurant on Spring Street in the CBD was till recently one such place.
Dinner was at the rather late hour of 9pm. After a quiet, leisurely stroll through the Treasury Gardens and making friends with some possums there, I arrived to find I was first, and on time. A glass of manzanilla while I wait! Eventually a semi-apologetic T turns up having been wooed by the beer choice at Biero Bar over the other side of the CBD. Hello glass of amontillado! I am always reminded of Poe’s short story whenever I see the name ‘Amontillado’.
We were still waiting on our chum Nat but she was running late. My tummy couldn’t wait much longer, so I ordered. I was in the mood for lots of small dishes, rather than one large main.
First up, sage and anchovy fritters. Beautiful, feathery-light batter coupled with the saltiness of anchovies. The accompanying sauce was zesty.
Next up, some jamon Serrano with a generous amount of sourdough. If beer and cheese won’t be the death of me, then cured meats definitely will! I hadn’t had any cured meat for a while so this actually felt like a massive treat.
But no, wait! I haven’t finished clogging my arteries with fatty, meaty goodness. Thus the duck terrine with house condiments and grilled baguette came to the rescue! T wasn’t too impressed with the stingy serving of the terrine. Haters gonna hate, as all you hip kids say. I loved the small side salad, it was so tart and set off the gamey flavour of the duck well.
That was good! Yea, Nat arrived! She chose the Tom Cooper smoked salmon celeriac remoulade and horseradish cream.
She twisted my arm and we both finished off with vanilla bean-flecked crème brûlée. Personally, I prefer mine with a thicker crust of burnt sugar. This one was politely singed.
Still, quite a blissful late night meal. The main menu is available till 10pm and after that they change to a reduced supper menu which still has lots of substantial items to constitute a damned fine meal. Given my insomniac tendencies, I know I’ll be back.