Sunday, 17 January 2016

The Press Club

The Press Club is George Columbaris's premier restaurant and, with capacity for only 30 diners, one of Melbourne's most exclusive.

With the main dining area being cordoned off by a thick blue curtain, the restaurant has an air of exclusivity the minute you walk through the door.  Unfortunately, on this occasion, we were told that we would have to wait half an hour before we were able to sneak a peak behind the curtained wall.  Our booking had been for 8:45pm, but due to our table not being ready, we were only seated at 9:15pm. To the benefit of The Press Club, they did take us down to the kitchen for a quick tour while we waited - an extraordinary event for any foodie.  However, we were one of the lucky parties who were able to wait inside, with many of the other bookings being turned away to wait outside in the cold whilst there tables were being re-set.  It also would have been a nice touch if the drink we were offered for our half an hour wait was complimentary!

The food and wine was absolutely impeccable.  However, after opting for the five courses with matching wines ($215) it would have been nice to come out feeling a touch fuller!

The night started off with a cleverly presented nibble - home made chips on a mini clothes line contraption.

The menu was substantially comprised of seafood, being served prawn saganaki with grilled watermelon, calamari with poached egg and Hellenic XO sauce and one of the most beautiful pieces of salmon I have ever had -  having the consistency of butter, it was my favourite dish of the night.

The only red meat of the night was a small piece of beef hidden under a quaint array of carrots - delicate but mouth-wateringly delicious.

The palate cleanser was a clever take on the much beloved "Super Dooper" and the desert itself (rice pudding with fresh fruit and sorbet) was a light but refreshing way to end the meal for the night.

The venue itself is reminiscent of a 1980s Greek Cruise ship.  Rather than rows of formal white table-clothed tables, the venue is made up of cosy booths situated underneath retro light features, creating a homely but extravagant vibe.  The staff are also an attribute to the restaurant - clearly having a comprehensive grasp on The Press Club's food and wine menu, they all still had smiles on their faces well after 12:00am.

Whilst not "the new fave", with such exceptional cuisine, I look forward to coming back to The Press Club to try a different (and hopefully more filling) menu.

Décor: 4.5/5
Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Total: 13.5/15
Verdict: Love - rush out and try it soon
The Press Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato