The Press Club – Melbourne, Victoria

Zombies are to brains what we are to Food and Wine festivals!

Wherever we go we seem to be ‘accidently’ running into these events, and our trip to Melbourne was no different. While we were totally amped for the Future Music Festival, it was a random google search only days before leaving Hobart that we realised our good fortune; the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival was going to be on at the same time!!

As we were only going to be in Melbourne for a few days, we knew we had to make the most of it.

For those that haven’t had the pleasure of visiting our windswept shores, Tasmania is located south. Waaaay south! So just like a polar dropbear, we natives need to put on a bit of pork during the autumn months so that we can successfully hibernate our way through the long, dark winter!!

In previous years we’ve often relied on the local Savour Tasmania food festival to put on those last few inches of lard, but of recent times the program has been pretty lame and lacking in much opportunity to truly stuff our gullets.

How fortuitous it was that Melbourne had decided to put on a lifesaving gastronomical smorgasboard in our honour!

To make the most of our limited time, we decided to take advantage of their ‘Restaurant Express’ ($40pp for a two course meal and a drink) and ‘Bar Express’ ($18 for a single meal and a drink) concepts by visiting numerous venues around the CBD. In general we found both the food and wine/beer/cocktails to be of a very high standard and fantastic value.

To finish our time in Melbourne we booked a table at George Calombaris’ Press Club  restaurant. For those who can’t remember where they’ve heard that name, he’s the short, nuggety bloke off MasterChef that looks like he partakes in his own cooking just a little bit too much…

The Press Club

On reviewing the menu we also decided to pay a little extra ($10 I think it was) and round out the meal with a dessert on top of the other two courses.

First up was a few slices of complimentary bread and a little olive oil. So good…

Olive and plain bread appetiser with olive oil

Entrée for myself was confit salmon, while Karen had a chicken kritharaki with corn foam.

Confit salmon

Chicken kritharaki with corn foam

Main course for Karen was the mastic braised beef, while I had the seared snapper with taramasalata and ‘heirloom’ (that word is such a wank) tomato salad.

Mastic braised beef

Seared snapper and heirloom tomatoes

Dessert for Karen was a chocolate and salted caramel tart, while I had the Greek (as opposed to Eton) mess.

Chocolate and salted caramel tart

‘Greek’ mess

Across the board all the courses were delicious and perfectly suited to a hot summer’s day. The beef was probably the heaviest of the meals, but the fact that they’d cooked it to perfection meant that it just fell apart in your mouth. Of all the dishes, the only one that didn’t ‘wow’ me was the Greek mess, with the meringues being a little hard and tasteless. Despite this, the accompanying fruits and berries were full of flavour and were a great way to finish the meal!

The presentation was immaculate and very precise, and the table service couldn’t be faulted.

I believe the Press Club is currently undergoing renovations, to be replaced by a new restaurant, with The Press Club to reopen elsewhere in Melbourne. We were both really happy to have tried one of Melbourne’s institutions in the restaurant scene before it closed and look forward to visiting it in its new incarnation sometime in the future!

Taste – 5/5
Coffee – 4/5
Menu – 5/5
Atmosphere – 5/5
Service – 5/5
Value – 5/5

Overall – 5/5

The Press Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato