Monday, October 8, 2012

To 14 months at Left Bank.

Every 8th of the month (or birthdays), we'd have a special dinner; usually one of us would cook a three course meal, or we'd go out to a nice restaurant to eat (Livebait, Papa Goose, Chinchin, and Café Café and La Bodega back in KL).

We decided to head out for a nice dinner this time round, and thanks to Agenda, we got 30% off our bill.

Left Bank
1, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank VIC
03- 96824500
Mon - Fri: 7.30am - late, Sat - Sun: 8.30am - late
[ tram 96, 109 or 112, stop 124A-Casino/MCEC/Clarendon St ]

There's a tram that goes right up to the street, tram 55, but we were unsure of where to take it from (Google maps is pretty unreliable sometimes..) so we decided to take the usual route to Crown and walk along the river to the restaurant.

Wasn't hard to find at all; it's actually a few meters away from Meat & Wine Co and No.5 Boulevard (also known as Crystal Club. I haven't been there for so long, it's not called Crystal anymore).

We were pretty apprehensive and skeptical at first: We didnt check the rating on Urbanspoon before booking out table, and it was low (by our standards, anything below 80% is low). There were plenty, PLENTY of complaints about the service there too.

We were actually extremely happy with the service there. The guy who attended to us the whole night was a sweet guy, very attentive and the food came pretty quick too. Moral of the story: NEVER TRUST USER RATINGS ON URBANSPOON 100%!! (Still thinking of that little fiasco Jo, Eugene, Trixha and I had with Switchboard Café.. but we'll leave that to another day).

(Prices stated are prices before the discount!)


Smoked salmon salad with green bean, couscous, radish, roasted chestnut and raspberry vinaigrette, $20.

Yes, i know you see the alfalfa: cousin of taugeh/bean sprouts that I hate with an absolute passion. But i like alfalfa. And I liked the dish, a lot. Nothing much to criticize, but maybe the raspberry vinaigrette, which was really good, could've been either drizzled on top or maybe put in a separate jug to pour. There were bits of salad that didn't get the dressing cause it was all sitting at the bottom of the plate. 

Tuna, swordfish and kingfish carpaccio with celeriac remoulade and lime walnut crème, $19.50.

It doesn't look like much from the picture, it was really hard to get a good shot of the thin pieces of raw, plain coloured fish. I generally like (love) raw fish (food), and this was pretty alright. I thought it would've been a bit of a bigger portion, but then again, it's meant to be a starter for one. The celeriac remoulade and lime walnut crème was excellent, though I think my palette isn't refined enough to appreciate the amount of olive oil that was drizzled on the fish.

Main courses:

King prawn risotto with squid, scallop and purple basil, $25.50.

Jason really likes his risotto, and I think this one met his expectations. I tried some too, I didn't think the world of it but I must admit, the squid and scallops were cooked really well. The prawns were slightly overcooked, but the taste was good. I still prefer the one I had from the South of Johnston though =P

Lobster spaghettini with cherry tomato, dill, lemon and mascarpone cheese, $28.50

I was a little surprised by it's presentation after seeing how the starters and Jason's risotto were plated. The spaghettini was under-seasoned in my opinion, but Jason really liked it. I'm generally not a fan of cream-based pastas (lactose intolerants, holler) so maybe I just didn't know what it was supposed to taste like. I liked how they hid bits of lobster in the pasta. Gave me little surprises with every other forkful.


White chocolate and brioche honey pudding with butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, $14.

I definitely loved this dessert. I love honey, and i love pudding. The only thing about it though, was when the waiter cleared our plates and said asked us 'How the white chocolate and honey pudding was', we were left to wonder: Where the hell was the white chocolate?!

Coconut and watermelon panna cotta with spiced strawberry broth, $14.

I was pretty disappointed when the (different) waiter served us. The red bit that was supposed to go on top of the panna cotta already flopped into the strawberry broth, and Jason had to pick it up and put it back in place for picture purposes. The toasted coconut, as you can see, was all over the place and it just looked weird.

The panna cotta itself was good though. In my head, maybe a little less than it really was due to it's weird initial appearance. It was soft and it just melted in my mouth. The red bit on top was what i assumed to be the watermelon component of the dish, cause while it tasted good, I didn't really taste any watermelon in it. I found drinking something that tasted like strawberry with a spoon rather odd though. And by 'spiced', they should've said 'cinnamon' cause that was the only spice I tasted.

Okay, it sounds like I'm dissing the dish but I'm not. It was a great dessert to compliment my creamy main; it was really light at refreshing from the minty strawberry broth. It would've been too heavy for me to take any of the other chocolatey desserts on their menu.

In the end, the bill (after the 30% discount) came up to about $85 (that we split. I next to never let Jason pay for me. Just for SOME assuming people's knowledge..) Which, for two people for a three-course meal like that, in a restaurant with ambience like that, was pretty damn good. Even without the discount, I'd say it was still rather reasonable, especially in an area like Southbank (with Rockpool, The Atlantic and Meat&Wine Co a few steps away.. You get my point).

Props to the guy who was performing throughout the entire dinner though. He had a REALLY good voice and he sang songs that both Jason and I really like. Still waiting for Left Bank on twitter to tell me who he is. I hope he's on youtube. He's really, really good.

1 year and 2 months. It IS pretty much a huge milestone for me: I've had a reputation for not having relationships that last long (very short, actually) in my early years of high school (I was foolish and I was a kid.. you can blame me), but this is my longest-lasting relationship by far. And I'd say I've definitely got a keeper right here. :)

It's 5.30am, I've just finished up one assignment and I've got one more to go. I just had to let my brain breathe for a while via blogging, otherwise I think I'd be serving it up on a silver platter with a dipping sauce at my APA group meeting tomorrow.

/ edited /

Food: 7
Coffee: N/A
Ambience: 8
Value: 7
Staff: 9

No sleep tonight :(

Left Bank Melbourne on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

trixha said...

Haha! Switchboard! the cafe that was literally under the stairs. don't even know if I would call it a cafe but yah! good times..good times.