My last dinner in Melbourne, I met up with my friend from Perth, K, who has recently moved over here. We selected Chloe’s Restaurant at Young and Jackson hotel, as we were after a Modern Australian menu (we were both thinking steak and salad sounded appealing).
When we arrived (without a booking) we were asked to wait on the couches for a few minutes while they prepared a table for us. To our surprise we ended up with one of the best tables in the house – a four person table set at an angle so we were both seated with a view out the windows across Flinders St to the station steps and clocks.
The service was perfect, there was someone available whenever we needed, and everything we could have wanted was offered, but not in a pushy way. We were busy talking so they gave us plenty of time to chat while we looked at the menu, and then took our orders as soon as we looked ready.
I was pleased that there were a lot of gluten free options marked on the menu, at least half of the menu items in each category (except pasta). I was tossing up between the Wild mushroom risotto with oregano and thyme, finished with parmesan and truffle oil ($16/$26) and the Oven baked duck breast on wild mushroom, spinach and plum risotto ($32) (do you see a theme here?), but eventually settled on Rare cooked kangaroo on salad of chickpeas, parsnips, pumpkin and spinach, drizzled with wattle seed jus ($16/$32). That was a great choice, the meat was cooked perfectly, rare and tender and sitting on a bed of tasty salad. I don’t know how much longer I can eat chickpeas as they are restricted food on the low FODMAP diet, but for now they’re one of my favourite legumes. I chose the entree sized serve which was perfect for me, I managed to eat everything on the plate instead of guiltily leaving half my food behind and feeling the need to apologise for not eating it all.
K selected the Beef and Guinness pie with creamy mash and buttered vegetables ($29), which apparently tasted just as amazing and decadent as it sounds. It was a generous serve, which big chunks of meat throughout the pie.
I had a glass of a Shiraz Cabernet with my meal, and K washed his down with a Becks. As tempting as the desserts on the menu sounded there was nothing that was both gluten and dairy free, so it was an easy decision to skip dessert and head up to check out the Rooftop Cider Bar. You may already know I’m a huge fan of cider (what’s not to love about something that lets you feel like a beer drinker but is gluten free and, in my opinion, much tastier?), so this was a must-visit place for me. Apparently it’s the only Cider Bar in Australia, and has 8 ciders on tap, including Scrumpy Jack from their French Oak Barrels. Delightful. I also love the garden setting that they’ve built up there with astroturf, lounge furniture and shade sails (great for protection from the Melbourne weather!). This could easily be a local favourite for me if I lived here.
Name: Chloe’s Restaurant / Rooftop Cider Bar @ Young and Jackson Hotel
Address: Corner Swanston & Flinders St, Melbourne