Thursday, 12 July 2012

The European and Foie Gras - The Vexed Problem Known As "Lunch"

Lunch has always been a vexed problem for me. Where to go, what to eat and can I really be bothered are the questions that I ask myself daily.

Along with the epicurean emo, I ventured out of Southbank yesterday with a desire to fill my stomach with food and beverage. After strolling along Little Bourke Street, Hardware Lane and Collins Street, I found myself entering the Charles Dickens Tavern however we quickly left when the epicurean emo stated that he was not hungry. I assumed that he was not hungry for pub food and since I had no cash on me to purchase a tasty beer, we departed.

After dodging traffic, trams and construction on Little Collins Street, we made our way up Little Flinders Street past the always busy Chin Chin, Coda and Papa Goose and finally took refuge in The European on Spring Street. I have dined at this restaurant and enjoyed many bottles of wine there over the years and have always left satisfied. A feeling of disgust came over me when I realised that I have lived in Melbourne for nearly three months at this point and never bothered frequenting this place for lunch though as it has always been a personal favourite.

Truffled duck liver pate and pate de foie gras was quickly ordered along with a French syrah. Although only 25g of foie gras was presented, the amount of brioche that accompanied it along with three shaved black truffles melted in my mouth. The consternation experienced earlier from departing the pub evaporated as quickly as the syrah in my glass so I had to have a refill. When it gets warmer, I look forward to having a few relaxing lunches at this venue outside so I can watch the comings and goings at parliament.

As the phone was not ringing hot, I wandered into the Cricketer's Bar at the Windsor Hotel after I was done cleaning my plate of foie gras. I quickly learned that there was no ATM in this bar, so a quick exit was made. After wandering the laneways looking for an alternative and also a Westpac ATM, we found ourselves at the Ponyfish Island Bar which is a hidden gem under the pedestrian footpath connecting Flinders Street Station with Southbank. A thirst quenching Carlton Draught was enjoyed here before getting the hell out of the cold and into the warm embrace of PJ O'Brien's at Southgate. All of these venues made the lunch dining experience even better and made for a great afternoon.

The European was later visited during a weekend of debauchery when I needed to entertain an out-of-town visitor late on Friday night. Their professionalism never disappoints and my musings can be found here, including the other venues that were visited during that weekend of hedonism.

The European, Spring Street, Melbourne

The European
Link to review
161 Spring Street  Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654 0811
My Rating: 15.5/20
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Quality: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Comment: Awesome wine list, always buzzing

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) blogspot (dot) com

When I updated this post on 15/09/12, 87% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also liked The European. They have great taste.

The European on Urbanspoon