Friday, 24 May 2013

The Deck Southbank - Play On Words

As the rain was pouring, I selfishly scheduled a meeting at The Deck in the the Southgate complex in Southbank mainly because I didn't want to walk very far. The person I was meeting did not read my SMS fully as I did indicate I would be at this specific restaurant, across from Walters Wine Bar. He instead walked to the Quarter Deck Cafe on Flinders Street. I was laughing and cavorting with the server when I heard this amusing information and we both reflected that at least he did not end up at The Deck bar at Crown Casino, or even worse, The Deck at Melbourne Pub Group's, Circa at the Prince of Wales hotel in St Kilda.

Walter's Wine Bar used to occupy the space where The Deck is located now. In 2004, the restaurant was seriously damaged by fire, smoke and of course water after a raging inferno started in one of the kitchen canopies and spread into the ceiling. At that time, Walter's also operated the Food Store across the hall so Walters's reopened in its current and more view-friendly location and now The Deck occupies the previously damaged space. One would assume that with a name like The Deck, there would be a magnificent outdoor area but what you find is a small dining and smoking space that can hold about 14 people seated comfortably. There are glimmers of the Yarra River if you go out of your way to look however you are situated in the plaza near the Quay West building which doesn't leave you in awe. Most of the restaurant is attached to the shopping plaza however a small dining room does connect the deck and the bar area. It is a really weird configuration.

Not being able to resist the $39.50 for two courses deal withh choices from a "special" menu, I ordered the cured salmon, avacado, pickled radish with rocket pesto and matched it with a 2012 Gran Sasso Pinot Grigio from Abruzzo, Italy. The produce was fine and the avacado smear was intense and although acting as some sort of artistic design on the plate, went with the cured salmon well. The glass of wine was included in this special however it was nothing remarkable and is a varietal that you would find being sold in bulk quantities from Grey's Online.  For the price, this was a good enough way to start a two course lunch. Other choices for the first course include macerated figs and duck terrine.

I followed up the cured salmon with braised ox cheek with a horseradish bearnaise, silverbeet and cherry tomato and matched it with the 2011 Gran Sasso Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Italy. The ox cheek was rather bland and rigid. I could not detect any horseradish in the bearnaise and like with the previous glass of Pinot Grigio, the Montepulciano was less than impressive. The extra glass of wine was not included in the fixed price deal. The other options available for the second course include the fish of the day, pork belly and pasta. Should you wish to splurge an additional $10, you can include a dessert course but we did not bother and instead went to the Belgian Beer Cafe for a modest quencher.

Overall, it was an unremarkable experience at The Deck. Service remained cheerful and consistent however I suppose since I didn't have any expectations to begin with, I wasn't disappointed. It served its purpose as a meeting spot however with some of the other "lunch deals" in the Southbank area, I will be exploring my options further in the future.

The Deck, Southgate, Southbank

The Deck
Upper Level, Southgate, Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9699 9544
My Rating: 12.25/20
Service: 3.25/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Quality: 3/5
Value For Money: 3/5

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

At the time of this post, 83% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon like The Deck.

The Deck on Urbanspoon