Valentine’s Day may have long passed but I couldn’t not share with you my first taste of fine dining in Melbourne. I’m a real sucker for bite-sized fancy food which I have to get dressed up for, but it’s not often you find someone to enjoy it with and it’s just not the same when indulging in multiple courses alone – not that I’ve tried mind.
Luckily I met Brent who has the added bonus of enjoying fine food and wine like me. You can imagine my excitement then, when he took me to No 8 by John Lawson this Valentine’s Day. No 8 by John Lawson is situated on South Bank and our table was over looking the Yarra River. Chinese New Year celebrations were well under way so it wasn’t the most relaxing of tables but it was a fantastic spot to people watch, something I also love to do.
It was an incredibly hot summers day which meant our first glass of crisp chilled champagne went down in no time. We went for the Degustation Menu with four courses and matching wines.
Kohlrabi ravioli salad, sugar snap pea, avocado, chilli and pistachio
Portland black and blue tuna, black garlic, almond mushrooms and aged soy
Nigel Thomson’s Barwon Lamb snap peas, mint and sheep’s yoghurt
Dark chocolate ganache strawberry sorbet and beetroot
Each dish was well presented and tasted as good as it looked. Both the food and drink were of exceptional quality and perfectly matched. I enjoyed some of the nicest wines that day and was really quite impressed. As far as fine dining goes, admittedly I have had better in terms of food, but No 8 by John Lawson is certainly deserving of their Chef Hat (Michelin Star for those in the UK).
Apart from the company, it was our waiter who made my experience so enjoyable. We had the same waiter throughout the meal – a must in my eyes – and not only was he friendly and charming to chat to, he was so knowledgeable when it came to what he was serving. He was from France and knew an awful lot about wine, which was handy as Brent likes to ask a lot of questions.
I wouldn’t hesitate to return to what I once considered “just another restaurant in the casino” as our afternoon at No 8 by John Lawson was certainly an impressive one. Just looking at these photos has reminded me what a great meal we had in a fantastic spot on Melbourne’s south bank.
Ambience – 8
Value – 7.5
Quality – 8
Returnability – yes please Brent! 😉
Living life, loving degustation menus,