The Arbory Bar and Eatery3/21/2015 09:52:00 AM
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9621-2260
In an uncharacteristic display of fabulousness, I spent two nights out last week. Both evenings were for events at Arbory Bar and Eatery - one was a Menu Preview and the other was their Launch Party. Twice out in a week is a lot for this Grandma, but the venue looked great, they kindly said I could bring a plus-one to each event, and I knew that my friend Kimba would really enjoy the Menu Preview (a sit-down meal where you get to meet the chef), and that my buddy Jimbo would enjoy the Launch Party (Drinks! And tasty morsels of food being brought to you on platters!) Yesss! I win all of the friendship points!
So, here's the deal with Arbory: it is a new restaurant / bar located on a decommissioned platform at Flinders Street station. It is built along the entire length of the platform, and overlooks the Yarra River. What a perfect spot!
|Looking onto the River. Melbourne, you so pretty!|
|Looking onto Flinders Street Station|
Let's start with the Menu Preview evening. Executive Chef Nick Bennett (ex-Cecconi's and ex-Trocadero/Fatto) put together a selection of items from the menu, which were matched with some lovely Spanish wines. The items below were my favourites from what we tried, and are the ones I would recommend you order if you visit yourself.
|Pea and herb arancini|
Yes to crunchy balls (heh) of pea risotto, yes to a blanket of grated pecorino cheese.
|Mushroom and cheese croquettes|
The mushroom croquettes were super crunchy and full of gooey, oozy, cheesy goodness.
|Buffalo mozzarella, fried artichoke, green sauce, raisins and almonds|
The buffalo mozzarella was a nice dish, with mild flavours and a great texture contrast between the soft mozzarella and crunchy fried artichoke.
|Steak tartare, cheese, toast, sauce Béarnaise|
The highlight of the evening, for me, was the steak tartare, which was served on a little toasted cheese sandwich, and drenched in Béarnaise sauce. So good!
|Roast onion, silverbeet and cauliflower pie, leek salad & truffle pecorino|
Yay for pies. The pie was nice and hearty, with the onion, silverbeet and cauliflower being an unusual, but very tasty, combination of flavours.
|Peppered steak, kohlrabi remoulade, onion rings|
The steak, sauce and kohlrabi remoulade were good; the onion rings were amazing. I don't think they sell the onion rings separately as a side - they really should.
|Popcorn and salted caramel sundae|
The dessert we tried looked deceptively plain, but packed loads of flavour - ice-cream and salted caramel, blanketed in a dusting of popcorn powder.
|Executive Chef Nick Bennett|
So let's have a look at the Launch Party! Whilst the Menu Preview was more of an intimate event, the Launch Party was basically a really big party! Loads of people, lots of food, lots of drink, music, and a lot of fun.
The Arbory offers a red and a white wine on tap (and a rosé too, the night we were there!), as well as a wide selection of beers and ciders.
I was very excited about this table of different cured meats, and the gigantic wheel of cheese - delicious.
|Meats and buns|
I believe oysters were around, but I was too busy hoeing into the cured meats to find them! The other foods passed around were miniature versions of menu items - the arancini and the steak tartare, which you've seen above, as well as a fish burger, cheeseburger, and crinkle cut fries with truffled pecorino.
|Top left: Pea and herb arancini, Top right: Stake tartare, cheese, toast and sauce Béarnaise|
Bottom left: Fish burger; Bottom centre: Double cheeseburger; Bottom right: Crinkle-cut chips, truffle salt and pecorino
I had a super fun time at both events, and think The Arbory is a great venue - fantastic location, good food, relaxed atmosphere. Jimbo has already been back once, on his own coin, and said the mushroom croquettes and calamari were really good. I'll be interested to see how it does over Winter, especially considering that the venue is entirely outdoors. They have umbrellas and gas heaters, so hopefully they'll be able to cope with Melbourne's ever-changing weather!
Sarah, Kimba, and Jimbo attended The Arbory Menu Preview and Launch Party as guests.