Wicked Weekend

12/22/2008 09:44:00 PM

A glass of sparkling is my favourite way to start a special evening!

Caboose Restaurant + Bar
4 City Square
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9663 4448

We went to see Wicked on the weekend (wahoo!), and wanted to grab a nice dinner beforehand. After some quick googling of restaurants close to the Regent Theatre, I decided on Caboose. Caboose is a tiny shoebox of a restaurant in City Square, tucked away under the Martini Bar and between Starbucks and Brunetti. It also happens to be right opposite Krispy Kreme if you wanna grab a sneaky donut between dinner and the show.

Earlier in the day, I made a booking made a booking for 6:30pm. It was a Saturday night, and I assumed I'd need one. When I spoke to the lady on the phone, she told me, "Yeah, no worries, we've only got one other booking. See you guys at 6:30 tonight!" However, when we rocked up, the restaurant was full, and they seemed to have forgotten about our booking. Oops.

Anyway, they were really nice about it, and gave us a glass of sparkling wine each while we sat outside and waited for a table. We only ended up waiting for about 10 minutes, so it wasn't a problem at all. Turnover at Caboose is really fast; I assume most people just rock up instead of booking.

The interior walls are industrial-looking concrete, and I loved the squishy couch-style chairs.

Butter and bread. The bread was good, not great, and I thought it was cute how they stack the butter on top of the bread, echoing the cosy/cramped interior of the restaurant.

Ordinarily we wouldn't be ordering a pasta dish that could be easily made at home, but we saw the spaghetti al aglio e olio ferried around by waiters to other tables, and it just smelled soo good that we couldn't resist.

Spaghetti al aglio e olio, thin pasta tossed with garlic, chilli, basil and spinach - $18.

I prefer my spaghetti al aglio e olio with a more hardcore garlic content, so garlicky you wouldn't dare to speak to anyone for hours afterwards, but it was good nonetheless.

Steak for me. Very rare, please. It came with deliciously salty shoestring fries (I doubt that they are "hand cut", as the menu says), spinach, and a little roasted shallot.
Scotch fillet with hand cut chips and sautéed spinach - $25

Not quite Vlado's, but still very flavourful, and with a delightful crust on the outside.
Mmm... rare...

We were very impressed by Caboose - good food, great prices, nice atmosphere, speedy service. I would definitely come back here. I found the restaurant offered a great mix between special and casual.

Following the show, we swanned into the Martini Bar for some glam cocktails. (As awesome as Wicked is, I wasn't in the mood for the flourescent green cocktails sold in the theatre lobby.)

Sorry, I cannot remember what this was. I know it was fruity and had strawberries in it. $18. Guess I'll just have to make my way back soon to sample some more cocktails to share with you guys...!

Caboose on Urbanspoon

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.