Happy Birthday Me I: Match Bar

5/06/2009 10:43:00 PM

Happy Birthday Me! I am now 25 years old - still young enough to be asked "how old are you?", but old enough to feel like I could get away with acting tetchy about it, hehe. I had a couple of celebrations spread over my birthweek. Because that is the way I roll. First up was b'day drinks with friends.

Match Bar
247 Lt Lonsdale St
Melbourne 3000
(03) 9654 6522

I haven't been doing the bar thing a lot lately, and wanted to choose a nice place that wasn't too pretentious or expensive, but that had a good relaxed vibe. A couple of friends recommended Match Bar, and after a quick squiz at the website, I decided it would fit the bill.

We went on a Saturday night, and knowing it would get super-crowded late at night, I booked a table for 6 for an 8pm dinner. This way, we'd a) eat dinner, and b) have scored ourselves a sweet spot before the rest of our non-eating friends found their way to us.

My friend An shouted the table a bottle of Cava. He told me to order a bottle of whatever I want from the menu (not red though, he doesn't drink it), and I happened to choose the cheapest thing. I wasn't just being considerate, I seriously love Cava, and it's not readily available everywhere. I have great memories of drinking it at the St. John's May Ball at Cambridge in '06... *sigh* Thanks AN!

There was bread, with awesome olive oil...

I had a chicken schnitzel with a raisin and pine-nut coleslaw - $22.

An had a pork rack with an apple, fennel and chive salad - $28.

George had the superfood salad, which includes broccolini, alfalfa, cucumber, avocado, quinoa, toasted seeds, feta, mint, parsley and olive oil - $18.

Of course, fries with aioli - $8.

The other lovely ladies at our table had, respectively, a fillet steak, a big serve of mussels and a veggie risotto. Apparently they were pretty good, but in the photos I took, they just look like any steak/mussels/risotto you'd get around town, so I decided not to post any pics.

An & Adri shared a "chocolate something", which on the night we went, was a chocolate fondant with coffee ice-cream. $11.
I was trying to be (reasonably) good, so I abstained from any dessert... but after stealing one taste from their plate, I sure wish I hadn't! It was dee-licious. Crunchy, hot, soft, molten... everything a good chocolate pudding should be. Even better, it wasn't inaccesibly dark and intense. I wonder how I'd recreate this at home.

The food was a little slow to come out, but that wasn't a huge deal for us, as we were planning on staying the whole night anyway. Staff were nice, especially the person with whom I made my phone booking. And they were understanding of our group - with a couple of late arrivals, some indecision when ordering and other changes which I'm sure are hideously irritating for waitstaff. Thanks guys!

Whilst the food wasn't mindblowing, it was good, and reasonably priced. The menu has a variety of dishes, including mains, salads, small/sharing plates which I think would satisfy diverse groups. (Case in point: my fried schnitzel and George's superfood salad). I liked the atmosphere, and the central location makes it a good place to catch up with friends for a relaxed meal or a drink. By about 10-ish, the dining area had morphed into a normal drinking area, and soon was packed. Because I was in the one spot, talking to people all night, I didn't get a chance to look around the actual bar section of Match Bar, but will do so next time.

Oh! Presents. My foodie present of the night was a copy of the Planet Cake cookbook. Hurrah! I have been wanting this book for ages, not just for the detailed sugarwork (best leave that to the professionals), but for the awesome-looking basic cake recipes and ganaching tips. I have to say, I love a book where "ganache" is a verb.

More birthday stuff to come!

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  1. I love match.

    As you probably know from my blog. Haha, nice to know you finally visited. Great drinks.

  2. Happy belated birthday!

  3. Anonymous9:46 AM

    I have been absolutely drooling over the Planet Cake book for ages. It's one of the best cake decorating books I've seen around - very detailed and comprehensive! Enjoy your book and hope to see some of the outcomes soon ;)

    And happy birthday Sarah! :)

  4. Happy birthday, Sarah!

    I share your dessert envy - that "chocolate something" looks awesome. :-D

  5. Happy Birthday! Or should I say birthweek - nice concept :)

  6. Happy Belated Birthday Sarah!



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