Sunday, October 08, 2006

Fifteen Melbourne - Finally a look in!

A couple of weeks ago when I heard that Fifteen was opening for reservations I suggested to Michael that it would be great if he could get us a booking there, you know a nice surprise seeing as how I'm normally the one doing all of the organising for the 2 of us. I thought the booking line might be a bit busy but had no idea that within a matter of days they would be booked solid until the end of January next year, amazing what a tv show can do for you. Anyway Michael being the fantastic hubbie that he is, got on the line & waited for 1.5 hours (on speaker phone while he was working so it was bearable!) & got us a booking for a Saturday night no less, very impressive.

There have been a lot mof mixed feelings out there about Fifteen so I was quite curious to see exactly what it would be like. I love the idea of what Fifteen stands for, helping those in need but at the same time providing us with a (hopefully) great experience in oder to achieve that goal. At the same time I think that for $90.00 a head for the 6 course tasting menu which is your only option for dinner, the food has to be bloody good & stand up to other great Melbourne restaurants.

I had very high expectactions for the food, a few months ago I did a Queen Vic Market cooking night with Tobi Puttock & the food was to die for so I was hoping for more of the same.

Ok so now down to last night. On the decor, I loved it & it was totally different to the 'artist impressions' as seen on tv. The colorful bar area which Jamie knocked looked great & the colors were much more toned down, oranges, reds, very warm & filled with wine very subtle too. The place is split into 3 areas, the private dining room which I spied a corner of, looked very dark & gothic from what I could see, would be nice having a private party there with some friends, I believe it seats 10. Then onto the main area, on entering you walk down some stairs where you can see straight into the kitchen, then around the corner the bar area with more casual looking dining area in front, light wooden seats & tables, etc. this is split down the middle where you go into the second dining area which is where we were seated. I loved this area, all dark wood furniture, dark wood floors, black walls & ceilings, a purplish couch forming the back seat for the tables on the side & back walls & long mirrors along the walls too & some very funky globe light fittings hanging here & there. Ask Michael, I love black & the trend seems to be now to have everything all nice & light so this darkess worked well for me.

Now onto the food, as mentioned it is a six course set menu, soup, seafood, pasta, main, dessert & cheese platter with a choice of 2 dishes offered for the pasta & main course.

First course was Borlotti bean & pasta soup with fresh grated parmesan & Fifteen olive oil.

This was really nice, though needed a bit of salt, luckily there was a dish of Pink Murray River salt flakes on each table - nice touch - which did the job. As you can see it was a very thick, hearty, warm & homey soup which I would love to replicate at home.

Next was fried whitebait, sage salt, lemon & aioli.

As you can see a very small serve but dont be put off, by the end of the night we were well satisified & if the courses were any biggger we would have struggled to fit them in. The fish was cooked perfectly, nice & light & the salt/aioli combo went very well with it.

For the Pasta course I opted for the Fifteen ravioli with biodynamic riccotta, free-range egg yolk, served with white asparagus & butter broth.

Yummo, nothing beats home made pasta & the runy egg filling was quite unusual, quite a big ravioli too as you can see. Michael went for the Risotto of calamari, squid ink, celery, chilli & fifteen olive oil which he reallay enjoyed too.

For the main we both had the Slow roast Bachus Marsh grass fed beef, Nicola potato & fennel al forno, braised greens & salsa verde. The other choice was Tasmanian Salmon. The beef dish smelled divine which I think was mainly due to the whole clove of roast garlic hidden amongst the greens which I happily devoured. The beef was very tasty though mine was a bit on the cold side which is obviously a bit dissapointing. Mine pictured was cooked a little extra as I'm not supposed to be eating any raw or underdone meat at the moment, Michaels was as per the menu & pretty bloody which is a good thing, nothing worse than an overdone piece of cow.

Dessert was Vialono Nano Tiramasu, little twist on the traditional with crostoli.

The twist was rice instead of sponge/biscuits in the tiramasu, I have to say that this & the crostoli were fantastic & by far by favourite course of the night.

Lastly, the cheese course. pear, quince paste, muscatels, grissinei, some fruit bread & of course the cheeses, sorry have forgotten what they were except tto say that one was lovely & oozy & the other was as bitey spanish crumbly one, both fantastic, in fact the whole cheese course was really great.

Overall the whole experince was enjoyable, the staff were very friendly & helpful, extensive wine list to choose from, fast servce though not too fast that you had no time between courses & the food was good, presentation & tatse. For 2 weeks of opening & a bunch of kids that a couple of months ago had no idea it is pretty amazing to see how far they have come though I would like to see them improve some more & lift the food from being just pretty good to being fabulous!

Fifteen Melbourne
115-117 Collins Street
1300 799 415


Ellie said...

I'm impressed! After Fifteen London opened I read quite a few negative reviews about the food and dining experience, looks like the Melbourne opening has fared much better! I can't believe they're booked solid till January though - the power of television alright!

Another Outspoken Female said...

Good on you for being the first blogger (?) on this one. I'm glad the food passed :) But now novelty value aside, would you rush back?

(btw you might want to check with your midwife/ob about runny eggs too!)

Reb said...

Well, you sure are at the cutting edge there Ange! This is the first review I've seen of 15M and what a comprehensive one it is. Felt like I was there myself - thanks for writing it up so quickly.

Ange said...

For that price I wouldnt rush back soon - the food needs to move more into the wow level for that to happen, though I would like to go back in say 6 months to a year & see how it has all progressed. Would also like to see a la carte dinner menu introduced

jules said...

great review ange...was wondering what it was like...

the whole being pregnant really sucks from a food and wine perspective...have a friend who just had a baby and now she's eating sushi like there's no tomorrow

naomi said...

mmmm sounds good, but nothing astounding. the most interesting dish (and worth jacking up the price for) is the ravioli, sounds rich and creamy and is something i can't wait to try. glad to hear the whole experience was worth it :)

Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

thanks for the write-up. glad to hear the colours weren't as horrendous as they appeared in the original plans! it's an interesting (and commendable) concept. i'd be curious to see whether it ever makes it to sydney... maybe we could put bill in charge. now that i'd love to see! lol

Anonymous said...

Insightful write up especially when I have been hearing mixed reviews about Fifteen and i;m not sure what to believe. This is why I love bloggers and blogging, we get the truth, no strings attached. Thanks for the write up.

Anonymous said...

"Pink Murray River salt flakes", "Fifteen ravioli with biodynamic riccotta, free-range egg yolk", "Bachus Marsh grass fed beef"!
Sounds like a bunch of marketing jargon to me!

Ange said...

Anon - I find most menu's list where the meat, etc comes from nowadays so not so different & as for the salt - they weren't advertised, I just recognised them & love them so thought I would mention them!

Anonymous said...

Well now, that is a different story. I assumed that JO's menus' were becoming littered with overly flowery language. I'm always weary of restaurants who spend more time writing menu copy than they spend in the kitchen! But, as a reviewer, your flowery language is not necessarily out of order. Thanks for the clarification.... I guess I won't discount JO just yet! :o)
(aka the previous Anon)