Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Press Club, Melbourne

A couple years ago for Cheesecake Boy's birthday, we went down to Melbourne for his birthday trip.  We had contemplated that this holiday would be a good reason to also start a blog.  However, we discovered that I have this terrible habit of seeing food and going for it and then remembering afterwards that I forgot to take the photo, so its now 2 years later and here we are now.  I had managed on this ocassion to take all the photos of every item and looking back on these photos the other day, I thought I might as well blog this even though it has been a while, as I always have such fond memories of this trip and this meal we shared.

I had booked Cheesecake Boy and I on our last day in Melbourne to indulge in the Sunday Lunch Kerasma at The Press Club and this ended up being our favourite meal of our first trip to Melbourne together.  I believe the first season of MasterChef Australia was still airing when we came here, and remembered the passion that George has when he spoke about cooking and how Cheesecake Boy and I love Greek food, so that's how we ended up here.

The restuarant back then, I believe its been renovated now.
To start: tomato soup and sides

This was only to start.  I know that bowl of soup only looks like a humble tomato soup but I till this day I have never had a better tomato soup then the one above.  It's all things warm and cosy with the beans and rich in tomato flavour, you feel like you are being cuddled and nurtured when you are eating this soup.  I was so into this soup that I was prepared to buy the restaurant's cookbook just to have the recipe.  Unfortunately, the lovely waiter had a look in the book for me, but it was not there. 

The sides were fantastic as I am completely nuts about bread.  The dip from memory was actually a pine nut hommus.  The other sides were a lovely feta salad, pickled cabbage and vegetables and I think that small red dish wish was pickled squid.  Of course, Cheesecake Boy made a beeline for those olives.

This cocktail was a Cosmopolitan with a Greek twist of Ouzo and a Beer in the distant background

Our drinks came and mine was lovely, I liked how there was a splash of Ouzo for something different and knowing Cheesecake Boy that was probably a Greek beer he was downing.

Fried whitebait

When I was growing up my mum would cook an omelette with these little fish and I could never eat it as I saw their little eyes and thought they were looking at me.  I still have a bit of a complex about white bait, but I did try this.

Eggplant and super creamy mayonnaise for the whitebait

It's been a while but I am sure I liked the eggplant, as this is always something I like to order whereas, Cheesecake Boy could do without.

Fish en papillote

A waiter once said to me that fish en papillote is just a fancy way of saying fish in a bag, and I remember laughing about that comment as it is so true, and probably also because I had been quite tipsy that night. The fish in this one was snapper and again the same theme seemed to come through this meal with this dish that it's just cooked simply and well.  Just preparing the best produce and letting the food do the talking here.

Lemon potatoes with herbs
Now Cheesecake Boy will still tell anyone that listens that these potatoes are the best he's ever had, and he will compare any potatoes we have to these.  I though the potatoes were nice, but I guess I don't see them in the same light as Cheesecake Boy did, but I see where he's coming from when he says it's because the seasoning is quite subtle and the true essence of the potato stood out.

Roast chicken

The roast chicken was my highlight, and it's now the roast chicken that I judge all roast chickens against.  Some chickens are awfully dry, but this chicken was the moistest chicken I have ever had and has really changed roast chicken for me.

Don't know if you remember the episode on MasterChef in season one where George really got down on Poh about her chicken main for the wedding in the Glass Pontoon that got her eliminated the first time.  I remember feeling bad for Poh as I probably would of cooked a dry chicken as well, but after I ate this chicken I understood, if you can cook chicken like that you can say whatever you want.

Lamb risotto

I am pretty sure it was lamb in the risotto, but my memory is failing me.  I remember that the texture of the risotto was lovely.  I had wished that I was not so full, so that I could of ate more.

Desserts: loukoumades, bougatsu and baklava

Now the desserts come in a take away box, and the waiter told us this was the case as so many people are so full when dessert comes around that they doggy bag it.  Unfortunately, I told the waiter that this was not going to be an option for us as we were heading home in a couple of hours, so after some cleansing tea, we sampled the desserts.

The Greek doughnuts were drizzled with attiki honey and were so sweet.  The bougatsu was lovely and not overly sweet, the chocolate custard was a nice twist to the usual plain vanilla custard that is used in this dessert.  I am pretty sure that the baklava was nice, but I was so full by that time I don't think I could appreciate all the desserts to my usual full capacity.

Candied quince

This came with my tea, and this was awfully sweet.  I think my system was food overloaded after this.  Surprisingly, when we got back to Sydney I remembered we had both lost weight as oppose to gaining weight, due to the long six hours we went around exploring Melbourne each day.

I can't recommend this lunch enough, but back then this meal was $60 per person and I think the layout of the courses are not the same, but if you have a spare Sunday in Melbourne it's not a bad way to pass your time, good food and great service.  The food is not the usual creative modern Greek dishes that George serves, but really this is food from the heart, I really felt the care and pride taken with each course.  I enjoyed this so much that late last year when I was back in Melbourne I booked lunch at George's other restuarant Hellenic Republic, but we'll leave that for another time.

Happy eating, Dumpling Girl.

The Press Club
72 Flinders Street
Melbourne  VIC  3000
Ph: (03) 9677 9677

The Press Club on Urbanspoon


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

I was thinking of eating here when I venture down there in a few months, but now won't have the time. Thanks for the vicarious experience though! Love loukoumades .... mmmmm.

Dumpling Girl and Cheesecake Boy said...

Oh that's a shame, Joey. May be next time, it'll be your turn.