Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eat. @ Albert Street Food and Wine

382 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056 ph (03) 8354 6600

I am very fortunate to have made some really great friends from Mini Me's kinder group, and even though it's been a few years since kinder, we still try to get out to dinner at least once a school term.  For our recent gathering we dined at Albert St Food and Wine, as suggested by my friend Tepid Duck.  (That's right, no kids and no Hubby!) This gem of a restaurant, overseen by executive chef Philipa Sibley, boasts a great menu utilising excellent quality local produce, a wide ranging wine list, and a store which sells some of their favourite products as well as their own creations. 

The restaurant was buzzing with diners when we arrived at 7pm on a Tuesday evening.  The atmosphere was classy yet casual.  The lighting was dim, which added to the ambiance, even though it was of course not so good for my picture taking, as you can see.  It made for the start of a lovely evening.

The other girls shared a carafe of their wine ($35) while non-drinker little ol' me asked for something non-alcoholic.  Our waitress was great and organised a ginger beer mocktail with the the bartender (a virgin mojito I think?) for me which was a great drink.   In fact I had two!

We had decided to share, and therefore have the opportunity to try a whole lot of dishes that night.  While waiting we munched on some of their lovely bread and dip.

We started off with the Grilled Haloumi and pickled zucchini ($14).  This was delicious, the haloumi was beautifully textured and less salty than what I'm used to.  We all agreed that the pickled zucchini was a great addition to the haloumi, and you can actually buy jars of this in the "store" section of the restaurant.

The next dish was Olives & bocconcini, pesto Genovese and ciabatta ($14).  I used to have an intense dislike for olives when I was younger but somehow my palate did a 180 when I was pregnant with Bubs.  I loved the saltiness of the olives and the silky smoothness of the little bocconcini.

The Smoked salmon rillettes, avocado & cucumber salad, rye toast ($19) was an interesting contrast of cruchy bread with the delicate shredded fish.

From the grill we tried the Smoked sardines on grilled bread, capers, currants, pinenuts ($15).  The lovely bitey sardines on crunchy bread was a great combination.  A squirt of lemon juice brought extra freshness.

The Pizza Bianca – garlic, rosemary, parmesan, ($14) was beautiful in its simplicity. 

My favourite savoury dish of the night however, was the Spanner Crab Risotto, with pine mushrooms and chestnuts. ($26)  Risottos can often taste very similar even with different ingredients but this one was flavoursome and distinct.  I think I could've eaten the whole plate! (I probably had more than my fair share, sorry girls!)

We were surprisingly full by this time but could not go past the wonderful desserts.  Originally we were going to order 2 to share, but ended up with 3 as they all sounded so tempting!  First up a slice of Meyer Lemon Tart ($14).  An excellent lemon tart, with thin crust (just the way I like) and a smooth lemon curd filling.

The Poire Belle Hélène is traditionally a dessert made from a poached pear, served with chocolate syrup and  vanilla ice-cream.  Albert St's version ($17) delivered a twist in the form of a chocolate fondant with a flowing center.  Oh the indulgence!  It was gorgeous.

My favourite dessert of the night was the Quince, ginger breadcrumbs, and preserved lemon ice cream ($16).  Oh I loved everything about this! Having never tried preserved lemon in ice-cream before, this was a refreshing experience.  The crunchy bits of gingerbread left me wanting more!

I had a fab dinner at Albert St Food and Wine.  Lovely company, great staff, fabulous food and atmosphere.  A wonderful place for a catch up and I'm envious of the locals!  I wouldn't take young children here, but I think older children would quite enjoy the experience, and I saw a family with a couple of children aged about 10 who looked to have had a lovely dinner.  We ended the meal with a browse of the goodies in the store.  I will definitely have to bring Hubby back since he missed out!

Eat.Play.Shop. says - Simple, lovely, fresh dishes using local produce in a trendy restaurant, with goodies to shop for afterwards.  What's not to like? 

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  1. Oh, I should not be reading this before lunch, I am drooling. Haloumi, bocconcini, those olives, the garlic pizza, the puddings, oh my, I want them ALL, NOW. This place sounds fabulous, and I so want to try it. Mmmmmmm, I am so hungry now. Great review!

  2. So glad you posted this blog Winnie ~ I'm going to Albert St food and wine next week YAY so now i can order according to your recommendations hehe! I'm definitely going for their desserts :) it all looks soooo yummy ~ but that risotto looks delicious!

    LOL think i should go to the gym before I go and have dinner :P

  3. Coool!! Sydney Road is a place that I've always been particularly fond of but never had the time/chance to frequent it enough. Looks like I really do need to get my butt up there sometime. Heard people talk about Albert St Food but never really seen pictures of the food till now. Sounds really good. Especially keen to try the olives and bocconcini ciabatta because bocconcini really is my favourite cheese of them all and ciabatta my favourite bread. As for the olives, there are days it's kind to me and there are days that it's not. Still, I hope to embrace it as much as you do eventually. It may be harder cause, well, it's not like I can get pregnant like you HAHAHAHA okok sorry bad joke hope you had a great night bye ;p

  4. I rarely venture out into Brunswick but for that risotto I might just be adventurous hehe it looks so appetising!

    Btw Winnie, I have awarded you the much deserved Lovely Blog Award :D
    Check it out here:

    Thanks for being a foodie inspiration!

    Cheers :)

  5. Ooo I really need to head back there! Everything still looks amazing!

  6. ohhhh those desserts look amazing! (: Me wants some!