03 May Auction Rooms, North Melbourne
The occasion for brunch today was someone’s 21st. Originally there were 22 seats booked, which I think included spares, but there ended up being 27 people coming…which was nearly a third of the year level. Fortunately the staff were able to accommodate us.
I needed something to last me until after 5pm since I had a prac in the afternoon and wouldn’t have the opportunity to eat afternoon tea, so I ordered the “braised moroccan lamb shoulder with almond moghrabieh couscous, zaalouk and raita” ($19). Moghrabieh couscous is the giant Lebanese couscous; zaalouk is an eggplant and tomato salad. In this dish the zaalouk was served cold.
I really liked the flavour of the lamb but felt that the sauce was a little overpowering. It wasn’t too bad when eaten together with the raita and zaalouk, which added some freshness to the warm and robust tastes. The almonds and raisins (and another semi-crunchy legume I couldn’t identify, but could have been broad beans) added a variety of textures to the couscous as well.
The other dish that I was eyeing was the “cold-smoked salmon, potato and quinoa rosti, absinthe-buttered kale, poached egg and yuzu hollandaise” ($16), but in the end decided I needed something a little more filling and also wasn’t too sure whether my stomach would appreciate hollandaise (after going on Urbanspoon seeing the amount of hollandaise served on top). From what I saw, it was actually a thick slice of salmon that had been smoked, rather than the thin slivers that are commonly seen commercially. When cut, the egg was delightfully runny, and the potato in the rosti were cut up into very thin, short pieces (almost like long-grain rice) before being mixed with the quinoa.
We finished off with some berry cheese cake. We were provided with, what one person described as, ‘an Asian vegetable knife” because of its chunkiness, and a spatula. It was the same sort of spatula that one would find at a pharmacy for mixing creams and ointments, which I found amusing. Although there was a cakage of $2 per head (with the number of people attending, we could have bought another cake if we had eaten the cake elsewhere), it didn’t detract from an otherwise enjoyable outing.
103-107 Errol St
North Melbourne, VIC, 3051
(03) 9326 7749