13 Jul Livingroom Restaurant, Malvern
Livingroom was a much more casual restaurant than I expected. The quaint space looked a bit like a converted house, with floorboards, paintings and mismatched tables and chairs. Normally it’s open for lunch and dinner, but on weekends they offer (an all-day?) breakfast.
I had previously looked up the online sample menu to pick what I wanted, but unfortunately the menu on the day was different. I was going to get a braised ox cheek dish but instead went for the special of the day.
– Me: Pancetta-wrapped Leg of Chicken Stuffed w. Pumpkin and Shallot Farce, Served w. Polenta ($36)
– A2: Linguine w. Mussels, Calamari, Garlic, Chilli, Tomato, Parsley ($33)
– Dad: Victorian Grass-fed Sirloin, sauteed pine mushrooms and St Agur Butter ($38)
– Mum: Rabbit Wellington; Saddle of Gippsland Rabbit w. Spinach, Mushrooms and Gorgonzola, Butter Puff Pastry, Roasted Baby Carrots ($42)
The food took a while to arrive, but I’m guessing it’s because either mine or mum’s was the one holding them up. Everyone thought their dish was the nicest (except for dad who wasn’t impressed with his). Mum’s rabbit wellington was quite big and very tasty, though I personally found the cheese a bit strong for my taste. A2’s linguini had a very simple and clean flavour and came with a generous number of mussels and calamari pieces. I don’t eat a lot of bacon or pancetta, but it really helped to add another dimension to the chicken and its stuffing in terms of texture, taste and saltiness. The sauce also had a bit of tang to it, which I thought rounded out the flavours well. Without the pancetta and sauce, the dish may have been a bit sweet.
Despite not getting the opportunity to try the ox cheek and my general wariness of ordering daily specials, I was quite satisfied with the dish I chose.
12-18 Claremont Ave
Malvern, VIC, 3144
(03) 9576 0356