10 May Mr Lawrence, Port Melbourne
A big switch-up has seen Mr Lawrence moving from its old digs at the London Hotel to the previous home of its sister restaurant, Tenpin. The large undertaking has also seen Mr Lawrence usher in a revamped menu featuring a mix of old favourites and brand new dishes.
The menu at Mr Lawrence is touched by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African influences. Our tastebuds are first whetted with a colourful beetroot, dill and walnut dip, and a tasty starter of hummus with Aleppo mushrooms, all enjoyed with Turkish bread and flatbread sprinkled with herbacious zataar.
Round Ricotta Fritters are flat and moist, sitting on top of tangy-tomato braised beans, and sprinkled with earthy dukkah. The egg-shaped Egyptian Falafel have very crispy shells encasing a fluffy interior. Another small plate sees dark, salty and tender bastourma balanced with saffron pickles and marinated feta for freshness and zest.
The house Smoked Trout Salad with Lebanese potato is a standout, as are the Boureks. The crisp and flakey triangular pastry parcels are filled with a piping hot filling of halloumi and feta, with an element of sweetness that may be added from the date jam underneath, if so desired.
Our Turkish Pizza for tonight is topped with spiced minced lamb, mint, yoghurt, and slivered almonds. The yoghurt adds freshness, moisture and extra flavour – the pide could have done with more of it. The Chermoula Salmon flakes easily into tender morsels, which are teamed up with a flavoursome and comforting fennel, tomato and spinach tagine and mograbieh, aka pearl couscous. Delicious.
A popular accompaniment with tea and coffee, as well as being good for digestion, the Tamariya are Iranian date balls rolled in toasted sesame and coconut. Mr Lawrence’s take on the Eton Mess sees pieces of rosewater meringue tossed with cream, berries, rhubarb and pashmak. It’s a perfect fresh and light end to the meal.
Mr Lawrence may have moved, but it still has wonderful views of Port Phillip Bay, and the lengthy menu provides plenty of excuses for locals to revisit.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Mr Lawrence as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
67 Beach Street
Port Melbourne, VIC, 3207
(03) 9077 4992