No. 8 by John Lawson, Melbourne CBD

Special birthday celebrations are good cause for visiting quality restaurants, so we booked a table for the newly re-opened No. 8, now under the helm of John Lawson.

This time we did something unusual and ordered an entree each on top of the mains.

Entrees:- Tea smoked Goulburn River trout, pickled cucumber, lemon and rye bread ($21)
– Wagyu beef carpaccio, anchovy, caper and popped amaranth ($24)
– Portland black and blue tuna, black garlic, yuzu jam and aged soy ($22)
– Portarlington mussels served with potato bread ($20)

Mains:
Me – Today’s local fish – Swordfish with fennel, olives and Seville orange ($36)
A2 – Lakes Entrance John Dory, sea urchin, spring garlic and tomato essence ($34)
Mum – Roated scallops and veal tail, cauliflower and vanilla ($32)
Dad – Slow-cooked Barwon River lamb shoulder with bush spiced quinoa and sheep’s yoghurt ($35)

Shortly after ordering, our warmed rosemary potato bread arrived on a platter together with dishes of some special butter. This bread was very, very good. Warm, fluffy and fragrant, we finished two platters of it. The butter was also really good and the extra ingredients mixed into it made the bread even better.

The best entrees were the tuna and wagyu. The wagyu was tender and I quite liked it with the pickles and anchovies and the extra crunch from the popped amaranth. The serving size of the tuna was generous. As well as the sauce, I loved the contrasting texture of the crispy seared side and the smooth and firm rare part. The sauce with the mussels was nice and light, which was a welcome relief from the often heavy, cream-based sauces I’ve had with seafood. The smoked trout was done very well, but didn’t quite stand out amongst the other entrees.

I enjoyed the flavours of all the mains and the meats were cooked nicely. To finish, we were given complimentary white chocolate and dessicated coconut shells filled with raspberry jam. Everyone had a great experience here because of both the food and the service; it was a vast improvement from our last visit many years ago.

No. 8 by John Lawson
8 Whiteman St
Southbank, VIC, 3006
(03) 9292 7899
http://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/no-8
No. 8 by John Lawson (number 8) on Urbanspoon

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