Sometimes my boss and I like to go to fancy places to celebrate things. Yes, I am spoilt. No, I don’t mind!
Our clinic recently reached a milestone and so we decided to celebrate at a wine bar/restaurant chosen by my boss’s husband. He does most of our restaurant picking as he works in the city and hears about places we might like. He was not wrong with this pick. Nestled up at the Spring St end of Lt Bourke St, Punch Lane Wine Bar was a deliciously delightful find. We met my friend there (who was already enjoying the delightful waitstaff) and the four of us decided on the tasting menu (5 courses for $69, a fancy-food bargain!) and a delicious bottle of bubbly to celebrate.
We began with a calamari and fennel salad with pomegranate and orange aioli, then a short rib with amazing flavours and roasted parsnip, then some snapper with a prawn and witlof salad, finishing the savoury courses with pork medallion with something delicious on top – see the photo!
Our waiter was a total dish; friendly, knowledgeable about both the food and the extensive (and impressive) wine list, so he spoiled us with a mixture of two desserts for our final course. The first was a chocolate ganache with marinated strawberries, lime cream, popping candy/nut tuille and a rhubarb sorbet. This dessert may be the best use of ganache I’ve ever seen.
The second dessert was a banana and tonka bean eclair, served with a banana/passionfruit icecream. So light, and fresh and completely full of punch. Delicious! The pastry was not as great as it could have been (VERY hard and crunchy for a choux) but that didn’t really hurt the dish as it was a great base for the dense tonka bean filling. YUM!
All of the staff were attentive and friendly, the venue is snug and cosy, without making you feel like you’re on top of the other diners, and the food service is fast without being rushed. A long bar runs through the main part of the restaurant, and as their name suggests, the wine selection is extensive and quite affordable for the quality. I’d recommend it for a pre-theatre meal or nice after work spot, for a meal or a drink. They have a handy online booking system too, if you’re like me and need to BOOK ALL THE THINGS!
Punch Lane Wine Bar
43 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000
Monday to Friday – 12pm to midnight
Saturday and Sunday – 5pm to midnight
Monday to Friday – 12pm to 3pm
Monday to Friday – 5.30pm to 10.30pm
Saturday – 5.30pm to 10.30pm
Sunday – 5.30pm to 9.30pm
**Disclaimer, my photos don’t do the food justice, it was delicious, and not at all grainy and pixelated.