Thursday, November 10, 2011

City Wine Shop – (Melbourne)

  One of the best kept secrets within the locals circle is this little wine shop next to The European (1 Hatted),  which not only serves food from a common kitchen at a fraction of the price but in fact,  due to the more relaxed rules of casual communal dining -  one often sees more fun and exploratory dishes on the specials board here!   The bigger restaurant next door needs to adhere with certain ‘kitchen’ rules to not scupper the chances of keeping its hatted prestige and the advertised European image,  whereas their adjacent casual dining hall is where all the fun really begins…   Melbourne has never been a fine dining destination city,  the enigma has always lied in the fun, innovative and approachable dining places dotted around town…


As a Wine and Bottle Shop -
They definitely offer a clever selection of wines by the glass.
Prices have certainly crept up with Inflation though …



Food Menu on the Board -
Changes quite often on a regular basis,
and no ordinary pub food either.  Bang for your buck for good food,
this used to be like my canteen!



2009 Marchand & Burch Bourgogne rouge,  Burgundy -  AUD $15 
Probably the most expensive wine by the glass here,  but they excel in European wines here as well as harder to source local Australian wines…   This is well structured and carries the typical cherry note but without the confectionery jam bit that I try to avoid from new world pinots.  But the complexity and the bouquet was weak at this price point.   ~  6.9/10




Pork Crackling,  with Celeriac Remoulade -  AUD $7
Crispy pork skin seems to be the rage in town these days,  or any skins!  These were decent and the very mustardy remoulade worked ok with them,  provided you’re not too heavy handed with the latter as it’s quite radish-hot !   ~  8/10



Bone in Chicken Schnitzel with Italian Coleslaw – $26.50
This arrived and smelling very eggy and cheesy on the schnitzel’s batter,  and the chicken was fried so well and melt in your mouth tender, still retaining some meat juice and with just a dash of cajun spiking it up.  Easily the best chicken schnitzel I’ve eaten.  The side coleslaw salad was also very complex,  we were counting the ingredients present which included -  continental parsley and stalk, basil, mint, watercress, radish, fennel, lettuce, capers, spanish onions and just a sprinkle of reggiano.    Dude’s food is said to be all the rage in Aust right now,  and these guys definitely delivered.   ~   10/10



Smoked & Cajun Spice Rubbed Pork Neck, w/ a braise of Tasso,
Cannellini beans & Cavolo Nero -  AUD $24
This arrived smelling quite smokey but somehow it subsided when cutting it up and in the mouth,  but still nicely marbled tender and well grilled.  The braise of tasso and vegetables definitely worked with this dish together.  Garnished with some root vegetable crisps and looking smart.   I don’t understand why my pork dish at Otto Ristorante or many other Italian or European restos charging nearly double the price can’t give me as much excitement as a dish served at a Wine Bar like here…  ~  8/10


A Wine Shop -
The food at this casual level of dining and price level was dynamite,
and even if this was a proper restaurant it will still hold its own with esteem…
What appears to be simple dishes have been given a lot of thoughtfulness into the recipes to up the ante to another gastro-pub level experience.  And the execution was spot on!




Price: AUD $40 - $45  per person
Food:  ♕♕♕♕♕ 

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri    7am until late
Sat – Sun    9am until late

Address:  159 Spring St, Melbourne, Australia
Ph: (03) 9654 6657


  1. Their dishes taste just enough. It depends on your preferred taste.

  2. Every dish looks delicious. I like to try

    Smoked & Cajun Spice Rubbed Pork Neck. I have

    tried different kinds of spicy pork dishes restaurants

    in Norwich

  3. Yeh i think some of the stuff here work really well. Not everything works. But do try the Lemon Tart - which I haven't updated and put onto here yet : )



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