Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fifteen, Melbourne

Basement, 115 – 117 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Map


Wednesday lunchtime in Melbourne. Where to eat? Well, Jamie Oliver has always been a favourite of mine and my visits to Fifteen and Jamie’s Italian’s were always favourites of mine, so we thought we’d give Fifteen Melbourne a try. The restaurant is tucked away down a side street just off Collins Street and is fairly easy to find.

Fifteen, Melbourne is downstairs in the cellar of 115-117 Collins Street and is spread over several rooms. However, the space has been well thought out and is very light and airy. The private dining room looks absolutely fab, with its large table surrounded by walls full of various pictures. At lunchtime, they do a $35 special that consists of two courses and a glass of wine. We decided to try that.

After making our choices from the menu, of which there were several options for each course, we had some homemade bread and oil while we waited for the food to arrive.

I started with a Ribollita, a favourite of mine during my trips to Tuscany. It was good. Plenty of soaked bread and vegetables drizzled with olive oil. Very good indeed. A few more greens in there would’ve been nice, but that didn’t really make much difference.

Main course was Rotolo of baby spinach, baked ricotta, sliced mushrooms, marjoram and lemon with nutty brown butter, crispy sage and Parmigiano Reggiano. Yumm. It was lovely, especially the sage butter which had mingled with the lemon and marjoram to give the odd sweet and sour spot every now and then. It was a big dish, almost too big for lunch, but I ate it. The pasta was lovely and the spinach, ricotta and mushrooms line the pasta rolls nice and evenly.

The service was very prompt and friendly and we had a really nice lunch. There weren’t many people in, a few businessmen and a handful of couples - we walked in without a booking, but I guess it was Wednesday lunchtime, not traditionally the most busiest time of the week.

They did make a mistake on the bill, but that was rectified without any fuss – but I’m glad I checked it. The only downside were the toilets which, to be frank, were awful. I’m not sure if someone actually designed them to be that bad, but I’d expect something much more up-market in a place like this. Apart from that, Fifteen gets the thumbs-up!