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Looking to score a few brownie points with the missus for your next date night? Don’t even bother hitting up Urbanspoon – if she loves a killer view with even better food, Eureka 89 is a surefire winner.
Don’t believe me? Wait ’til you’re 89 floors above Melbourne with a 360 view that stretches to the horizon; digging into the best Foie Gras you’ve ever had [also my first ever *pops champagne*] matched with a fancy French wine with a name so ridiculously complicated that you give up and just call it “The Red”. Hardcore swooning, “Oh my God”s, and “What the f*** is Foie Gras..?” guaranteed.
– Dress Code –
Yeah, alright, I know – for most people this isn’t even a consideration, but I get a bit paranoid when it comes to fine-dining. I didn’t want to be that guy – you know, the one who rocks up to the restaurant in chinos and a polo and gets the disapproving raised-eyebrow of the Maître d’, as the shuffles awkwardly into a room full of people in suits and evening dresses.
Thankfully, no such embarrassment for me today! [Huzzah!] I got away with chinos and a collared shirt, while Lil made it clear that I was batting well above my average – looking absolutely stunning in her dress.
– The View –
There’s a viewing platform open to the public on the 88th floor; a booking at Eureka 89 gets you a complimentary pass, so you can take in the sights of Melbourne from the best vantage point there is.
Facing out towards the West Gate Bridge, where the Yarra meets the Ocean.
Check out Flinders St Station! It looks like a miniature from the viewing deck, and everyone looks like ants! Hah!
– The Feed –
Now for the part you’ve really been hanging out for – the food!
Eureka 89 is no slouch when it comes to their degustation menu – everything’s done to perfection, with a nice contrast between each dish so you don’t feel like it’s just one hum-drum continuum of the same sort of food.
Matched wines are a must, and feature some very sought after drops; we were even lucky enough to get a complimentary champagne thrown in by the staff at Eureka, to help Lil and I celebrate our anniversary! However, unless you’re a good drinker, I’d recommend just getting one to share – seven wines over dinner requires a special sort of person, of which I most certainly I was not – just ask any number of amused spectators who watched me stumble home afterwards, with Lil as my crutch/guide 😛
Kingfish tartare, with umibudo, seaweed, avocado, and horseradish.
Matched with Ashton Hills Blanc de Blancs, 2010, Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
In one word – fresh. The kingfish was definitely A grade quality; with a soft creamy texture that matched the avocado puree, and contrasted with the crisp acidity of the horseradish. My favourite of the night.
Baked potato with taleggio, artichoke and leek.
Matched with Jean-Luc Mader Pinot Blanc, 2012, Alsace, France.
Don’t be afraid – this potato doesn’t have rabies. It is, however, delicious. Remember what I said about contrast between dishes? I love that they followed the kingfish up with this dish, which was rich, smooth, and buttery. Yum!
Seared Foie Gras with pear and Mount Buffalo hazelnuts.
Matched with Robert & Bernard Plageoles Mauzac Roux Muscadelle, 2012, Gaillac, France.
After the waitress set the dishes down, I turned to Lil and asked “What the f*** is Foie Gras..?” At the first bite, I knew – love on a plate. Not really, it’s made from duck liver. Doesn’t sound that appealing, right? Hahah, just wait ’til you try it!
It crumbled under the fork, and had an amazing, buttery texture with a tinge of smoke from the searing which pretty much made my eyes well with tears. Not even kidding – I literally lose my shit when I have good food that hits the spot 😛
Murray Cod, roasted with Southern Rock Lobster and Clam.
Matched with Farr Rising ‘Saignee’ Rose, 2013, Geelong, Victoria.
“Woah, wait, a wine from Geelong?!” you say? Yes, that’s right – and it was a damn good one at that! It was matched very well with this dish, as the combination of seafood was very hearty and rich, and the sweet, subtle acidity of the Rose cut through it just enough to make the pairing work to perfection.
Flinders Island Lamb, seared and served with stinging nettle, mushroom and truffle.
Matched with Massena ‘Moonlight Run’ Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre, 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia.
As you can probably tell – the quality of photography deteriorated at a steady pace throughout the night with each matched wine, but that didn’t stop this dish tasting great! The lamb was tender, and served with a rich, savoury jus that tied all the components together well.
There were two more courses that I didn’t get around to taking photos of [which may or may not be due to the volume of alcohol consumed up to that point], but the sixth course was a Chef’s Selection cheese platter with toast and quince, paired with a sommelier’s selection of wine; followed by a chocolate fondant with vanilla mousse and orange sorbet, paired with Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz 2012, Great Western, Victoria.
While there wasn’t anything particularly fancy about these dishes, they were the perfect way to cap off what was an amazing night of amazing food to celebrate one year being with an amazing woman =]
– The Wrap-Up –
I usually hate fine-dining joints because of all the snooty clientele with their cravats and wire-framed glasses, swirling their wine and commenting how “tart” it is, but I actually had a really great time dining at Eureka 89. The staff were really friendly, the tables were spaced out well enough that you weren’t accidentally part of someone else’s conversation, and even the toilets had an amazing view! Yeah…no, I don’t mean like that.
The view is amazing, the staff are friendly and accommodating, the food is amazing, and the wine pairings sublime. If you’re still on the fence about taking the plunge into fine dining with Eureka 89, here’s a little quote from a slightly retarded friend of mine:
You won’t ever know if you like what you’ve never tried if you never don’t go try it.
– Me after a few too many bevs