Kebbi and Rekakat at Byblos Bar & Restaurant WTC Wharf

Bloggers’ Progressive Dinner at WTC Wharf & a Giveaway

by April@MyFoodTrail on November 7, 2012

in Dining Out, Food Events, Giveaways, Melbourne

WTC Wharf
World Trade Centre (Riverside)
Siddeley Street, Melbourne VIC
http://www.wtcwharf.com.au

Post sponsored by Nuffnang

There is something about dining at a restaurant with a view, especially when it’s a view of the water. I feel that it adds something special to the dining experience and I’m glad to see the number of waterfront restaurants in Melbourne growing.

One place that I have recently heard about is WTC Wharf. I’ve walked and driven past the World Trade Centre area before, but I never realised there was a whole dining precinct right by the wharf edge, across the river from the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It’s easily accessible via a new footbridge from Spencer Street, around Crowne Plaza Hotel. You can also catch a WTC Water Taxi from Docklands for a true waterfront dining experience.

I was invited by Nuffnang to a bloggers’ progressive dinner at WTC Wharf where we would be having entree at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at yet another different restaurant. I’ve previously documented my fondness of progressive dinners and when I have the company of five other lovely fellow bloggers, it was sure to be a fun night.

WTC Wharf, Melbourne

WTC Wharf

We started off at Byblos Bar & Restaurant, which does a modern take on Mediterranean meets Lebanese cuisine. Byblos has a great outdoor lounge area out the front of restaurant which would be perfect for the warmer months, with a drink in hand from their large cocktail selection.

WTC Wharf, Melbourne - Outside Byblos

Outdoor area outside Byblos Restaurant & Bar

All the restaurants at WTC Wharf make use of the view by having large windows at the front of the restaurant letting in a lot of natural light, but due to the dark, Middle Eastern inspired décor of Byblos, you feel like you are walking into a mystical Arabian den.

Byblos Bar & Restaurant - Inside

Inside Byblos Restaurant & Bar

While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we chose 4 cocktails out of the plentiful list of 20.

Byblos Bar & Restaurant - Cocktails

Cocktails

The manager at Byblos chose a selection of the best entrees for us, and boy, were we fed well! We were brought the trio of dips – hommos, baba ghanouj and labneh. We had whole roasted quail marinated in pomegranate molasses and served with eggplant and yoghurt. There was beautifully golden brown grilled Cyprian haloumi, as well as two types of pastries. The darker brown kebbi was hand rolled roasted ground lamb and ground beef with pine nuts, chilli and traditional spices. The triangular rekakat was a lightly fried filo pastry filled with feta and mozzarella cheese, freshly chopped onion and fresh herbs.

Byblos Bar & Restaurant - Dips, quail, grilled haloumi, pastries

Clockwise from top left: trios of dips; quail; grilled haloumi; kebbi & rekakat

The food kept coming! We also had the lahim meshwi, which was chargrilled lamb fillets marinated in olive oil and traditional Lebanese herbs and spices, and shish tawook, which was chargrilled chicken tenderloin marinated in olive oil with garlic, oregano and a mild pepper taste. The skewers also came with the most addictive house made garlic sauce, which we only discovered towards the end of the meal! There was a fattoush salad which was a green salad with radish, tomato and cucumber, finished with toasted Lebanese bread and a bold lemon and olive oil dressing. The final dish we had was the batata harra, hand cut potatoes sautéed in lemon, olive oil, chopped coriander, garlic and a hint of chilli. Otherwise known as crack potatoes! These potatoes were so good, even though I was already full and needed to save room for mains and dessert, it was very hard to stop eating them.

Byblos Bar & Restaurant - Meat skewers, fattoush salad, potatoes

Clockwise from top left: chicken & lamb skewers; fattoush salad; batata harra

If that was the extent of our meal, I would have been very happy as we had so much good food already, but onwards we went to our next stop, Kobe Jones and Riverside Teppanyaki. Kobe Jones combines modern Japanese cuisine with a Californian twist and Riverside Teppanyaki delivers a unique culinary experience, featuring the newest and largest teppanyaki table in Australia.

Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki - Inside

The teppanyaki inside Riverside Teppanyaki

We were offered more cocktails with our meals which started with plump oysters with a ponzu sauce. This was followed by a wild mushroom salad. The mushroom mixture was cooked in a delicious nori butter. For mains we had a choice between salmon, beef or half, half. I love salmon and beef so I went with half half. The beef and salmon were simply cooked on the grill without any marinade, leaving us to choose our choice of dipping sauce from the ponzu sauce, miso citrus or teriyaki sauce in front of us.

Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki - Cocktails, oysters, salmon & steak, mushroom salad

Clockwise from top left: Cocktails; oysters with ponzu sauce; steak and salmon; wild mushroom salad

The last stop was dessert at The Wharf Hotel. The top button on my pants was threatening to pop off by this stage, but we all know we have a separate stomach for dessert! The Wharf Hotel has the unique combination of a friendly local pub with stunning river views and waterfront ambience. There was a Caulfield Cup after party being held at the Wharf Hotel that night, so the place was really rocking. It looks like a great place for drinks with friends.

Dessert was delivered 50/50, with half of us getting the homemade apple pie with cinnamon ice cream and anglaise, and the other half of us getting the sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and caramel ice cream. I preferred the sticky date pudding, but I’m a sucker for moist sticky pudding with a rich butterscotch sauce! I did the granny thing and declined a glass of wine with my dessert, opting for a hot chocolate instead!

Wharf Hotel - Sticky date pudding, apple tart

Left: Homemade apple pie, cinnamon ice cream, anglaise
Right: Sticky date pudding, butterscotch sauce, caramel ice cream

Giveaway: COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

Thanks to Nuffnang and WTC Wharf, one lucky My Food Trail reader has the chance to win a $100 WTC precinct voucher for any restaurant! All you need to do is make a comment below and answer the question, “If you were to go to WTC Wharf, which restaurant would you go to?

Competition closes midnight Friday 16 November 2012 and Nuffnang will choose the winner based on their favourite response. Terms and conditions can be found here.

Over & Out, April xx

April dined at Byblos Bar & Restaurant, Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki and The Wharf Hotel as a guest of WTC Wharf.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Catrina Murray November 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Baraonda for some yummy authentic Italian! Bellissimo!

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Ana November 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I’d dine at Byblos, for their skewers and dips, the flavous sound amazing, and I just love Mediterranean cuisine. Perfect for a Saturday lunch with friends.

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Effie Bakkalis November 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

What a fantastic giveaway!

I’d love to try out the Byblos Bar. Lebanese food is delish and is very close to my favourite cuisine which is Greek.

This would be an ideal dinner date for me and hubby!

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msihua November 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I did so like my sake yuzu drink at Kobe Jones! mMmmm

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Tina @ bitemeshowme November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

Byblos looks like the place I need to be – that halloumi cheese is staring right back at me ;) Sadly I’m not a big fan of Kobe Jones in sydney. Hope the melbourne one is much better!

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Eamond tomaszewski November 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

I’d love to take my girlfriend out for a dinner that she would really enjoy – Byblos would get me in the good books!!

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet November 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Yay April you’re blogging again and it’s a GIVEAWAY gosh I love them!!!

Really hope I win as I’ve been so INTERESTED in going to WTC but haven’t had the chance lately ~ Hmm i’m tossing in between Kobe Jones because boyfriend loves teppanyaki and also the Wharf hotel…because I want DESSERTS! I really want STICKY DATE hehe :)

Hope you’ve been well!

Thanks for the chance to win yay!

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Gourmet getaways November 9, 2012 at 5:28 am

What a fantastic experience! I agree that dinner with a water view makes it so much more special. The food looks amazing, I love the idea of a progressive dinner but I have never taken part in one.

The Lebanese food looks so delicious, it is one of my favourite styles of cuisine. If I won the voucher I would choose Byblos, but I would have to be careful not to use all my voucher up on their yummy cocktails.

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Winnie @ Eat.Play.Shop. November 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

What a lovely post! And a progressive dinner is such a fun way to try out different restaurants on one night and find a favourite (or two!) to go back to for a more leisurely experience!

I’d be interested to try the new Kobe Jones, since I’ve not visited since their shift to Riverside, and Teppanyaki is always fun. A searing hot plate, fresh ingredients and someone else cooking for me as entertainment, what’s not to like right! ;P

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Thanh November 10, 2012 at 8:13 am

Wah, a blog post. I like your photos. Like all of our photos they got progressively worse as the light got worse. Need my own lighting specialist to follow me around haha.

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Winston November 14, 2012 at 11:43 am

Awwww… When I first heard about this giveaway you guys are doing, I was really happy. Mainly because it made me think of my parents, who are visiting from overseas next week. It would be great to take them to a dinner at WTC Wharf when they’re here, that $100 would go a really long way.

Think they’ll appreciate going to Kobe Jones. They’ve got so much great stuff on the menu that sounds absolutely delicious. And also because my parents love Jap food but rarely eat them because they are really frugal; or in other words, don’t have the heart to spend money on themselves and would rather spend on their children. Which is how they’ve always been pretty much my whole life. And as children, all we want is to give back and show them how much we care too (as I’m sure most ppl can understand). At the same time, I’ve tried many times to take them out for a nice meal to say thank you but they’d never let me pay because they know I’ll be using the savings from my part time job.

Which is why I really hope to win the prize! The voucher would be win-win for everyone. They’ve worked so hard and hope to take them out for a nice dinner at Kobe Jones with this voucher. The weather is so nice to just take a stroll before or after dinner around the area as well, just by the waters overlooking the city lights. Perfect =)

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Dan Machuca November 16, 2012 at 8:38 am

I’d have to do a progressive dinner as well, they all have good parts but everyone seems made for Kobe!

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Lachlan November 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

I’d head to Riverside Tepinyaki. Haven’t been to a good tepinyaki place in Melbourne yet and would love to see their take on it. And that wild mushroom salad looks amazeballs.

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Katherine Hoffman November 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

After walking past these places a lot and now reading your reviews I’d love to try Byblos – though I’d love to try them all!

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Kelly November 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

My dad is coming for his first visit from the US since about 2006 and I would love to show him the new precinct under the World Trade Centre! In particular, I’d love to take him to Riverside Teppanyaki…I know he’s never had teppanyaki before and he would LOVE it! but prior to dinner, I think I’d love to go to Byblos for a cocktail…they look amazing!

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Chong Tan November 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Kobe jones for sure!!! New style/Californian Japanese cuisine reigns supreme!

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katrina November 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I would definitely say Byblos Bar is at the top of my list. Lebanese food is undeniably good and under-represented in the Melbourne dining scene. Plus share plates means I get to decide what I like most on the table and then try to eat most of it before my dining companions do. Sssh don’t tell them!

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Clifton Bee December 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Really looks good.

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