World Trade Centre (Riverside)
Siddeley Street, Melbourne VIC
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.
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.
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.
Inside Byblos Restaurant & Bar
While we were waiting for the food to arrive, we chose 4 cocktails out of the plentiful list of 20.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.