It's not an easy thing to secure a table at The Press Club. Owned by one of the Masterchef Judges, George Calombaris, this charming Greek restaurant is definitely one of Australians favourite eateries. My sister tried to make a booking for dinner one and a half months ago, but the staff told her the earliest she could get a table for dinner on Saturday is three month later, so with some luck she managed to secure a table for us for lunch last Saturday.
My sister said that their lunch menu is not as good as dinner. They do serve a la carte for lunch and they also have set menu which they called Kerasma (which means to treat and to share in Greek) for $55 per person, it consists of chef's selection of entree, main and dessert. We decided to go with the Kerasma.
Complementary Olive and white breads
Wild olives in olive oil & Black Salt
Entrees (There were three types of entree):
1. Squid Salad and Pickle Cucumber. It was quite refreshing and light to start off the meal.
2. Pork and Honey Apple Press. The pork cube was surprisingly tender,the spices was flavourful and never knew pork goes so well with apple.
3. Duck Croquette. The filling was rich and creamy and the skin was soft crisp. There was a prominent flavour of cumin accompanying the croquette. It was my favourite entree of all three.
Mains ( We were served two different mains, where we had one each):
1. Sword Fish with Tomato salsa. The fish was really fresh, seasoned well and cooked to perfection. The tasty salsa sauce gave the whole dish an extra flavour, it definitely complemented the fish well.
2. Braised Beef with Eggplant and Caramalised Onion.
This dish was mind blowing! Every single component of it was delicious! The beef melts in your mouth, it was really rich, sweet in flavour and it's aromatic, which highlighted the beef. The Eggplant has a pleasant smokey smell, it was really unique. The caramalised onions was probably one of the best I've ever tasted and it was a perfect match for the beef.
Separately, we ordered their famous chips to share. In fact it was really crispy and fragrant. We couldn't figure out why the chips smells so good and different compared with other chips we have in other restaurants, but it was just different in a very delicious way. I wonder what's the secret behind it. The chips were served with beetroot dip. I didn't like it cos I'm not a big fan of beetroot.
Desserts (There were three types of dessert):
I really enjoyed the choice of desserts they served, they were all refreshing and light. Perfect to end the rich and tasty lunch.
Icy cold Apricot Sorbet & Orange Cake.
I'm not sure what exactly this muesli made from, but it was so yummy! I loved it! I could taste the Pistachio and the muesli was topped with a layer of fruit jelly. The overall flavour was just unexplainable. I just couldn't love it enough. If only they have this kind of muesli bar on sale on the market.
Finally, the reason we came to Press Club. We came to Press Club with a mission to try on their famous dessert, the 'Aphrodite' that was made famous by the Masterchef show. Elements you could find in this beautiful dessert are white chocolate mousse, cheeries, roses, soil and scent.
While serving the dessert, the staff told us the inspiration of this dessert came from the Greek's Goddess of love who walks along the garden of roses. This is not only a dessert for your palate, but it was also a feast for the eyes and for the imagination. Savouring this dessert was an experience by itself. The flavour of this beautiful dessert was another glory.
The waitress came and sprayed some roses scent before we started, it did awake our senses. The combination of the roses scent, cheeries, jelly and dark chocolate crumbs were perfect. It was a little sweet and a little soury. Just how I like my dessert to be.
Notice there's one thing missing in the Aphrodite? It was the smoke effect that was seen on TV. My husband actually asked them why it wasn't serve they way we saw it on masterchef. The staff explained that due to the high cost, the smoke was only serve for the purpose of the show and for function only. Oh well, it would have been better if we could experience that as well, but overall I still love this dessert very much.
But please note that the scent of the roses are quite strong, so if you don't usually like roses, you might not like this dessert.
Overall, I think the lunch in The Press Club was pretty good.
Did this two hatted restaurant live up to my expectation? It certainly did.
For $55, I think it was a great value.
Just make sure you book early!
72 Flinders Street
Melbourne 3000 Australia
Melbourne 3000 Australia
Ph: (03) 9677 9677