Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Mill, CBD, Melbourne

Amongst the many restaurants on Hardware Lane sits 'The Mill', which offers contemporary a la carte in a beautiful setting. 

With comfortable, modern seating indoors as well as 'al fresco', this place is right in the heart of the Northern end of this no traffic, bricked lane.  

Sunday evenings sees this place ringing with live jazz from six-thirty onwards.  So, tonight we reserved an outside table for an earlyish six-thirty dinner.

I was a little surprised to see that this lovingly restored lane wasn't bustling tonight.  Nevertheless, I preferred the fact that it wasn't full as it made for the most relaxing of evenings. As the live jazz tunes danced their way out onto the pavement, it all suddenly felt like being on holiday.

The menu is modern Australian with a few bits of Asian and European thrown in here and there.  The specials sounded rather good tonight and between the four of us we ordered the 'Seared Atlantic Salmon fillet on steamed bok choy with chilli caramel and pickled carrots', the 'Rosemary and palm sugar smoked lamb rump with boulangere potato and minted jus', and the 'Special beef fillet with mashed potato and bacon stuffed mushroom'.

We had ordered some 'Rosemary and orange marinated olives with sourdough' to nibble on.  Unfortunately I didn't take a picture.  Having never had warmed olives before, I can say that they were deliciously tasty and something that I would like try at home.  The bread itself served as a good filler whilst waiting for the mains.

My Atlantic salmon came out looking beautifully crisp and fresh.  The pickled carrot laces were crunchy with just a little sweetness.  The salmon itself was cooked to perfection.  The skin was crispy and delcious - just how I like it.  The bok choy was perfectly cooked - still slightly crunchy in the middle.  All in all a very lovely dish and a definite thumbs up for a lighter main.

The rosemary and sugar palm smoked lamb rump arrived looked absolutely devine next to a generous serving of potato boulangere.  It was a little fatty, but the meat itself was sweet and tender.  Another good choice made by two of our party.

And the most salivating looking dish (or at least I thought so), was the beef special.  With a lovely green salad on top, it all looked utterly sublime.  My dining companion seemed to enjoy it as much as I liked the look of it.  I certainly had a little bit of food envy tonight...

We decided to peruse the dessert menu seeing as we all like to finish off a lovely meal with some cheese or sweet treat.  Two of my dining companions went for the cheese plate.  It came out looking gorgeously rustic on a wooden board with slices of three different breads - ciabatta, white french stick and raisin bread.  A small bunch of both green and red seedless grapes, slices of green apples, a handful of walnuts, a bowl of herbed olive oil and a generous serving of chosen cheese.  I had nibbles of this one...

One of us ordered the 'Glass chocolate tart with mesh orange blossom, chocolate ice-cream and pashmak'.  Not knowing what pashmak was, the waitress told us that it is Persian candy floss.  How curious was I?!  Very!!!

It came out on a rectangular plate with a scoop of chocolate ice-cream, a carefully sliced strawberry, the chocolate tart and a ball of Barbie pink pashmak. 

Pashmak looks more like unwoven wool than traditional candy floss as I know it.  It's also not as sugary sweet, but still melts wonderfully on the tongue.  The chocolate tart was deliciously rich and smooth.  A winner of a dessert.  I know what I'm going to have if I come here again.

We all enjoyed our meals tonight and the background jazz only added to the ambience of the place and the lane itself.

The staff seemed to huddle together by the entrance podium, which I guess is where they can all catch up on the goss on a quiet evening.  Our waitress was polite and attentive, so I'm not complaining. 

I would definitely recommend this place for a lovely evening meal.  If you want good Modern Australian food in a lovely setting (be it inside or outside), The Mill has it all.  A thoroughbred of restaurant.

The Mill
71 Hardware Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel:  +61 (0)3 9600 1454 

Mon-Fri: 12 noon-late
Sat-Sun: 5pm-late

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