Arintji is referred to as a cafe-cum-restaurant by many who have reviewed the place. Serving modern Australian fare in what can only be described as 'grazing' plates.
It was opened back in 2003 by renowned French chef Jacques Raymond. But, it has since changed hands...
Arintji sits on in the heart of Federation Square and has casual outdoor seating with orange umbrellas. Walk inside and there are orange cushioned donut shaped chairs in the cafe area to the right and a bar to the left. Walk up a few steps to the more formal dining platform which is a roomy light space with views across the Yarra River.
Our friendly waiter kindly explained to us that their menu is for grazing and sharing. Thus, not to expect big plates. Kind of surprising when some of the plates were $16 plus. For that amount of dollars, I expect a substantial sized plate or at least something absolutely spectacular however small.
So, my companions and I all opted for a burger each, some fries, a salad and a tart. When we enquired on the size of the burgers, our waiter grinned and hesitated before describing them as 'cute but really tasty'. Hmmm, could that be a cover up for saying 'they are so tiny and probably won't fill you up unless you're a size zero with a baby appetite...but don't worry, they're so packed full of flavour that you won't even notice how small they are'.
A pair of burgers arrived, with one on its own. I only took a photo of the pair and yes, they certainly were small. At $6.50, I would have preferred them to be a little bigger..
Mmm, a generous bowl of french fries with ketchup ($6) arrived next. And these were the small portion...
Followed by a healthy rocket, radiccio and grana salad' ($8)...which was very delicious.
And my companion, Miss M's 'Gorgonzola and leek tart with crispy prosciutto' ($8.50) - which was more like a slice of quiche Lorraine as we know it back in the UK. It was certainly small with a token piece of leek on top. Crispy prosciutto mixed with rocket on the side, which Miss M delighted in.
Fairly friendly service, nice location, food OK, servings small. All in all, a nice enough place for a get-together lunch, just don't expect to stay too full for too long afterwards.
Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: +61 (0)3 9663 9900