No 35 Restaurant
Restaurant in Melbourne
Modern Australian Fine Dining Restaurant
Taking a leak on Melbourne may sound like the sort of behaviour that one engages in at the tail end of a boozy bender, but it’s just one of the appealing idiosyncrasies that guests can enjoy at No 35 Restaurant.
Beginning a review of a restaurant with a rundown of its toilets may seem like bad form to you, but you probably haven’t seen these toilets. Located on the 35th floor of the Collins Tower, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins’ house restaurant boasts a ‘pee with a view’, as the bathrooms have a floor to ceiling window that looks out on the entire city. Famous throughout the state for its picturesque peeing potential, guests can stop by for a cocktail at The Atrium Bar (followed by a couple of pints-of-water-chasers) before relieving themselves whilst scanning the city’s skyline.
In addition to the noteworthy commodes, the 35th floor also houses a very impressive restaurant in No35. The French touch that runs throughout the hotel means that we are greeted with a, “Bonsoir!” as the charming and effusive waiter leads us to our corner table. In many restaurants one may bristle at being stuffed away in a corner, but through the plate-glass walls that surround us we are treated to a Melbourne that’s lit up like a phosphorescent kingdom, the streetlights winding seemingly infinite golden paths over the horizon.
Our starters arrive and we immediately assume that whoever is in the kitchen has done a long spell as a pastry chef at some point in their career; the elaborate arrangement of the beef tartare hints at an incredibly stylistic attitude towards presentation and it’s almost too pretty too eat. Almost. The addition of capers and Parmesan custard to a traditionally simple dish offer an intriguing tartness that’s matched by the capers’ salty tang. The pan-seared scallops are generously plump and rest in a sweetened jus gras with globules of oyster emulsion carefully positioned around the plate. Small flecks of crisped chicken provide a curious crunch to the otherwise fleshy texture of the dish.
Another ornately displayed brace of dishes are placed in front of us, with the lamb betraying every second of its 24-hour braising process by its meat falling apart at my fork’s lightest touch. A carrot and sorrel leaf offer an earthy vegetable contingent whilst a gingerbread flavouring permeates the thick gravy-style jus and a potato fondant fills out any gaps left in my stomach. The Szechuan duck comes adorned with a ‘Sarawak pineapple’, which is essentially a deep fried cutlet of the fruit that provides a perfect sweetness to balance out the bird’s chewy flesh. The lemon and coriander red quinoa has an overriding taste of citrus which adds an interesting counterpoint to the pineapple’s candied consistency. The pot of garden peas that we order as a side is peppered with juicy blueberries and wilted mint leaves and is a fresh and innovatively simple accompaniment to our main courses.
Our earlier hypothesis of the kitchen team’s prowess in pastry preparation is confirmed by the artistic flair with which the Peach Melba is presented; with flashes of raspberry red sauce dashed across the plate and the almond-flecked biscotti lying across the burnt sunset-coloured halved peach, it was as if Salvador Dali had hung up his art smock and traded it for a set of chef’s whites.
As we bid good night (or, “Bonne nuit!”) to the maître d', we decided that there’s a lot more to the 35th floor than just a fancy lavatory; although if you think that this stopped us from paying a last minute visit to Australia’s favourite restroom, then détrompez-vous…
David Harfield is a freelance food and travel writer and the director of the social media solutions company PepperStorm Media
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Need to book||Yes|
|Clientele||Locals, hotel guests, businesspeople|
|Restaurant good for||Couples, Families with children, Doing business|
|Cost per head||High|
|Dress Code||Smart Casual|
|Dining Options||Brunch, Lunch, Dinner|
Lovely staff, incredible views, warm and vibrant atmosphere.
Lunch Specials: 2 course menu including wine $45, 3 course $60. Entrées from $17, Mains from $31, Desserts from $15. Dinner Entrées from $18, Mains from $38, Desserts from $14. Wines from $13 a glass, $50 a bottle.
Last updated on 29-09-2014