While there's a host of great restaurants in Melbourne CBD, we often forget about the neighbourhood gems that are kicking all kinds of culinary goals. The Melbourne restaurants serving up delicious eats, fine wine…and with plenty of car parks nearby. Foodies, it's time to bring it back to the 'burbs.
Tucked down Claremont Avenue in Malvern, just off Glenferrie Road, Allium Food & Wine is one of our favourite neighbourhood restaurants, boasting a Modern Australian menu, 200-strong vino selection and sophisticated-yet-relaxed atmosphere to boot. It's little wonder this place is packed with locals (and not so locals) most nights of the week!
So, what's on the menu? Chef Michael Harrison sources produce locally, creating exciting Modern Australian fare influenced by global cultures and techniques. There's something to suit all tastes and moods at Malvern's best restaurant, with an a la carte offering, six-course shared menu and list of tasty bar bites, available for both lunch and dinner. And trust us, it's all pretty darn exceptional.
Not sure where to start? The first port of call should be Allium's duck liver parfait, served with blood orange and best enjoyed smeared on sourdough. Yum! Likewise, the eel croquettes, little golden spheres of curried, potato-y goodness, are incredibly moreish. Oh, and you couldn't possibly go past the air-dried wagyu bresaola, beautifully presented with horseradish, dots of oyster cream and puffed beef tendon. It's almost too pretty to eat. Almost! Almost, we said!
Folks, it only gets better with the main event. Allium's corned duck leg, served with prunes, black pudding, lentils and pedro ximinez dressing, is particularly tasty. The barramundi, likewise, is another good choice, encased in a rye crust, resting on creamed spinach with a generous helping of mussel butter. It's a creamy, dreamy feed. If you're after something hearty, go for the chargrilled wagyu rump cap, cooked to perfection and served atop potato puree and a black garlic mustard. Drool.
Dessert? The menu may be short, but boy is it sweet! Think rich milk chocolate parfait, adorned with salted caramel, peanuts and candied popcorn. Or perhaps the miso-caramelised apples, topped with a delish walnut crumble and fromage blanc sorbet, tickles your fancies? Heck, it sure tickles ours! And how could we forget about the poached rhubarb with honeycomb, spiced bread and tonka bean ice cream. Sink your sweet teeth in, Listers – this is as good as it gets!
Fromage more your forte? Allium's cheeses will turn your heart into a big, gooey pool of brie. Regularly changing, Allium's menu features cheese sourced from the top producers around the world, perfectly paired with a glass of dessert wine or single malt whisky. Allium are also experts at the ol' cheese 'n' tipple pairing, so don't be afraid to ask the friendly folk for their recommendations!
What goes better with fine food than fine wine? Well my friends, you're sure to be impressed with Allium's vinous offerings. This Malvern restaurant boasts a cellar-full of dusty bottles, featuring a stellar selection of old and new world drops, as well as a sophisticated 200-strong wine list, including 14 wines by the glass. What's more, they also offer a BYO option on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, available for tables of six or less. See what we mean about a wine lover's paradise?
Not a fan of wine? Allium's aperitifs are the perfect way to whet the appetite, while their selection of single malts is sure to please the eau de vie connoisseur. Fancy a brew? How about two! Allium has your beery needs covered, with a succinct list of local and craft brewers, covering everyone from Prickly Moses in the Otways to White Rabbit in Healesville. Heck, we'll cheers to that!
Indeed, there's a lot of cheers-ing to be done at Allium! To celebrate the spring racing season, Allium Food & Wine is also offering Philipponnat Reserve Rose for just $19 a glass. It's the perfect way to celebrate a win (or mourn a loss). And, if you revel/wallow a little too hard, you'd be pleased to know Allium is just a short stumble from Malvern station.
Looking for somewhere to host a function this silly season? Allium also caters to a range of functions, with room for up to 80 people. There's a range of catering options available, including three-course menus, six-course tasting menus and canapé packages. Listers, what better way to welcome the holidays with delicious nosh and vino at one of Melbourne's best restaurants?
TUL Note: Today's List Love post is proudly sponsored by Allium Food & Wine and endorsed by The Urban List. Our sponsored posts will never be a secret — the List Love seal will be stamped on any sponsored material you see on the site. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible.
Image Credit: Tash Sorenson for The Urban List.