Dining out in Melbourne is a totally different world. Often you need to decide well in advance where you are going, to ensure you successfully secure a booking. Our forward planning hosts, had secured a dinner booking at The Smith.
Late dining is the norm here. Where a lot of Brisbanes restaurants would be taking final orders at 9pm, in Melbourne they have only just warmed up for the night ahead.
Entry through the door is divided, right for bar, left for the restaurant. Caught in the steady flow of people, you are washed through the door, into your designated area.
Once inside, one could see the venue was packed. The huge open bar sits in the middle of the room dividing the restaurant from the bar. As the table wasn’t quite ready for our 8.30pm sitting, we were directed to the bar for drinks. Negotiating through the standing room only crowd, we were able to order our desired drinks. Surprisingly, especially given the noise with the DJ in the corner and the excited wave of voices, our order was filled promptly.
A short time later, we were seated at our table, with an extensive menu to choose from. Once seated, there was a noticeable drop in the noise level.
Seated amongst the hustle and bustle, dividing time between perusing the menu and admiring the exposed brick, big rafters, industrial feel building, eventual choices were decided.
We all chose our individual mains, leaving our hosts, who were Smith savvy customers, to choose the entrees. Kingfish Sashimi arrived first.
This dish was devine. A soft combination of the Kingfish, lightly flavoured with mango purée, coconut milk and green chilli dressing, created a flavour explosion in the mouth. The chilli was not overpowering though, by any stretch of the imagination.
Soft Fajitas followed, served with with a Cuban braised wagyu beef alongside an avocado and sweetcorn salsa. Another well presented, tasty dish.
Staff were fantastic when we checked if the dish had tomato, due to an allergy. They quickly checked with the kitchen and tried to seek an alternative to the Cuban beef. Unable to, they were most apologetic. To be honest, the salsa on its own, still made for a tasty entree.
My choice for the main, was the Salmon. Crispy skin, beautifully soft inside, the salmon combined fabulously with the crushed peas and pomegranate yoghurt. One of the best salmon dishes I have ever tasted.
All the mains were declared fabulous, and we were told, our hosts had never had a bad meal there yet. A high accolade.
Time to finish with their signature dessert, The Smith Knickerbocker dessert.
Layered with berries and cream, a delightful way to finish the meal. A most enjoyable evening all round.
if you can secure a booking at The Smith, give it a try sometime. I’m told lunchtimes through the week are usually quiet. Plus you never know who you may see here. Keep an eye out!