because I can't cook
Sofitel's No35 in the Melbourne CBD.
|Address||Level 35, 25 CollinsStreet
Mon-Fri 6.30-10.30am, 12-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm
Sat 6.30-10.30am, 5.30-10pm
Sun 6.30-10.30am, 12-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm
|Visited||12 February 2011|
After Cicciolina the night before, I had no expectations when dining at No35, located at the Sofitel hotel, in case of being highly disappointed again.
But, No35 was different. In a similar restaurant class to Cicciolina, No35 gave you much more; an amazing view of Melbourne city from the 35th floor, modern/clean/peaceful atmosphere, and courteous service.
After being seated, a staff explained how their simple, one-page menu worked; No1s were starters, No2s were mains, and additional Nos were side dishes. Feeling starved, we both jumped straight to mains when we ordered No35’s David Blackmore corned wagyu beef (with broad bean salsa verde and caramelised sweetbreads) and Macleay Valley suckling pig (with roasted apple, fennel, ginger, and almonds) as well as cauliflower and lemon cous cous as the side dishes.
While waiting for our mains, No35's friendly staff approached us showing the wine bottles before pouring the content into our glasses, and offering bread (with 4 bread options to choose from) served with olive oil and salt. We were also given complimentary dishes - some kind of cucumber-flavoured jelly-like dish which I found rather unappealing, but, I could not really complaint because, well, it was complimentary.
No35 was not hectic at all that evening making the ambience very cosy and service fast. Our mains came not long after they cleaned up the complimentary dish plates. The wagyu, much better than Maze Grill's steak, came with luscious salsa verde, and the suckling pig dish was superb with its tender pig meat and beautiful cinnamon-flavoured apple. The lemon cous cous was sweet and refreshing with bits of pomegranate in it, and the cauliflower was, well, just good, as I was not too fond of vegetables. Also as a pleasant surprise, their meal portions were very decent for a fine dining restaurant that I could not fit in dessert - it was really good value for money for sure. On top of that, throughout our dinner, their staff kept an eye on our wine glasses and offered to refill when empty. Top notch service indeed!
In summary: excellent food, great ambience, impressive service - such a nice, memorable evening. I definitely must revisit No35 when Melbourne is darker outside - I bet the lighted tall buildings of Melbourne would make such dreamy scenery!