For my recent birthday, Tim took me to No. 35 Restaurant in the Sofitel, Melbourne. It is called "No. 35" because it is on the 35th floor of the hotel.
Our meal commenced with some complimentary sour dough bread rolls:
They are served warm with garlic butter. The winner was the seeded roll, which had a lovely nutty flavour.
For entree, I ordered the half dozen freshly shucked oysters with Bloody Mary and cucumber sorbet ($25):
I enjoyed these, but I felt that the natural taste of the oyster was obscured by the Bloody Mary flavour.
Tim ordered the smoked salmon with avocado, lemon cream, asparagus and shallot ($23):
He was very pleased with his choice, so I gather that it tasted good. I did get a taste of the salmon, which was moist and delicious.
For main, I ordered the roasted chicken with asparagus, morels and parsley and garlic emulsion ($39):
This was rather tasty, especially as I love asparagus and received 4 long spears.
Tim ordered the pork belly with black pudding, pork fritters and apples and prunes ($39):
This looked intriguing and again met with Tim's approval.
We ordered two sides - fennel and witlof salad with blood orange and macadamia ($9):
and spiced cauliflower with green chilli and pomegranate ($9):
My favourite was the cauliflower, which had a bit of spicy kick, but not so much as to leave you reeling. The highlight of the salad was the crunchy macadamias, which added both flavour and texture.
For dessert, Tim ordered the raspberry cranachan ($15):
This seemed to be a large raspberry fool with an oaty biscuit to dip in it, and included whole raspberries as well as raspberry syrup. Tim cleaned this up pretty quickly.
I couldn't help but go for the unusual - chocolate and avocado with coffee gel, pumpkin icecream and berry glaze ($16):
We ordered various wines to accompany our meal from No. 35's ample wine list.
The service was prompt and attentive, and the atmosphere was fabulous - we had almost 360 degree views of Melbourne, including out to the Parisian tower of the Arts Centre, of Government House, to the football ground and various points in between. It makes for quite a spectacle at night, with the dark sky providing a perfect canvas for the twinkling city lights.
I really enjoyed our dinner at No. 35 - it was a wonderful birthday treat.
No. 35 Restaurant
Level 35, 25 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9653 7744