Monday, April 30, 2012

South Wharf Promenade - Progressive Dinner

The South Wharf Promenade is a newly developed area which is being quickly populated with great drinking and dining establishments. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a progressive dinner to visit a number of the South Wharf venues.

The places that we got to visit on the night were:
*The Boatbuilders Yard - A gastro pub venue with lots of outdoor seating.
*The Bridge - A pub with river views which serves pub food.
*Akachochin - A classy Japanese restaurant that specialises in sushi, sashimi and sake.
*The Sharing House - A casual style restaurant serving Modern Australian food to share.
*Melbourne Public - A massive bar and restaurant, serving an eclectic mix of cuisines from around the world.
*The Bohemian - An intimate restaurant serving authentic Spanish food.

We started off the night by admiring the amazing sunset along the river. With the striking bridge in the foreground, the scene made for a very relaxing mood. The South Wharf area is very beautiful, with the calm Yarra river to one side, the bustling Crown Casino across the road, the striking Polly Woodside as a backdrop, and the wonderful heritage listed buildings at it's heart.

Our tour started at The Boatbuilders Yard where we sampled some beers and wines from the extensive menu. A simple dish of school prawns simply fried showcased the freshness of the ingredients that the Boatbuilders pride themselves on.

We moved onto The Bridge were we sipped (ok we guzzled) numerous wines, which is the venue's speciality. We also sampled some canapes, which I thought were ok.

The next stop was my favourite of the tour and really excited me. Akachochin does Japanese food, amazing Japanese food. We tried out a few dishes in a Kingfish Sashimi, Stuffed Fried Chicken Wing and Seared Wagyu.

The kingfish was so amazing, matched with a rice cracker. I kept wanting more of it when it was finished. The chicken wing was also excellent. I love fried chicken wings, so imagine stuffing it with what tasted like dim sim mince, it was mind blowingly good. Then when I thought things couldn't get any better, we had the most sublime seared wagyu served with grilled mushrooms. Each dish was served with a sake that paired perfectly.

We moved to the next venue, which literally meant walking around a wall as The Sharing House was right next door. We shared a number of dishes, from Popcorn Rabbit and Cauliflower, Polenta Chips, Trout Gravalax and Mussels in Cream. All dishes were good, with the popcorn rabbit being so moreish I kept going back for more and the gravalax so pure and clean in flavour served with apple jelly that I kept going back for more of that as well.

At Melbourne Public, we sampled some cocktails and beer/wines. We were served some Seared Tuna, Pork Belly and Seafood Dumpling on one dish. I thought the mish-mash of food seemed rather strange at first but when I tasted every element, they were all lovely and worked together too. I was most surprised with the dumpling which I thought would be rather ordinary but instead turned out to be the star for me with a wonderful filling and fine skin.

Last stop was The Bohemian for dessert and I was in dessert heaven. The Cheese Platter and Trifle type dessert were good, but the Chocolate Donut and Brioche Pudding were amazing. The donut, which turned out to be ganache dipped in a batter and fried was oozing chocolate goodness. The donut was already great but brioche pudding was out of this world stunning. It was soft, fragrant, caramelised, smooth and simply delicious. You have to try it out and you will see what I mean.

We finished off with a Pedro Ximinez and that concluded a wonderful night of fun, food and drinks. I was very impressed with the whole South Wharf area and the various venues. Each place had positives which I would revisit. I will say that my favourites were Akachochin and The Bohemian and I have already vouched that I will definitely be going back to both places for a full meal.

EDIT: I just saw that The Age had just done an article on South Wharf which give more information about each restaurant and the chefs.

I dined courtesy of each venue.


  1. Mmmm that popcorn rabbit and cauliflower was amazing! We had it when we returned yesterday.. and all the desserts! I think we had a better deal :P

  2. Again a great insight into a melange of food combinations... You have certainly got me craving for these dishes especially the kingfish and sake =)

  3. Wow, sounds like a really fun night! Keen to check out the area now.... :)

  4. I could totally snack on some school prawns right now!

  5. Again you did well to limit the photos! :) And I'm impressed at that last photo cos it was so, so dark at Bohemian!

  6. I-Hua, you had a great deal, eating through all that food.

    Thanks Michelle.

    You picked the best dish in the kingfish Nandos.

    Ashley, definitely worth checking out. Some really good stuff.

    Michelle, I could do with some school prawns now too.

    April, thank you, it's quite easy now. Low F-stop and some Lightroom can do wonders.

  7. Awesome photos, Taz. Love that sunset one.

    Need to try the doe-nut and brioche pudding! ;)

  8. Agnes, thanks. And yes, you must try the doe-nut haha.

  9. looks like this is the area i'll be checking out for lunch wed-fri this week while at a conference at convention centre. those prawns looks pretty good :-)