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Persimmon - Fine Dining at NGV

Persimmon in the NGV is a fine Melbourne restaurant with Modern Australian influences that consistently delivers with flair and creativity. Coming to Persimmon is about the overall experience with great cuisine and impressive ambience and service.


Very cool is that the menu changes and links seamlessly with the stunning exhibitions on display at NGV. Currently there is a French themed menu with the Napoleon exhibition. Soon NGV is to feature neo impressionists and then the huge Monet exhibition starting next May. Menus will be tailored to these exhibitions. And at Persimmon there is always an emphasis on fresh seasonal and local ingredients.

Come through the waterwall entrance and turn right down the passage into a secret world with a modern fit out and fabulous garden. A new Head Chef Gabrielle Martin is an exciting development, and Gabrielle has a great following having been involved in top notch Melbourne restaurants in the past.

Having been to the NGV for various events, Persimmon is able to provide a top class experience every time. It is a restaurant that top corporates like to come back to because of this. Whether dining for two or large events, Persimmon delivers an exceptional experience.

Persimmon is impressive with its sense of space, natural light, and a stunning view over the Grollo Equiset Gardens. Love the sculptured garden. A hidden secret away from the hustle and bustle of the city. No street frontage here.

A spacious modern fit out includes leather belinis, charcoal banquettes, mosaic floor, spotlights for mood, space to relax and have private conversation and large windows looking into super impressive gardens. A great ambience. The NGV summer will feature several events in the gardens.

Persimmon offers a two course lunch deal with $40 including a glass of wine, which is great value. Or choose from the many attractive menu options.

Entrees include the Charcuterie of cured meats, cornichons and mixed olives, and grilled Turkish bread.  Or try the Marinated Spring Bay mussels with pickled octopus. I enjoyed a tasting plate of the Diver Scallops with toasted panko, wakame, and smoked bell pepper aoli - they were an absolute highlight.

Mains include Coq au vin, a French classic, Rack of lamb with ratatouille, and the Duck terrine.

I'm glad I ordered the the Coq au Vin which was fabulous with superb slow cooked chicken, amazing sauce with Cotes du Rhone in the reduction, onions, pine mushrooms and small squares of sublime bacon. And the large serving of  potato mash was sensational. So silky and creamy.  This is a modern twist Coq au Vin rather than old world - and presentation is superb.

I enjoyed the meal with a glass of Cotes Du Rhone from the extensive wine list.

The desserts are spectacular. Certainly the Dark Chocolate Fondant was stellar with a warm chocolate fondant that oozed quality chocolate in the centre. The honeycomb and pop candy was brilliant as was the rosewater icecream with chocolate. Visually this dish hit the high notes. Sublime.

I could have opted for the Apple tart with toasted almonds, vanilla cream and green apple sorbet or indeed the Griottine cherries clafoutis, bitter chocolate sorbet, brandy truffles. And the Cheese plate looked tempting.

Service at Persimmon is professional, attentive and engaging. I found the level of service to be better than most fine dining restaurants. Being greeted when I arrive is one of my pet issues, but at Persimmon that staff greet you warmly. I always tend to make a mess with the pumpkin seeds on my pumpkin bread, duly cleaned up by the waiter no fuss. The staff were regularly at my table and the timing of courses was spot on.

Persimmon has recently been hosting a series of French dinners with notable chefs to celebrate the iconic Napoleon: Revolution to Empire exhibition. Once again Persimmon ties in wonderfully  with exciting events during the exhibitions of the season.

Impressive also at Persimmon is the Children under 12 menu with favourites battered fish, cheeseburger and pasta. Bring your family for a lazy lunch.

The crowd on a Wednesday lunchtime was nicely varied with couples, groups, professionals and senior citizens. Persimmon has broad appeal.

A great idea is to combine a visit to NGV with a visit to Persimmon (often deals to combine the two). This Melbourne food blog was impressed.  I intend to return to Persimmon, one of Melbourne's best secrets (not so secret).