Lulu The Perfect Cafe Restaurant for Lovers!
Lovers at Lulu! The World Loves Melbourne visited Lulu Cafe and Gallery recently in North Melbourne on a Saturday night and was taken by the number of apparent "lovers" there were enjoying themselves. It should come as no surprise because when the lights are dimmed and the dinner menu is served, there is a distinctive romantic ambience about Lulu Cafe and Gallery.
Lulu has an alluring quality as it's not a formulaic one dimensional kind of place; there are many dimensions including food, art and style. This is the perfect place to take your lover as there are several spaces at Lulu to enjoy dinner and a drink. This includes the magical courtyard out the back of Lulu; surely one of the most attractive courtyards in Melbourne and a hidden gem.
I noticed the crowd on a Saturday night was obviously glamorous; then again it's something I've noticed every time I've visited Lulu. The inspiration of Lulu, the silent film star of the 1920's and beyond, is evident here; Lulu being an archetype of style and savvy as an independent business woman.
The owners Roger and Pan are more alternative than mainstream. This reflects in the bespoke nature of Lulu. If you're looking for something alluring and unique this is the palce to come. Where to take your date? Lulu is perfect. Here you can engage in intimacy and privacy without being rushed or needlessly distracted. The dinner menu is evolving with tastes of Europe. Right now Lulu serves up authentic Greek cuisine, fresh and traditional. I was able to indulge in several dishes on the menu and had a great night; delightful paired with a well thought out wine list featuring local and international wines, and exceptional cocktails.
A cocktail on arrival was a highlight - Diplomatico Rum Smoking Cocktail was sexy and delicious with ample theatre that impressed! Another Expresso Martini Cocktail had me heading towards satiation.
Dishes include fresh captivating salads such as Watermelon with grilled haloumi cheese and lime/olive oil sauce, pomegranates, mint and pine nuts.
A wonderful appetizer is the Grilled aubergine with feta cheese, sun-dried tomato and Kalamata olives - very traditionally Greek! Fava with caramelized onions, capers, sundried tomato and octopus was another exceptional dish.
A favourite was the rustic Prawns saganaki with tomato sauce, ouzo and feta cheese, served with grilled bread, olive oil and oregano. Get your bread and mop up the sauce!
Another Greek classic is the Fava! Fava with caramelized onions, capers, sundried tomato and octopus is a tasty flavoursome dish with excellent textures.
What is a Greek feast without calamari? Lulu serves up a fun and compelling Stuffed calamari with rice and herbs in lime sauce. Comfort food at it's best!
We were curious about the goat dish and love the rich flavours of goat so we ordered the Juicy goat baked in the oven with Greek herbs. Often goat is served in a curry form in Melbourne - but this baked goat is a sensation.
Traditional Greek cake was a worthy dessert and great way to finish the meal. Dessert wine went down a treat. In fact the wine journey over the course of the meal had us in France, Australia, Italy and finally in Hungary. A great journey and perfect pairing with each dish!
Lulu also has a penchant for a SABINE or two...
Having dined inside Lulu, I ventured out to the couryard where there was several groups of lovers imbibing on a fine Melbourne night. Lovers at Lulu.
Also having experienced the breakfast and lunch menus, there's an impressive offering all through the day. Lulu is a unique European style cafe restaurant - you feel like you're somewhere in Europe when you visit Lulu. The menu boasts European influences. For breakfast you can enjoy dishes such as the fresh AVO Go with smashed avocado on sourdough toast, smoked egglplant creme fraiche, salsa verde, coriander and chilli.
A delightful simple dish is Lulu's Spicy Chicken Milk Roll with Chicken, avocado, coriander and smoked paprika aioli. We see a lot of brioche around Melbourne but welcome a top notch milk bun!
Also check out the fabulous Lulu's Poussin (whole length Poussin roasted with lemon, fennel, sage and thyme) and the Slow Cooked Pulled Beef dish. Not to mention a Caramelised Pear and Cress Salad and Catch of the Day options.
The Lulu Gallery side of the business promises so much in 2017 with exciting upcoming exhibitions. We need a separate article for that - coming soon! Parking is easily accessible on Queensberry Street.