Pure South Restaurant A Shining Star in Southbank
Pure South is a fabulous restaurant showcasing the best produce of Tasmania with verve and sophistication. A recent extensive 8 month renovation has resulted in an iconic huge space (more than doubled in size); quintessential Melbourne, with an upstairs dining area with stunning Southbank and riverside views almost hanging over the Yarra. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a sumptuous four hour lunch in the upstairs dining area; and was inspired by the experience. Surely Pure South is one of the best steak and meat restaurants in Melbourne (let alone everything else).
Modern, spacious, great use of timber (spotted gum), textures, and loads of natural light during the day. We noticed the River Level below; also attractive with all day dining and attractive brunch options.
Stunning views from our table. (And we've given you a taster above; the food here shows much technique while honouring the natural ingredient and is beautifully presented).
We had visited Pure South previously a couple of times in recent years and felt it was top notch. Tasmania is in focus right now as one of the hottest and rising culinary regions of Australia. To showcase the best of Tasmanian produce is a great concept. But it still has to be executed.
We talked with owner Philip Kennedy (above left with corporate consultant Mario my dining guest) who took us through the menu; for every line and dish he remarked how he'd visited the farm recently, often many times and knew the owners and businesses intimately. We're talking of King Island, Stanley, Flinders Island, the wild north coast; of farmers and fisherman. Thirteen years of cultivating relationship with spectacular producers and artisans. We have some knowledge of Tasmanian producers ourselves and it's clear that Philip is keen to source the best of the best. And it strikes us there is a working relationship with producers; not token with Philip visiting Tasmania (Pure South) many times each year. Even the whole kitchen team visits Tasmania. Pure south is not a theme but a working reality.
Pure South makes its own bread.
Cured handline-caught Kingfish, pea, mint lemon looks a pretty picture.
We look down the menu and to be honest; we want to try everything. So we ask if Philip and Head Chef David Hall can decide on some dishes for us. This is our kind of food; honest and treating the natural ingredient as the the hero with respect. As I imbibe the ambience like no other in Southbank I reflect on how I would want to return sooner than later. This is a gem.
David Hall is a highly credentialed chef with Michelin star experience in Scotland. He can equate the wild aspects and fine produce of Scotland with Tasmania. Natural produce, ethical and sustainable.
Robbins Island Wagyu pastrami, eggplant, pickle.
Smoked Huon ocean trout taco, finger lime, avocado. The creamy smoky tacos are a delight, with advent of indigenous finger lime (more flavour than traditional lime), and even more creaminess with avocado.
A top notch wine list beckons, showcasing the best of Tasmanian and Australian wine.
King Island grass fed beef tartare, bois boudran, chive. What is bois boudran? It's a famous sauce from Michel Roux and is a perfect match for the beautiful grass fed King Island Beef.
Hardy Family octopus, basil, grape, pappardelle. So we know who fishes for this - the Hardy Family. Pure south sources the best produce and has strong relationships with producers. Wouldn't be surprised if Phil knows exactly where they fish from (the waters of Bass Strait). The point is that the dish is superb with perfectly cooked tasty octopus with surprising and welcome element of pappardelle.
And those views!
Wallaby! One of our favourite dishes was the Flinders Island pasture-fed wallaby, red cabbage, beetroot.
Scottsdale pork belly, peaches, Heidi Farm tilsit, lobster bisque excites. This pork belly is from a farm that celebrates rare breeds of pork. And the glisten of lobster bisque on the plate is stunning. the peaches refresh and cut through the pork. Perfect crackling and tender pork, this is a highly rewarding dish.
A delightful plate of vegetables; carrot, cumin, Tongola Farm goat curd..
Head Chef David Hall is a gun Michelin star chef perfect for his role at Pure South.
A 4 hour lunch ended with this stunning dessert; Anvers dark chocolate, coconut, cherries, coffee.
I was highly impressed with Pure South - it showcases the best of Tasmania in the most spectacular way, both on the plate and in terms of the stunning ambience. Corporates and lovers and foodies, take note.