Carlton Wine Room: Quintessential Meets Modernity
Carlton Wine Room has received rave reviews and widespread acclaim since it re-launched. The revamped venue has nailed the brief on quintessential Melbourne with a classy fit out without being ostentatious, and a nod to the local in terms of design and foodie offerings, as part of the Carlton renaissance. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience lunch at Carlton Wine Room, and was highly impressed.
Carlton Wine Room is housed in an iconic historical 19th-century building on the corner of Drummond and Faraday Streets. The hospitality team is a tour de force that features co-owner Andrew Joy (ex Marion), and chef John Paul Twomey (ex Cutler & Co.). The philosophy is simple - "A neighbourhood bistro and bar, serving food that works with wine."
Chic but not overstated. Quintessential Melbourne to me is to show class with an element of restraint. I love the touch of mismatched plates full of character. We understand locals are flocking, corporates are loving the new expression, and Melbourne diners looking for the "experience" of dining as well as the food are resonating.
As I walked in to Carlton Wine Room (car park nearby was handy) I was struck by the elegance of fit out, a charming marble bar and the large windows and views to leafy Carlton. The sheer size of the place is also impressive, with five floors.The basement was a highlight with a parcel of Andrew Joy's family wines on hand, as part of a cellar. Perfect for an intimate function.
Given a tour from Andrew Joy I filed away in my memory the private dining rooms, which have stunning elevated views.
We were treated with the Daily Menu offering, boasting European influences, in keeping with the locale. This is not an over-hyped affair and Melbourne is loving the authenticity.
Bread from a local bakery was a highlight, delighfully chewy.
Wine pairings for our lunch were brilliant. Of course with a name like Carlton Wine Room you expect the wine game to be strong. And strong it is. Speaking with Andrew Joy the wine philosophy is to have no limits. Celebrated here is both Australian wine and international wine. Judge the wine on it's own merits - if it's great then why not?
Oyster, natural with lime dressing. Simple high quality dishes featuring extraordinary seasonal produce.
Anchovy, fried bread, ricotta, red onion. Along with the Oysers and the Kingfish crudo, crème fraîche, pickled wombok, horseradish. Wonderful blissful dining. How good is fried bread? Topped with my favourites and it's all killer no filler (yes I'm an anchovy lover!).
Little Ra Ra Wines from Pyren Vineyard perfect with food selections from the Daily Menu.
Bridge farm asparagus, whipped cod roe, smoked Yarra Valley salmon roe. What to do with top notch produce including Yarra Valley Caviar smoked roe.
A highlight was Stracciatella, mushrooms, rosemary, potato focaccia.
The food is at times brilliant and simple - but no without impressived technique.
Duck & pork croquette, prune vinegar is a must-order. Simple pleasures. A rich croquette with crunch and creaminess, and delighful rustic and rewarding taste of duck and pork.
Perfect wine matching.
Broccolini, smoked pork, parmesan, chopped egg. We were in love with the plate almost as much as the dish. Brilliant dining to be paired with standout wines - creamy, smoky, crunchy.
Nebbiolo was the perfect choice with our roast chicken.
Half roast chicken, kohlrabi remoulade, leek, sorrel is one of the best dishes I experienced in 2018. Tender juicy chicken (how do they retain so much juice?) with crispy skin. The kohlrabi remoulade, leek and sorrel are fabulous accompaniments.
Pouring the gravy on the chicken. Best roast chicken in Melbourne? Served with Iceberg salad, honey dressing along with Sweet corn, smoked ricotta, basil. What was touted as a winter warmer is still on the menu and we think it will stay for a while.
The place to be on a weekday lunchtime.
Dessert game on point with an interpretation of Strawberries and Cream.
Upstairs dining at Carlton Wine Room features booths, classic chairs and tables and stunning floorboards.
One of the best dining experiences in Melbourne. Thanks to Andrew Joy and the team. Highly recommended.