Modern Australian Dining at Opus Dining in Balwyn
Opus Dining located in Balwyn is an exciting new modern Australian restaurant addition to the Melbourne foodie scene. This is a restaurant that brings to diners flair and innovation, bold flavours and a menu that pleases a variety of tastes. Opus Dining is the culmination of a dream from owners who ventured around Melbourne for 3 years visiting restaurants and experiencing the unique flavours this city has to offer. They wanted an expression that recognises Melbourne as a true food city with its high quality of produce, openness to experimentation (some excellent twists and interpretations at Opus Dining) and homage paid to the heritage and tradition of food origins. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience the joyous dining experience at Opus Dining.
Cocktail game is strong and we enjoyed Negroni and Mojito cocktails to begin our culinary journey.
Charcuterie Board is a perfect place to start in terms of food, including prosciuuto di Parma ham, chicken liver parfait, marinated olives, Parmigiano Reggiano and cornichons.
Scallops are next level, surprisingly plump with excellent caramelization, and the cauliflower sauce combines perfectly for an exciting dish.
Quality is paramount at Opus Dining and the use of fresh seasonal and local produce exceptional. Why drive into the city when you can have a top restaurant experience here in the eastern suburbs? After 6.30pm there is even parking available adjacent the restaurant so no parking hassles. Opus Dining is open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday nights. Perfectly placed in Balwyn, Opus Dining is next to Balwyn Palace Cinema, so you can catch a wonderful dinner and movie experience.
Food was enjoyed with excellent wine choices including this South Australian Shiraz from Clare Valley.
One of the best eggplant dishes we've enjoyed in Melbourne. Crispy eggplant lives up to it's name.
Fiore di burrata with heirloom tomatoes and Mosts Cotto is a great example of fresh delicious food and seasonality.
A stunning range of smaller dishes to begin your dining adventure is recommended. Dishes such as Crispy lamb ribs (melt in your mouth with hint of chilli and amazing fish sauce) and Seared calamari (aforementioned, surprisingly plump fresh from the market) are designed to share, as is the Fiore di burrata with heirloom tomatoes and Mosts Cotto, and the Chicken liver parfait with pork currants, pickled radish and toasted bread. Or graze on 24 month aged Jamon Iberico 20g or the Marinated olives, not to mention Freshly shucked Pacific oysters with ponzu and finger lime for oyster lovers.
Crispy lamb ribs beckon to be picked up and eaten with your fingers, and are delightfully indulgently crispy and sweet, with touch of chilli.
Steak lovers rejoice with stunning choices such as Wagyu 5+ Porterhouse 200g, roasted vine tomatoes, caramelized Spanish onion (a fabulous dish with Wagyu sourced from Queensland) or go large with the Wagyu Ribeye 800g 7+. Braised lamb shank also had us salivating, with oyster mushrooms, anchovies, chives and black truffle paste.
Go big with Wagyu Ribeye.
Duck potatoes are a must order.
What a spread, joyous dining in the heart of Balwyn.
This is modern contemporary dining with each dish well presented. Other hits include the Duck breast smaller dish to share as well as a larger Confit leg of Duck dish for Main course (highly recommended for duck lovers), featuring perfectly cooked duck with cranberries, mushroom floss, crushed new potatoes and a delightful jus. We enjoyed the Wagyu and the Duck dishes with Duck fat potatoes (highly recommended rich and rewarding).
Pan Roasted salmon is super popular.
Pinot Noir and Duck, the perfect combination.
Already in its early days we can discern some signatures at Opus Dining, notably the Seared scallops, cauliflower, yuzu, parsley, garlic and butter, the Wagyu 5+ Porterhouse and the Roasted salmon, cauliflower puree, picco de gallo, miso and lemon, the Crispy eggplant and the Crispy lamb ribs. Not to mention signature desserts (featured below).
Desserts are top notch including Caramelized lemon and vanilla tart and the Yoghurt panna cotta.
Being a restaurant in a "well to do" part of Melbourne, Opus Dining excites with its modern look, engaging service and touch of class. For those who enjoy vegetarian options we recommend the Fiore di burrata as well as the Crispy fried eggplant (a unique dish crispy on the outside and tender inside) "to share" dishes. Some of these dishes are perfect as vegetarian options and there are gluten free options also.
Intimate modern dining spaces include the front part of the restaurant with its distinctive light fitting and bar, timber floors, a room out the back (where we dined) overlooking the open kitchen, a function room upstairs, a VIP room with a premium offering, and a courtyard (which will be dog friendly). Opus Dining provides a dining experience of class but is approachable and family friendly. Perfect for functions and special occasions, and you can also hire the back room as well as the function spaces.
Items can be adapted for a child menu and there are child seats available.
We are big fans of the "total" dining experience which includes food and wine, the atmosphere, and the service, and Opus Dining ticks every box. Kudos to the kitchen team and chef Phong Nguyen. Dishes were consistently excellent and not overdone allowing the quality produce to shine. Dishes show cultural diversity and are a great example of modern Australian dining. We also love the fact the menu is evolving and experimenting, and that changes also take place due to seasonality.
For current Valentine's Day deal see the Opus Dining website.
Opus Dining brings classic dining to Balwyn with a modern contemporary touch. You won't be disappointed. Highly recommended.