Secret Supper Safari
Melbourne is full of interesting engaging venues and The Publican Group is at the forefront of managing some of Melbourne's premiere establishments (and some in WA). The World Loves Melbourne was privileged to be invited to enjoy a Secret Supper Safari to experience three outstanding venues - Campari House, Mr Mason and Terra Rossa.
The best thing is that anyone can experience this culinary safari - for the excellent price of $95. (Image Campari House Facebook).
First stop was one of my favourites, Campari House, with it's compelling 4 floors of entertainment. This is one of Melbourne's most iconic venues in Hardware Lane. I've enjoyed several breakfasts here, either dining in at the ground level or sitting at a table in the lane. And indeed I've loved some convivial sessions on the rooftop.
We were entertained on the 2nd floor Lounge with a cocktail masterclass. The ambience is intimate with couches and booths. I was shown how to make a house special Cuban High Roller with spiced rum. The bartender can make these in 60-90 seconds - but for me it was 3-4 minutes. Great fun!
I later checked out the Campari House Lounge on a Friday night and it was pumping.
After cocktails and canapes at Campari House we ventured by bus (usually this safari is done on foot) to our next stop French restaurant Mr Mason. Mr Mason boasts a seasonal menu from the French tradition, showcasing fresh local ingredients, reflecting a simple, rustic sensibility.
Mr Mason is an impressive French restaurant that I found embracing and welcoming with a rustic yet modern feel. It surprises with its long table, fire, delightful dining spaces and extensive outdoor function area.
You can see here the use of rustic textures. Mesh found in the laneway during renovation was used to contain the wine collection.
Cuisine at Mr Mason is traditionally French but with a modern twist. The Barramundi fillet, fresh borlotti beans, summer vegetables was delectable. Perfectly cooked fish with fresh flavours of the vegetables. Simple but keeping the barramundi the hero. Crispy skin on the Barra is important and Mr Mason delivered.
My Confit duck leg, rossini potato, golden beetroot, cherries was indulgent and satisfying. Duck cooked in its oil with crispy skin and pink tender bliss inside. The duck was well complemented by the fig and apricot, as well as the jus. Surprising was the hit from the potato, crispy outside and wonderfully creamy filling inside. The overall balance of the dish was brilliant. Not to mention visually appealing.
Dessert kept up the high standard with a selection of French favourites. I indulged in the Creme Brulee and the Souffle... Sensational!
Mr Mason is a serious wine destination with 39 wines by the glass! Many of these are French wines and we enjoyed Beaujolais on the night.
After being impressed with Camapri House and Mr Mason we journeyed to our final destination, Terra Rossa on Flinders Lane. Terra Rossa is an Italian restaurant that I've enjoyed for breakfast and was excited to come here for a superb cheese platter and wine.
Terra Rossa has an alluring ambience at night which is strikingly different to the daytime. It has the air of a sophisticated venue where one can relax and imbibe. And imbibe we did. The quality of the cheese platter from the Cheese Room was stunning. This featured Montasio cheese from Friuli Italy - a sublime cows milk cheese made from partially skimmed milk. The Montasio is a rare cheese - we were told that it only enters the country every 5 months or so...
The Gorgonzola Bonta Delle Bonta from Lombardy Italy was a wonderful matured cheese that had been stored in natural caves for 120 days.
And the Mauri Taleggio from Pasturo Italy had an ivory chalky texture below the rind, but when we consumed had developed a creamy texture with a delicious yeasty taste.
All of this with quince and currants and fruits and crackers...
Terra Rossa has an extensive wine list and pours a mean cocktail such as the Espressotini above...
Terra Rossa has some great promotions for the winter including $10 Italian cocktails and lazy weekend breakfasts. They will also be offering plates of small snacks with aperitivos.
I would describe the Supper Safari as an epic night of high standard. Each of these venues is highly acclaimed and the combination for a Supper Safari is superb. Get on it.