The Sharing House - Sublime Fine Dining in South Wharf
Now closed. The Sharing House is a fine dining restaurant run by highly successful Melbourne restauranteur Paul Mathis in trendy South Wharf, also featuring ex Vue De Monde Chef Mark Briggs. The location is fabulous with views overlooking the water and the spectacular Seafarers Bridge. This is fine dining with great technique but also an element of fun.
The concept of sharing meals is a good one and in vogue these days. Its a great way to dine with lovers and friends. The Sharing House has been a popular addition to South Wharf and the city of Melbourne since it opened. As you enter you are impressed by the amount of space in this converted warehouse. The fit out is uber modern with lego around the bar (apparently over 10k spent on this effect).
Adding to the ambience is the naked bulbs, high ceilings, a giraffe figurine and the impressive large bar. Also interesting was the wall panelled with the old board walk from the old promenade. The floor also features materials from the old promenade.
The cuisine at The Sharing House is highly impressive. My wife and I enjoyed several shared plates. The menu is divided between "small sharing" and "large sharing".
Overall we found the dishes to be creative and exciting with exceptional flair. At one point we were engaged by Mark Briggs the Head Chef and it was a thrill to discuss his cooking and technique and the sense of fun that he brings. The website describes a "cornucopia of never ending taste explosions" and this is essentially what we experienced. Without being arrogant, but when you've visited over 300 restaurants in Melbourne in recent times, it is great to see some imaginative and creative options.
The Rabbit and Cauliflower popcorn with parmesan was moorish and something different. It's very difficult to stop eating the bite sized coated pieces of rabbit and cauliflower. The way it is presented in the papaer packaging adds to the sense of fun. It was great with the aoli. As I write I'm thinking, I want more of that...
The Gravalax ocean trout cured in apple vodka was also an adult tasting dish with a sense of fun. The aroma of this dish is sensational and the taste is so refreshing and flavoursome. Again, it's not something you see on a menu everyday and was delicious. The vodka adds sugar and salt in the process for amazing flavour. The fish comes with a mustard creme fraiche, shots of apple, and citrus. So refreshing.
A suprise was the Patch of beetroot with Goats Cheese from the Holy Goat. A dish that would seem innocuous was actually a highlight. There were various types of beetroot treated in different ways. Described on the menu as a salad of marinated and pickled beetroots. One of the techniques was presenting long strands of beetroot like a fettucini. Also candied thin slices. The presentation was sensational with varying textures and colours.
Then we enjoyed the Raw meat dish. Again, this was an unusual dish but it was another highlight. It is described in the menu as classic steak tartare served with chips.
Some of this cuisine was different to what I'd normally expect but it really grew on me. The Sharing House shows some real flair in the kitchen.
We enjoyed excellent service from the wait staff who, as I like, explained the dishes as they brought them to us. The discussion over wine was also excellent and great recommendations made. The beauty is that The Sharing House and Akachochin are right next to each other. It gives diners flexibility to maybe experience both.
The Sharing House also offers large meals such as a whole roasted chicken, Classic lasagne, Slow roasted pork belly, 1kg of local mussels, or 1kg of grass fed ribeye. The Pizzas here are also popular including Jamon and Wagyu pizzas.
Another highlight was the Chocolate Delice dessert. This was a high class chocolate dessert with chocolate mousse, salted caramel and ice cream that also came with popping candy. Again, there was the sense of fun revealed. This was the signature. The Jaffa dessert option also looked highly impressive.
The wine list at The Sharing House is comprehensive. We enjoyed an Argentinian white and a French Beaujolais red.
The Sharing House reveals layers of complexity and sophistication, with fine service and an inspiring menu. This is a place with uncommon flair and a place I want to return to.