February 14, 2011

23 Bank Place, Melbourne

Went with M and D for a Valentine’s Day lunch (how sweet) to Syracuse, a wonderful little wine bar-cum-restaurant in Bank Place, near the corner of Collins and William St. I’ve only just discovered Bank Place, it’s full of all these wonderful old buildings, which I assume were mostly banks back in the day. They’re relics of old Melbourne, nestled among the high-rises, so I’ve developed a particular fondness for this little lane way.

D went with the special of what I’m going to call unicorn pasta (because they looked like little unicorn horns), chilli oil, fresh spanner crab meat and cuttlefish. I tried some – it was fabulous. Perfectly cooked pasta, hint of chilli, and great contrast in texture with the juicy strips of cuttlefish – think I’ll try this one at home. Sorry, the photo’s a bit blurry…

M and I both had the fish of the day, but unfortunately both of our pieces of fish were raw in the middle! Now obviously this is ok if the fish is salmon or tuna, but we were having barramundi, so it really should have been cooked through. Anyway, they were terribly offended at having served us raw fish and took all our plates away, and cooked all three of us fresh dishes so we could eat at the same time, meanwhile throwing free bread and humous (yum) and a side of broccolini with cashews and didn’t charge us for our coffees at the end (alright we get it, you’re sorry about the fish!!). Apology accepted, they were very professional about fixing the problem, and I didn’t mind waiting 10 extra minutes.

When our fish arrived (again), it was stunning. Cooked perfectly (hooray!), and sitting in a delicate broth (so upset I didn’t write down all the ingredients from the menu) with mint, spinach, what I think is a type of seaweed, tapioca pearls (correct me if I’m wrong) and rose petals. Yum yum yum – fresh, sweet fish and tangy strips of seaweed in broth, delicious!

Despite the small mishap with the fish, I really loved the food at Syracuse, delicious, well prepared but slightly rustic, not over-embellished or pretentious. The coffee was good too, nothing like a strong flat white to round off a delicious lunch!

Syracuse on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Italian, Melbourne CBD