24 Russell St, Melbourne - ph: (03) 9207 7424
One of the best things about Melbourne Food and Wine festival is the 'restaurant express'. Some of Melbourne's best (and most expensive!) restaurants offer a lunch special for the duration of the festival where you get a set menu of 2 courses + a glass of wine + tea and coffee for $35.
Express lunches are a budget friendly way to try out new top rated Melbourne restaurants.
First cab off the rank was PM 24. I haven't been there before and was looking forward to trying Philippe Mouchel's new place. I really liked dinner at The Brasserie a couple of years ago.
PM 24 is an upmarket French bistro and rotisserie. I was expecting simple food made with top ingredients and great technique...
... and it delivered. I could see their attention to detail from the moment we sat down. Warm sourdough was served in cute rustic fabric bags to keep them warm and accompanied by delicious French butter.
Hubby and I shared an entree of organic chicken liver terrine served with toasted sourdough, onion jam and salad.
The terrine was delicious. Great flavour and texture, not as overpowering as duck liver. I loved the slightly sour and very sweet onion jam. The flavours went really well together.
I chose the Tasmanian salmon for main, served silverbeet polenta and red wine jus. Tasty dish with perfectly cooked salmon. I enjoyed the soft polenta and the jus. Sadly there was not enough of it to go with the generous slice of salmon I got.
Tasmanian salmon with silverbeet polenta
Hubby ordered the duck leg with Paris mash and vegetables. We weren't very impressed with this dish when it was served. The duck looked really dark and overcooked. Surprisingly, the meat was tender once he cut through it.
Duck leg with vegetables and potato mash
For dessert we ordered a slice of apple and mirliton (known as choko in Australia) tart with pistachio ice cream. Mirliton is a tasty vegetable that I've only eaten before in savoury dishes. I was interested to see what it would taste like in a dessert.
Unfortunately, I couldn't taste the choko at all in the dessert. It is a pretty blend tasting vegetable, so I guess the sugary apple would easily overpower it. The tart was nice, a bit too sweet for my taste. I really liked the pistachio ice cream. Smooth creamy texture and great flavour.
We had an enjoyable lunch at PM 24 - excellent cost benefit. I get a feeling I'll be carrying a few extra pounds by the end of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival!