Formally occupied by Matterhorn, this new joint on the CBD fringe is a good option for groups and dates. Stepping inside the brick and timber building, the interior was what I predicted it to be; warm, welcoming, candlelit and spacious with an incredibly high ceiling. We moseyed over from our College Hill apartment with no booking on a Saturday night but luckily there were tables available, perhaps due to how fresh the establishment is.
Upon seating, we were given a small basket of complimentary freshly baked bread that was simply perfection; warm and soft with a crunchy crust. It's safe to say that we were rather joyous about this. I mean, when was the last time you had freshly baked sourdough? While guzzling down a pint of Emerson's Pilsener ($11) we perused the menu. I thought the sides were overpriced until later on, the waitress planted a super-sized bowl of fat chips on our neighbour's table. I still think about it to this day.
We ordered two mains to share: the Scotch fillet with a caramelised onion and fennel tart, parsley pickle salad and smoked crayfish butter ($36) and the lamb loin with barley pilaf, kumara purée, seasonal vegetables and vadouvan poached sweet breads ($34). Although we ordered to share, I took a liking to the former dish. The lamb was cooked to an absolutely superb standard with the meat having just the right amount of tenderness. If you're into the whole healthy protein-filled carbs thing with all the grains and what not, then this dish would probably be right up your alley. I, on the other hand, don't have a penchant for barley. So, while I do highly commend the meat, the base that it sat on didn't cater for my personal palate.
All the glorious pickles and the pastry with the medium-rare Scotch fillet steak was definitely my kind of meal. Both the meats arrived sliced, making it aesthetically appealing and also very easy to inhale.
While leaving the restaurant, a subterranean space caught my boyfriend's eye; lo and behold, it was a sports bar. Tucked below and behind the main entrance, it seemed to be a rather attractive little nook for the rugby fan-boy. I can totally see this secret bar becoming the next local mancave for any event that requires a flat-screen TV and kegs of beer.