Make Concrete Playground yours with My Playground. Save and share your favourite picks and make plans to go out with friends. Registration is fast and free.
A special dining experience on Smith Street.
Smith Street has said goodbye to Cavallero and hello to Saint Crispin. Behind the stunning wrought iron gates now lives a warm, intimate space that has 'date night' written all over it. It would help if your date was into food, because the food here is special. The product of The Estelle's Scott Pickett and Joe Grbac (former executive chef of The Press Club), Saint Crispin is the coming together of these two on one plate. It's the food equivalent of two beautiful celebrities having children — there was no chance it was going to result in anything less than stunning.
In very similar form to The Estelle, the menu is offered in a two ($50), three ($60) or full seven course degustation ($120). Menu items are described simply with main ingredients, meaning there is always a welcomed element of surprise when your plate is brought to the table. A bit like 'choose your own adventure', tasters such as the black olive macarons and hibiscus marshmallows will be placed before you, challenging the divide between sweet and salty and making you all the more excited for what's to come.
Start with an entree of Grimaud duck, heirloom beets, foie gras parfait and cumquat or the Wagyu bresaola, quail egg, purple cauliflower and hay ash, which houses some sneaky steak tartare underneath the forest of bresaola. Mains include a butter soft piece of John Dory sit on a heavenly soft mash with octopus, red wine and chickpeas while the suckling pork leg, kohlrabi, baby leek and maple hock comes with little teasers of pastry wrapped meat.
Desserts maintain quality of the menu with equal amounts of delicate execution. Carrot, star anise, almond and honey sees chunks of carrot cake with pannacotta carrot jellies and sweet shards of carrot while the chocolate, earl grey, milk and ginger is a rich chocolate delice with a caramel and biscuit base and creamy ice cream.
The wine list takes inspiration from all over the globe. Start with NV Charpentier Tradition Brut from Champagne, France ($17 glass) and move to an aromatic 2012 Ingenue Riesling from Western Australia ($14 glass). For something red by the glass try the 2010 Home Hill Estate Pinot Noir ($14 glass) or, for something heavier, go for the 2010 Wild Duck Creek Yellow Hammer Hill Shiraz Malbec from Heathcote ($11 glass).
The food is stunning and the space is intimate and inviting. The service, while eager, sometimes saw elements of inconsistency, but, in all, a small price to pay for a night at Saint Crispin.
296 Smith Street
T (03) 9866 2122
295 Smith Street
T (03) 9419 2130
141 Greeves Street
T 03 9078 3866
294 Smith Street
T (03) 9077 8509
135 Greeves Street
T 03 9417 6660
279 Smith St
37–41 Little Bourke Street
T (03) 9639 4944
1 Reid Street
T (03) 9486 8306
131-133 Domain Road
T (03) 9804 5468
45 Collins Street
T +61 96548545
16 Russell Place
T (03) 9663 7557
285-287 Coventry Street
T (03) 9690 2688
Saturday, June 23 - Friday, August 17
@ MacRobertson's Confectionery Factory
Tuesday, August 14 - Sunday, August 19
@ 5 Easey Street
Friday, June 1 - Friday, August 31
@ The Provincial Hotel
Friday, March 23 - Sunday, August 26
@ Melbourne Museum
Friday, June 1 - Friday, August 31
@ Imperial Hotel
Saturday, June 9 - Thursday, August 30
@ Various locations across Melbourne