I've only recently just come back from overseas and trying to get back into working mode. Melbourne makes it extremely hard with its cold weather and comparatively more expensive food. I can honestly say that I am missing Korean food like crazy and have already visited DonWoori to satiate my KBBQ cravings. Other than that, I am getting back into the groove of blogging. I caught up with my friend Ms J for lunch on Monday and I decided on Gill's Diner as it's very close to my work and I have been meaning to write up a blog review of this restaurant. It is tucked away off Little Collins Street next to Commercial Bakery and only recognised by the "Gill's Diner" sign pointing up the alleyway. With a One Hat status in The Age Good Food Guide, the food is great - incorporating both French & Italian dishes in their menu. They do not have a physical menu as such, but all the dishes available that day are written up on blackboards around the restaurant.
Ms J ordered us a glass of white wine each which was very refreshing but I forgot to ask what we had. The freshly baked bread was great with the butter and I ate both of the rolls throughout & after our meal which resulted in an overly bloated stomach.
I was extremely hungry and carbs were on my mind so I went for the Spaghetti Marinara as recommended by our waitress. The seafood included a mussels, tiny clams, prawns and quite a few chunks of salmon which was a good mix although I found the Prawns were very tough and overcooked and one of the Mussels still had a beard inside - everything else was perfect. The pasta was perfectly cooked to al dente and packed with lots of garlic & parsley flavour but the chilli seemed to be missing in action. I really enjoyed my dish although the pasta was drowning in so much olive oil that I started to feel quite greasy towards the end.
Ms J had the Smoked Mackerel Nicoise Salad which she enjoyed as there were plenty of greens, the golden egg yolk was incredibly tempting and went well with the Mackerel to alleviate the saltiness of the Mackerel.
I always have a good meal at Gill's Diner however I can't seem to get past the fact that it is a very expensive restaurant to dine at. Of course fine dining has its price but I paid the equivalent of a 2 course lunch express menu for 2 people at another One Hat restaurant - and we only had the above stated and a glass of wine each. Another example of the steep prices is that I used to buy Chicken & Leek pies from Commercial Bakery however they have stopped selling it there and instead only exclusively offer it at Gill's Diner. It used to be only $11 for a pie and now it is $22 for a pie with a side salad - What the!? I have had an amazing Bone Marrow Risotto here a few years ago so I keep hoping we will reunite there some day.
Will I return? Yes, although rarely as the steep prices deter me greatly.
360 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9670 7214