Flinders Lane is playing host to some pretty cool restaurants these days and with the likes of Cumulus Inc. pumping customers in and out from breakfast to dinner, Virginia Plain has got some healthy competition opening up next door. It was Melbourne Cup Eve when I was strolling up towards that end of the city to meet Mr A for lunch, when I was suddenly stopped in my tracks by the darn Melbourne Cup parade *shakes fists*. Frustratingly, I had to weave through the throng of people and walk all the way down to the Yarra river before getting back on track. We debated over where to eat and having eaten at Cumulus Inc. more than enough times, we settled comfortably into a table at Virginia Plains.
I really liked the space at Virginia Plain which was much more spacious than the exterior suggested. The open space is polished and inviting particularly with the bright sunlight streaming in. I liked the features from the details in the long bar to the lighting fixtures and the plush, textured seating along the walls. The service was pleasant and attentive - I mentioned I was freezing halfway through our meal, as the air-conditioning seemed to be on high and even the hanging lights were swaying around, to which our waitress quickly adjusted.
The Spring Lunch special ($35) consisted of a choice of two courses with a glass of wine and coffee. To start off our leisurely lunch, we were served some warm bread which we also later used to eat with the duck rillettes.
The duck rillettes were flaky and flavoursome accompanied well with the sweet fig jam and charred bread.
Mr A neglected to mention he wanted his steak cooked medium rare but luckily, when he sliced into it, it was beautifully pink and juicy. He was very pleased with his steak and there was a good amount of chips and salad that came with the steak. I had a taste and it was delicious.
I was a bit envious when I caught sight of many Wagyu steaks passing me by but that quickly faded when my dish was set in front of me. It looked simple enough but the snapper was cooked perfectly and drizzled in a delicious caper butter sauce. The mash and spring greens (asparagus and green beans) finished the dish off nicely and I left the plate sparkling clean - so yummy. I did find two fish bones which made me slightly wary while eating the rest of the snapper but no big deal.
There was no way we were going to pass on the hot chocolate fondant and we didn't regret it. Cutting into the chocolate fondant revealed a gooey dark chocolate liquid centre which was rich and balanced out by the tart raspberry sauce and milk ice cream.
After our relaxing lunch, we ordered our coffees to go which were freaking hot (I almost burnt my tongue) so I let it cool down while I did a bit of shopping. God I love it when the office is empty and I don't have to do any work!
We enjoyed Virginia Plain's lunch menu and thought the food was executed well and at good value. Luckily, the dinner menu also offers a reasonably priced 'degustation' type meal featuring the chef's best dishes. I'm keen on trying out the 'Bring it on' menu so I hope to make it back sooner, rather than later.
Will I return? Yes, we enjoyed our meal and must return for dinner.
31 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9290 0400
Mon to Wed 11am - 11pm
Thu to Sat 11am - 1am