The hushed murmurs and the muffled squeals of excitement from our neighbouring diners seemed to show their unequivocal appreciation for their meal. From their first bite into the spiced prawn cracker, to slurping down their oysters and finally, when they nipped their golden egg with a knife to see the requisite egg yolk oozing out. Admittedly, Mr A and I both had the same quieter sentiments – upon first bite of the first few dishes, our eyes were rolling back into their sockets.
There was a mad scramble for dinner reservations when word first got out about Champions Bistro. Occupying the dining space in an unassuming suburban bowls club in Melbourne’s South, most sessions were booked out months in advance due to the limited span of the temporary restaurant. It is only now, after a few extensions due to popular demand, that Clinton and Ali are taking a short hiatus in September to rest and recharge. Without neglecting to signing in at the front counter leading to the bistro, we catch glimpses of smoke wafting up from plates and a collective of interesting looking bites which had us highly anticipating our meal.
It’s admirable for a restaurant to be long-standing in the fickle and on-trend driven city of Melbourne. Cecconi’s has been established on Flinders Lane for almost a decade, despite the continuous droves of restaurants opening and closing up within a few blocks. There is a sophisticated, formal atmosphere with the open kitchen acting as the main centrepiece – from the offers to take your coat away from you; crisp white table linen dressing the dining tables; and the brushing of crumbs off the table after courses. Upon our arrival for dinner, we noticed some late lunchers who seemed to enjoy their lunch so much, they had started to transition their way into some early evening drinks