Amalfi White is housed in the former Melbourne Liberal Club & Public Hall and opened in 2013. Our first ever visit was when it had been open for just one week – we were looking for a wedding reception venue who’s main focus is food (no surprises there!) and as soon as we walked through the door we knew this was it! (Shout out to the lovely Kat who organised the whole wedding shin dig!)
Our most recent visit was on a Friday night and when we arrived the atmosphere was buzzing. I love the feel of the place as much now as I did on that first visit – you can really tell how much care and attention has gone into the interiors, and the lighting in the evenings really gives it an opulent feel
As is customary on each and every one of our visits, we headed straight to the bar for some drinks (which is what I suggest you also do!) Speak to Ben, order whatever he recommends and sit back and enjoy – you won’t regret it!
Having only launched their new menu the day before we visited, we were intrigued to see what was on offer. It was promising from the off – when you want to order one of everything it’s a good sign!
There are two different menus to choose from – the ‘Urban menu’ and the ‘Chef’s menu’. Unable to choose between them, we decided to mix and match!
My starter was from the Chef’s menu and when it arrived I was already impressed. Visually stunning, I was hopeful that it would taste as good… Fresh tuna tartare (as tasty as that I recently had at Clamato in Paris) sat underneath a beautifully seared yellow fin tuna steak that was pink in the middle but warm all the way through – not the easiest thing to do as I have experienced many times at home! Various preparations of beetroot accompanied the tuna – salt baked, dehydrated, raw sliced and ‘coral’ (the delicate web of deep purple you can see on top of the dish) – each bringing a different intensity and texture but all obviously identifiable as beetroot. Bitterness and crunch from the endive leaf and sweetness from the baby pears added another dimension again, but still working in harmony with the other ingredients. I reluctantly shared some with the husband who echoed my nods of appreciation!
Onto my main which I’d chosen from the Urban menu, and I suppose I didn’t expect it to be presented quite as beautifully as the starter from the Chef’s menu – how wrong I was! This was a really vibrant plate of food. Flaky lemony sea bream with a light, crisp skin was joined on the plate by a summer vegetable caponata. The caponata was a lot bolder than it sounds, the depth of flavour in the veg was amazing – I could imagine eating this dish whilst sat beside the sea on holiday, it really felt that summery! Buttery-soft salt baked new potatoes and salsa verde accompanied my main, and I have to admit to eating almost the whole lot to myself, they were so addictive!
I am married to someone that must have at least two carb-heavy sides with every meal (I had to help with the sides, obviously – the paprika fries and garlic flatbread were spot on) so by the time we’d finished our mains we were pretty full! I didn’t let that deter me from looking at the dessert menu though, and as soon as I read the description of the first dish my decision was made! We shared the Amalfi lemon tart – which consisted of a zingy lemon mousse with a crunchy biscuit base, all encased in a white chocolate shell – a quick bash on the top and we were in! The white chocolate worked really well with this dish, the lemon preventing it from being over-sweet. To accompany the tart was toasted sesame ice cream which was to die for! I have nominated my Dad to make some of this toasty nutty goodness at home! The dish was finished off with little french meringues, nettle gel & chocolate tuilles – again a plate of food that was as beautiful as it was tasty
There have been times over the years that the food here has been a bit safe but hats off to the head chef – we both agreed that this new menu is exactly what Amalfi White has been needing and we felt really exited about everything we ate. It fits the style of the place much better than previous menus and I can’t wait to go again as the seasons change… It still surprises me when people say they’ve never been, so my advice to you would be GO, GO, GO!
Whether it’s lunch, dinner, drinks in the garden or a special occasion meal, Amalfi White has it covered – just don’t forget to book!
Link to their website is here.