Address: 495 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Phone: 03 9614 7688
Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday: 5pm – 11pm
Foodie Partner: Audrey
“Let’s have dinner Audrey! <Insert Reason>.” And usually that reason would be related to her CPA.
This occasion was no different. We went to Merchant as Audrey had completed her CPA exam. (I seriously don’t know how she manages her CPA studies and full time work (She’s a smart cookie))
To start off, we were both offered a Bellini, which is a cocktail that originates from Venice. It’s a mixture of sparkling wine and peach puree.
The drink was PERFECT: Alcohol + sparkling + Peach. A very fruity drink and very light.
In all honesty I actually prefer that someone approached me with one drink option, then being handed a menu, as I hate flicking through pages and pages of drink options, which I have knowledge about plus I like to see things visually.
The waitress came over and gave us a beautifully designed piece of paper with the menu.
As the menu was a daily menu and it was slightly wet due to some water spilled, I decided to take a pen and started circling what we wanted.
The waitress then came over and commented on how organised I was haha, and also offered a brand new menu so that I could take it home :)
To start off with we were given complimentary bread to start off with. As you can see in the photo below the bread was served rustically on wooden plate with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt on beautifully crafted dishes (Audrey and I are guessing they are Venetian).
Really enjoyed dipping the bread in olive oil and some sea salt! Best way of eating bread me thinks! :)
Our first starter dish that we ordered was the Capa Sante Con Le Mandole which is an almond crusted coffin bay scallops.
The scallops were fresh, and the almond crust gave it extra flavour and a bit of texture. It’s a very small portion but a good starter dish.
I don’t eat scallops often but if I do it would be the dried scallops and sashimi styled scallops. Yum!
During the time when we were choosing our dishes, Audrey and I said to each other than we wanted to cut down on our carbs…..
But… we ended up ordering two carb dishes =_=; Total failure if you ask me! haha.
Whilst some people may be put off with a plate of black looking risotto, this dish was very delicious.
The portion isn’t ridiculous like most places but still quite a large portion which Audrey and I struggled with but still managed to polish the whole dish off.
There was a good amount of calamari in the dish and the risotto was well seasoned. Thankfully not crazy salty like most places I’ve eaten at!
Out of the two main dishes, the Bigoli, Maseneta, Radecio was my favourite. I don’t usually eat a lot of pasta, and when I do, I prefer to eat a plate of good pasta!
So this pasta dish went down a treat. Merchant was very generous with the serving of crab meat.
I’ve never had radicchio until now, but learned about it the other day when I watched the Jamie Oliver episode of Master Chef haha.
Radicchio is a bitter leaf chicory vegetable but in this dish it was only slightly bitter, and to be honest you really cant taste the bitterness that much unless you focus on it.
As for the chilli, it wasn’t that spicy at all if anything. But you all know that I eat a large amount of chilli.
In all honesty, Audrey and I probably shouldn’t have ordered a side dish of sauteed potatoes and garlic, but we still managed to clear all of our dishes. The potatoes I must say were the best!
They were cut into bite size pieces and were well seasoned. The potatoes they used were starchy and they were sauteed till crisp! Loved it. I have to say they are comparable to my favourite potatoes from Cumulus Inc. Different style, but both are very good!
I could eat bowls of these potatoes! I love my potatoes!
Whilst Audrey and I were extremely full we still had room to eat dessert of course! haha.
We ordered a sweet and savoury dessert – Venetian trifle and a cheese platter.
Audrey isn’t much of a cheese fan, so she had the majority of the venetian trifle, and I ate the majority of the cheese as I’m going through a cheese obsession phase!
The venetian trifle was lovely and not overly sweet. We’re not too sure what liqueur they used but it gave the dessert an extra oomph.
I can’t really describe it any further as I only had one or two spoonfuls so I don’t exactly remember it.
Ahh… Cheese. Ever since my visit to Pei Modern, I’ve been obsessed with cheese. During the time when we picked our desserts, I wasn’t sure what cheese to choose, and I asked the waitress to recommend a blue cheese that was not over powering.
So we ended up going for the Gorgonzola Dolce, which is a mild blue cheese. It’s not overly pungent and it went well with the quince paste and the fresh crunchy grapes!
I like to start off with spreading a generous amount of the cheese onto the toasted bread along with some quince paste. Then after eating that I like to eat a grape. strange? How does everyone eat their cheese?
After we finished our meal we were told that we can write on the back wall, where there’s already existing messages to Merchant, and love declarations!
Well here’s my horrible writing and my signature happy egg drawing!
This has got to be my favourite Italian food experience for quite some time, as most places would serve overly large proportions of risotto or poorly cooked pasta. But here at Merchant the dishes were cooked at high quality, and the service was very attentive.
I love how the place is laid back and it’s cute that the waitresses there wear their chucks :D
Now the question is what reason should I use after Audrey finishes her CPA exams?! Perhaps I should start my CPA?