Southgate Moveable Feasts are a restaurant crawl through Southgate’s revamped restaurant precinct running until Monday 4 August for Sunday lunch and Monday dinners.
Your host will take you on a journey through three Southgate restaurants for an entree, main course and dessert. It’s a great way to sample different restaurants in one go and you definitely won’t leave hungry!
I was invited to sample a Southgate Moveable Feast for Sunday lunch. We started off at Southgate’s newest venue, the Italian restaurant Artusi which is owned by the same people as Tutto Bene. The head chef also comes after several years at Tutto Bene.
It’s a handsome venue, full of warm copper tones and a sleek interior design. I think the spacing of the tables could be loosened a bit – I could barely get out of my seat and the waiters had to shuffle sideways to reach me.
From Artusi I chose the wood roasted Berkshire pork belly, pomelo, endive slaw, chilli and colatura di Alici (anchovy water). The presentation was a bit unrefined but in flavour it was excellent, with soft melting meat combined with the tang of citrus and the faint bitterness of the endives.
For mains we trundled to Amarok Bar & Restaurant, possibly the only Native American restaurant in Melbourne and which adjoins the Ice Bar, Australia’s only ice bar. While the interior is all wood cabin/ski chalet, don’t worry you won’t be expected to eat whale or seal.
The menu is better described as Modern Australian with some Native American touches and techniques – such as the ample use of corn, wrapping meats to cook over coals (or a hot oven) and flavouring sauces with pine needles and wild berries.
Case in point, I chose the Pouch Baked Salmon in Corn Mead with Lemon, Fresh Herb & Grape Quinoa Salad. Cooking fish en papillote ensured juicy, tender fish and the refreshing salad rounded off a relatively light option – although the serving was enormous!
Last stop was the Southgate stalwart Bluetrain, repositioned in a new area of the centre with expansive windows overlooking the Yarra.
From the dessert menu I tried the ‘Layered childhood memories’. Who can resist a dessert with this description? ‘Layers of chocolate cake, roasted hazelnut & peanut salted caramel, choc fudge, mascarpone, fresh berries & milo ice-cream’! It was a decadent as it sounded, with my only quibble being a rather stodgy and dry chocolate cake that was not quite cake nor brownie.
I had an enjoyable time at Southgate Moveable Feasts and it encouraged me to try the venues separately on another day. My only main issue with the event was the timing. It was slated to start at 12pm and finish at 3pm but our entrees were not served until 1pm, main course at 2:30pm and dessert was around 4pm. While I appreciate the decadence of a long lunch I had other appointments that afternoon and I think it’s important to stick to the advertised timeframe when you’re moving and feeding groups of people.
Southgate Moveable Feasts are being on each Sunday and Monday night from 12 noon Sundays and 7pm Mondays. The restaurant combinations are different for each date and you can choose between three course dining options for $60pp or $85pp. Entrée and main courses both include a glass of wine and dessert is served with tea or coffee.
Click here for the full Moveable Feasts Program.