3 Southgate Avenue
Ph: (03) 9682 3799
After getting a little tipsy in the sun and heading back to our hotel for a brief rest, it was soon time to head back to Southbank for dinner. Mum suggested we catch a water taxi to our Michael Buble concert, and remembered a package deal she had seen combining the boat ride, dinner and drinks.
Eat, drink, Water Taxi is the name of the deal, and it offers you two courses, two drinks – one with your meal and one after the concert – and a return trip on the water taxi for $42 per person. With a return ticket normally costing $18 per person its a good deal; we worked out we would have saved around $22 each by buying the package.
Bear Brass describes itself as “buzzy and informal”, and that pretty much sums it up. They serve breakfast all the way through to late night drinks, and the clientele you see here shows it’s the kind of place that caters for lots of different needs: a couple after a nice dinner; a bunch of girlfriends who just want cocktails and a few snacks; blokes craving a beer and a good pizza after work. The set menu for the water taxi deal looks pretty stock standard at first glance, with something to cover everyone’s tastes – a chicken dish, a risotto, calamari – and we were expecting a tasty meal but one that may have not been as good as if we had ordered a la carte. We were pleasantly surprised however; the food looked and tasted fantastic.
Turkish bread with home made dips
We were never told by our waiter what the dips were, but we figure they were along the lines of a capsicum, a beetroot and a tzatziki style dip. They were excellent; fresh and flavoursome, a creative blend of flavours.
Parmesan crumbed calamari with spinach, rocket and aioli salad
Sometimes kitchens get that protein-to-salad-to-dressing balance all wrong, with not enough of something and too much of something else. This was not one of those times. The aioli came already dressed on the greens, rather than in the little pot to the side that I was expecting, and there wasn’t a whole lot but it was the perfect amount to complement the salty, cheesy, crunchy calamari. There was plenty of calamari too; the ratio of seafood to greens was spot on.
Just a note: the young girl who took our booking in person for this package deal was very unpleasant to deal with, and when we were trying to find out what exactly the deal offered and how it would fit in with the rest of the night’s plans it was like getting blood out of a stone. On the other hand, the waiter who served us at dinner was charming and friendly. Service here is a bit hit and miss; you might get someone fantastic, or a grumpy surly teenager.
After our dinner we walked a few metres down to the river and jumped in our water taxi. I would highly recommend this mode of transport; you get a beautiful and unique view of Melbourne and it’s a really fun and easy way to travel if you’re going to a concert. The company caters for most of the big acts playing in Melbourne and they leave from Southbank frequently, every ten minutes. We had a fantastic time at the concert, enjoyed our daiquiris despite them seeming to have absolutely no alcohol, and took a short stroll back to the river for our lift back to Southbank. Once there, we decided we felt more like making our way back to the hotel and grabbing a coffee than sticking around for another drink - and the great thing is that the drink cards don’t expire. So we wandered back to Citadines and had a delicious coffee from the downstairs restaurant, Heirloom: a place when we experienced a unique breakfast the next day.
Stay tuned for Part Three: Breakfast at Heirloom!