Bianca: A Viking-themed bar just exactly what the masses were yelling for surely? So I’m pretty sure I’m one of the last people on the planet to see the TV show Vikings. I have a great appreciation for Travis Fimmel, particularly his Calvin Klein modelling work circa 2002, I’m shallow, sue me! The rumblings of a restaurant/bar opening 100m away from my work was simply too hard to deny and with my Viking loving partner in tow, we descended into Mjolner.
It’s almost otherworldly, with a space much larger than it first appears. You would be remiss to think you had travelled back in time. I couldn’t help but have a giggle at the staff’s Robinhood-esque outfits. I visited twice in the space of a month and service was different on both occasions. We had a great time with our waitress our first visit but she forgot the complimentary ‘skal’ essentially the act of toasting. As well as the production of allowing us to choose our knives/weapons. This was performed to a tee my second visit but service wasn’t as friendly.
We both fell in love with the Stone Dog Odin’s Reserve Mead $10 a sweet syrupy mead, with honey notes. This was seriously addictive and at a 10% alcohol level, you’re going to want to sip it slowly.
Both occasions I missed out on the bread, it simply wasn’t offered to me. The menu changes daily, with the carvery serving as the skeleton of the restaurant. The Bird – Roast Duck, beetroot, amaranth & orange $35 was almost described in mythical proportions. The beetroot jus was sweet yet slightly piquant but I can’t say I was wowed by the duck, it was tough and mostly unremarkable. Especially when it was described to me by the waiter as the best thing on the menu that night.
That crown deservedly belongs to the Beast – Braised Short Rib, kale & mushroom $35, luscious fatty short-rib that pulled away from the bone. Crispy kale adding some crunch. Included in the price for mains is a serving of Baby Potatoes -w/ horseradish & herbs $10.
Crispy Eggplant – w/tomato & parmesan $12 is a winner, mainly due to the varying textures. There was a slight acidity to the tomato sauce.
My second visit was with Hilda and it was ALL about that Crispy Pork Belly. Equal proportions of meat, fat and crispy crackling was an absolute highlight. The green foliage was a little random.
The Rhubarb Sorbet -w/salted caramel, fennel & rice $15 sounds like a strange combination on paper but worked exceptionally well. The salted caramel was a standout and a bite with each element was magic. Most surprising of all, the candied fennel, the rice was gelatinous, warm and comforting. A stand-out dish.
And finally, the Marscapone Parfait w/hazelnut, charred lemon & plum $15. Great for those wanting to finish on a lighter note but I’m a chocolate/ heavier dessert fiend, so this didn’t quite do it for me. Excellent conception with a great interplay of sour, sweet and salty. But ultimately one I wouldn’t order again.
Across the board, a few hit and miss dishes. I love the concept, the fit-out and it’s a great watering hole. But there was nothing, food-wise that really stuck out too much that would have me coming back repeatedly.
Oh I met Hilda in Centennial Park one day. She’s so nice! And I know what you mean about duck disappointment, especially when it is described so well. Peking duck is the only duck I find consistently good. It can be really hit or miss otherwise.
I hit this place up on Sunday for my second visit – this time with a trio of string musicians performing Game of Thrones songs. I truly enjoyed it. We never got bread on either occasion from memory. I did learn that the knives aren’t there every day as they can’t clean them – they get sent off to get oil cleaned. They returned back just before our mains and as we were taking pics they brought us some. My guest yesterday can’t drink alcohol so I had two skals – no complaints :),
The short rib wins for me with a second to the pork belly but the crackling on the belly was a fail yesterday – the baked celeriac was perfection, the desserts nothing special but the drinks are next level. They also offered bar food at the table yesterday with the menu food so we ate an entire hollowed loaf of bread stuffed with meats and that was sublime.
I love this place because it worships Thor – Mjolner is the name of his hammer :).
And OMG those Calvin Klein Femmel ads were amazing hahaha