Bianca: One of our last meals in Melbourne was at the recently opened restaurant The Mayfair. Sitting just below the Sofitel hotel in the heart of the CBD. It’s a harkening nod to the yesteryears of the 1930’s and as soon as madre and I step into the restaurant I’m instantly transported to the effortlessly designed but ultra stylised Hubert in Sydney.
The concept is fairly similar, old world design and a late night menu, with a large emphasis on French classics. I was more interested in their ‘OISEAUX DE NUIT’ late night menu 11pm-1am but my 6pm visit didn’t allow that to happen this time around.
It’s a perfect date-night spot and they have live music most nights of the week for that little bit extra. I adored the booth seating but our tiny party of two meant we were placed right on show in the centre of the room. The tiny tables perhaps aren’t the most practical but we made do.
The Housemade butter with onions & sourdough get the party started, they offer to replenish our serve when they see it dwindling but we politely decline.
I was most intrigued by the Pork Belly Croquettes -w/gribiche $6.50 ea. The filling was essentially long delicious strands of pulled pork moulded together. I found the gribiche herby and more akin to a chimichurri.
Mum’s Dry Aged Macedon duck breast -w/ burnt carrots & orange $35 was a winner. The skin crispy and the breast, tender. We both enjoyed this interpretation of the French classic.
I tried to sweet talk the waitress into serving me the burger from the late night menu but no such luck, alas, I ended up settling on the 300g Cape Grim Rump Cap $35 w/Roquefort $4.50. My medium rare steak was right on the money, excellently cooked and seasoned. I would have liked the fat to be more rendered as there was a fair bit of the steak that was inedible. I loved the addition of the earthy blue cheese (something I was curious to try).
This was all tied together with the Pommes Frites $10 and the Roasted Cauliflower -w/chestnut hummus $10. Both excellent in their own right but the caramelised crispy outer edges of the cauliflower & crunchy hazelnuts won us over.
We discussed skipping dessert but that really isn’t in our vocabulary. The Pineapple Tarte Tatin sounded amazing on paper but fell a little short. The caramelised pineapple was sweet, yet rich. But it completely overtook the paper-thin sheet of pastry. (Looks like this is no longer on the menu as well).
We both really enjoyed the fit-out and the bar. I’d be keen to return for the late night menu.