Ca de Vin
Melbourne GPO, Postal Lane (off Bourke St Mall)
Phone: 9654 3639
Meeting up with Alex from the MSG for dinner on Friday night, both of us were (surprisingly) at a bit of a loss for where we should eat. That shouldn’t happen to foodbloggers, right? I blame a long and busy week at work. When Alex suggested we go to Grill’d, I knew we were in trouble.So I countered with Ca de Vin. I’ve walked past, and indeed through, Ca de Vin numerous times – on my way to Ramen Ya, you see – and always thought it looked quite appealing. Though the incongruous French name and Italian menu is a little strange.
Set inside a covered laneway, the warm lighting and candles give it a charming, romantic atmosphere. Not that I’m suggesting anything was going on between Alex and I! I like the fact that there’s pretty much an open kitchen, with an informal bar area where you can perch and watch the chefs cook if you’re just having a drink.
It was a busy Friday night – they were turning people without reservations away not long after we were seated – and I’m hoping this was the reason the service was so brusque. It wasn’t offensive, just coolly efficient. I would have expected a little more character and personality, given the decor.
I ordered the marinated lamb backstrap, which came served on a spinach and wild mushroom risotto with crispy sweet potato chips and a red wine jus.
The waitress took the trouble to ask me how I would like my lamb. I, of course, replied, “Rare.” It came out exceedingly well done. Alex suggested I should send it back, but I was hungry and didn’t want to wait, so ate it anyway. The flavour wasn’t bad, but nothing amazing. The risotto was cooked well, but lacked any real mushroom flavour, which was a disappointment.
Being a sucker for a risotto, Alex ordered the oxtail risotto with slow roasted tomatoes and crispy cauliflower florets finished with spring onions and fresh parmesan.
When talking to friends later, I was told that the pizza is the way to go if you dine at Ca de Vin. Oh well, I guess I know now, for next time.