March 11, 2016

Melbourne: eat at George Calombaris’s test kitchen

This is about the closest I will come to Master Chef and tonight, like Australia’s celebrity chef George Calombaris, I too am the judge – in a little kitchen next door to his famous Press Club.

The Press Club, 72 Flinders Street, is George Calombaris’s small restaurant seating only 32 happy diners in curved leather booths under pools of kidney shaped lighting with a narrow aisle up the middle where the staff march. At dinner time it’s a set degustation tasting menu (a la carte for lunch). The food here is creative, quirky, a little molecular gastronomy (meaning you won’t try this at home) which will astound you as each course arrives.

Press Club Melbourne

The Press Club is housed in the old Herald building (Pic Visit Melbourne)

BUT next door is The Press Club Projects. This is a dining experience like none I have had before and was such a cool way to enjoy dinner for fascinated foodies. You sit at the counter of the kitchen where George’s development team (we met chef Reuben) experiments at his work station in front of you. I absolutely loved watching him squirt, swipe, sprinkle, scorch, pour, freeze and plate up some crazy ideas and inspiration like pieces of art, all for us to eat.

With fancy gadgets and machinery sitting on the bench behind us responsible for freeze drying, separating liquids into essences, steaming and what-not, it was an eye-opening evening tickling more than just my taste buds. I loved asking questions, learning some tricks and being inspired to create a modicum of mimicry as I enjoyed a wine matched with each (most) course.

Here is what we ate – but when you go it’ll be different, whatever takes the fancy of the chef on the night.

This is about the closest I will come to Master Chef and I'm thankful that, like Australia's celebrity chef George Calombaris, I too am the judge. The little Greek Master Chef judge is owner of The Press Club, 72 Flinders Street, a small restaurant seating only 32 happy diners in curved leather booths under pools of kidney shaped lighting with a narrow aisle up the middle where the staff march. At dinner time it's a set degustation tasting menu (a la carte for lunch). The food here is creative, quirky, a little molecular gastronomy (meaning you won't try this at home) and will astound you as each course arrives. Press Club Melbourne The Press Club is housed in the old Herald building (Pic Visit Melbourne) BUT next door is The Press Club Projects. This is a dining experience like none I have had before. This is a private table where George's development chef Reuben and his team experiments as you sit around his work station watching him squirt, swipe, sprinkle, scorch, pour, freeze and plate up some crazy ideas and inspiration like pieces of art. With machinery sitting on the bench behind us responsible for freeze drying, separating liquids into essences, steaming and what-not, it was an eye-opening evening tickling more than just my taste buds. I loved asking questions, learning some tricks and being inspired to create a modicum of mimicry as I enjoyed a wine matched with each (most) course. Here is what we ate - but when you go it'll be different, whatever takes the fancy of the chef on the night. Price ranges from $95 for four courses to $195 for nine. Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne

We’re being watched!

Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne Press Club Projects Melbourne

Price ranges from $95 for four courses to $195 for nine. Click here to book!

If you’re heading to Melbourne, you might to read my post on some other cool things to do there >>>

I was in Melbourne with Tourism Victoria to check out just a smidgen of what this great city has to offer. Click on www.visitmelbourne.com to see what else you might like!

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio every week and a few newspapers and mags from time to time. I set off on this travel writing journey 18 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!)I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

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