Pascale Bar & Grill at QT Hotel signals upgrade in hotel dining

Pascale Bar & Grill's West Australian wood-fired marron. Photo: Mark Lane

Pascale Bar & Grill's West Australian wood-fired marron. Photo: Mark Lane

It’s like being in a glitzy art hotel in Los Angeles. No expense has been spared with comfy leather bucket chairs, lush carpets and chequered tiles that bend around portholes to the kitchen. It’s here that executive chef Andy Harmer – who’s worked at Vue de Monde, The Point and DOM in Sao Paulo – is upgrading hotel dining.

We start small at Pascale Bar & Grill, at QT Hotel. Cured kingfish dotted with sapphire-blue scampi caviar, green strawberries and honeysuckle flowers on stracciatella. Crab cakes are less impressive than linguine, slick with black truffle and mushroom sauce wearing a wig of dehydrated enoki.

A rare tuna steak is well seasoned, but the crackling component tastes more like oil than pork. Better is West Australian marron, cooked in a pecan-wood-fired Josper and served on chorizo-spiked beurre blanc. Order steaming-hot bread for mopping. Desserts finish strong – sticky apple tarte tatin and fluffy fig souffle with pistachio ice-cream. It’s not cheap and dishes are smallish, but with Harmer at the helm, Melbourne visitors don’t have to leave QT for a taste of the city.

Best for: Dinner and a staycation in the CBD

Little bites

New bar from Rumi & Moor’s Head

A new venture from Joseph Abboud, Ari Vlassopoulos and chef Tom Sarafian, Bar Saracen is open for business in what was Rosa’s Kitchen. The succinct menu features Middle Eastern dishes like prawn, egg and cheese borek and lamb-heart iskender.

twrfoodsaracen

Bomboloni au go go is tella tale

Following cultish stores in New South Wales and Queensland, Tella Balls Dessert Bar has opened in Melbourne Central food court serving OTT Nutella desserts – doughnut sliders, doughnut ice-cream cones, dessert lasagna and kebabs.

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Belles Hot Chicken on Wheels

Fried chicken favourite Belles Hot Chicken has debuted a food truck at Welcome to Thornbury. As well as Nashville-style chicken available in mild to “Really Fuckin’ Hot”, the Baller Bucket is there for big appetites, with 16 wings, four sides and four sauces.

twrfoodbelles

 

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