Saturday, July 11, 2015

Merchant Osteria Veneta, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

Is it possible to have a fine dining experience for $10?  My answer is a qualified 'yes'!  Last year, Obelix dined at Merchant Osteria Veneta with a bunch of her chums and the food looked gorgeous. As I was off doing an errand around the Rialto Tower around lunch time, I couldn't help but get sucked into the delicious, wafting aromas of grilled meats.  It turns of out that MOV has a self-proclaimed "world famous" Friday BBQ stand. 

The thought of a $10 charcoal spit-roasted lamb roll loaded with toppings sounded like a perfect lunch for me. Having waited for 15-20 minutes in line for my order, I was very lucky to get a roll - they were fast running out of lamb despite the fact that I had arrived around 12:30pm.  While the roll was beautiful to behold, it sadly didn't live up to expectations. The good points were that there was a lot of lamb and the flavour was quite tasty.  The not-so-good points were that the lamb was very, very gristly and chewy.  I ended up spitting most of it out.  The roasted capsicum had lovely smokiness to it, but the roll was definitely more than a day old.  In the end, this wasn't a very satisfying lunch and I chucked it away and had to get some sushi.

Verdict: we liked it.

Rating MOV's BBQ stand was a little tricky for me.  While my particular roll wasn't great, I do like the idea of high-end restaurants doing cheap eats versions of their food. In terms of quantity, you're definitely getting more from here than, say, a roast lamb roll at the David Jones' Foodhall.  Since it's only a tenner, it's worth checking out if you're in the area. Although I had placed my order before 12:30pm, I strongly advise to get there at 12pm - the food does run out quickly and there will be a wait for your food.

The Rialto, 495 Collins Street
Telephone: 03 9614 7688

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