Monday, October 18, 2010

The European, Spring Street, Melbourne

For lunch, I head off to that bastion of Melbourne eating, The European.

The menu is eclectically continental. I opt for a Spanish theme; something from the breakfast menu, huevos madrilenes, a delightful mixture of black pudding and chorizo in a little earthenware thingee, topped off with a couple of eggs and popped into the oven, the lightly sprinkled with the crumbs of some cheesy bready thing and served with a slice of thick toasted bread. And on the side, pickled eel croquetas, which despite your uncontrollable cringe (yes I saw that - don't deny it!!) is absolutely delightful, served with a slice of lemon edged in chilling powder.

Just one thing about black puddings - there was a time when I used to eat a delicious serve of black pudding with a fried egg on a slice of toasted bread, and got stick for that. Well, it is good to see that black pudding has been the breakfast of champions for many centuries...

To wash it down, I've ordered a half bottle of 2008 Roland Tissier et Fils Sancerre, which is sauvignon blanc. I'm really developing a thing for French wines.  It's got a nice delicate floral nose, and when you drink it, you get a soft, fruity flavour which crescendos into citrusy lemon, ultimately ending in a crisp, clean, and almost fizzy (!) finish.

The service is great - it is friendly, and you never have trouble getting anyone's attention (well, the place is quite small after all, and the waitstaff have to walk past you whether they like it or not), and you're never left waiting for anything.  Order a wine - you get it.  Order a dish - you get it.  Ask for the bill - you get it too (read my other entries for my gripes about restaurants who fail to give you the bill when you just want to go home).  And the waitstaff are even happy to engage in some light banter, be it about the weird and wonderful offerings of the Melbourne Art Festival, or the fact that you're settling into a long lunch on your own.

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