D and I rarely get a chance to date night these days but when he knew that I really wanted to see the Avengers, he made sure he booked seats in advance so we could have a fancy date night. Due to the cold Melbourne weather, Crown seemed like a sensible place to see the movie, nice cinema and plenty of places to eat.
No.8 has been revamped for quite a while now and I haven't had the chance to try it since John Lawson's name was added to their name. This felt like the perfect opportunity to try them.
I am really lucky that D is never stingy when it comes to food, and enjoys a good meal, glass of wine and beautiful atmosphere with me. However, given we were on a tight time frame we decided 2 course was the way to go and if we had time at the end, we would consider dessert.
For starters I got the Jieama ravioli salad. Jiemam a root vegetable similar to a yam, it was served with snap peas, chilli, avocado and pistachio. I loved the chilli bringing in a bit of fire to an otherwise fresh and light dish.
D went with the octopus terrine. We both love terrines but never tried octopus terrine before. It was an interesting dish, I love the bite from the octopus and the fried pork acted as that bite of crispiness you want and the zest came from the tomato tartare.
For mains I went with the duck breast. This came with pears, Brussels sprouts and foie gras sauce. The duck was nice and tender but I think I prefer it with a berry or a citrus sauce rather than pears and Brussels sprouts.
D got the lamb. It was served with snap peas, mint and yoghurt. This was the highlight of the night. The lamb was tender and the snap peas were a good sweet burst of freshness to match the rich lamb taste and creamy, tangy yoghurt.
Bubble and squeak on the side.
We finished our meal quite quickly as we wanted to fit in dessert but this was when it all fell apart. We asked for the dessert menu and we had to ask more than once and waited over 20 minutes for it to come. By the time it came, we pretty much ran out of time. This is very disappointing for a fine dining resturant such as No.8. It kind of ruined the vibe for us. Even when asking for the bill, we had to ask multiple times. The service was a let down, it's not my first time at No.8 but it was my first time with such poor service.
Overall 16.5/20 I enjoyed the food but nothing 'wowed' me, it doesn't mean it wasn't great, but it's more a place for reliable Modern Australian. Hopefully the service will be better next time.