As part of the Hamer Hall revamp at the Victorian Arts Centre, the very gorgeous Trocadero has opened its doors to Melbourne, with views overlooking the Yarra River, Flinders St Station, Federation Square, and St Paul’s Cathedral. The perfect spot to stop after work for a Prosecco, in the bright open bar, with stools facing the million-dollar view, the snacks on offer will have you swooning. The triple cooked potatoes with truffle aioli and pecorino are easily justifiable after a hard day at the office, as are the cocktails, including one that takes my particular fancy, called the ‘Elderflower Fizz’.
As this inviting space is in handy proximity to my office, I’ve found myself frequenting the bar with alarming regularity, which recently led to an invitation to try the menu in the brasserie. And now I am considering moving in.
General manager Marty McCaig (ex Comme) is the host with the most, passionate about this beautiful space and even more so about the beautiful dishes coming out of the kitchen, courtesy of chef extraordinaire, Nick Bennett. And when the first plate arrived it was easy to see why. We started with Kingfish with pomello, daikon, capers, and a salsa of chervil, coriander and basil, which was almost too pretty to eat. Almost. The rabbit terrine with pistachio sponge, and rabbit ‘floss’ was a gorgeous modern twist on a classic. Next was the herb gnocchi with scallops. The little fluffy pillows of potatoey goodness and sweet plump scallops were browned in butter, and served with broadbeans and a truffle emulsion. H.E.A.V.E.N. Following this, the tuna came encrusted in crunchy sesame seeds, topped with wafer thin slices of crispy eggplant, complimented by citrus mayonnaise, and miso crumbs.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, out came dessert at which point I may have lost my composure and uttered a few complimentary expletives. A more ridiculously good looking dessert I had not seen in some time. Comprising of rice icecream, black sesame sponge, miso caramel and its glorious crowning glory, beautiful pink shards of rhubarb, this little darling was an explosion of flavour and texture, surprising and unexpected and altogether delightful.
As a further dessert note, for those of you who read Larissa Dubecki’s article on desserts, featuring Trocadero’s caramel cooked cream with pear, popcorn crumble and chocolate, you need this in your life. It is EVERY BIT as delectable as it sounds.
The service at Trocadero is unfailingly consistent, polite but not intrusive, helpful, friendly and and always welcoming. It doesn’t hurt either that one of the waiters looks a little bit like Ryan Gosling. And the more Prosecco I have, the more he looks like Ryan Gosling.
With the addition of the eagerly-anticipated terrace opening this week, which will increase capacity to another 100 seats outside, with arguably one of the best views in Melbourne, this is going to be hard to beat as a dining destination – whether you’re interested in the Arts, or the simple art of enjoying getting the nosebag on. Either way, you’re going to have to arm wrestle me for a seat at the bar tonight. I’ll tell Ryan you said hi.