Punch Lane prides itself as one of the original Melbourne laneway dining places. Hidden away on Punch Lane between Bourke and Little Bourke Street sits this inviting restaurant. Wine bottles on the walls and wooden tables add to the warm and welcoming feeling.
Six bloggers at a table meant lots of food talk, some more food talk and also some education on wine from Nicole, who works in the wine industry. We left the wine orders in her very knowledgable hands and she chose some amazing drops!
When it came to ordering food we debated whether to go with the degustation menu, but in true food blogger manner we decided to go with ordering individually to get a wider range of dishes.
Hourse cured duck with figs, truffled honey, hazelnuts, goats cheese
As entrees we chose a selection of dishes to share between us. The big charcuterie platter was perfect for picking and came with a variety of different meats, including pastrami and my favourite, the pate.
The house cured duck ham salad with figs was nice, unfortunately I didn't get to try too much of the duck, probably not the best dish for sharing.
For me the two standouts of the entrees however were the pancetta wrapped dates with blue cheese and the confit octopus.
Pancetta wrapped dates with blue cheese
The octopus was so juicy and melt in your mouth and the octopus ink added this nice salty depth to the dish. And those little pops of salmon roe... I love that feeling when you bite into them.
As her main, Jess chose the roasted quail with radicchio, salted grapes and candied walnuts from the entree menu. Unfortunately I didn't get to snap a photo, but it looked delicious!!
Sheena and Thomas ordered the salmon fillet on confit celeriac and the Western Plains pork belly with leeks respectively.
The salmon came out pretty as a picture, crispy skin and perched on top of big slices of confit celeriac. It looked perfect, if I didn't have salmon most weeks at home I would have ordered it too!
Western Plains pork belly with leek
Thomas' pork belly was also super crispy looking with the perfect crackling.
Nicole has a mantra to always order duck when it's on the menu and so she did. Her duck was served with parsnip puree, pickled quince and red vein sorrel. The duck looked perfectly pink and juicy. It has definitely gone on my list of dishes to try when I go back next.
Roast duck breast, parsnip puree, pickled quince, red vein sorrel
Jess (JP) who had dined at Punch Lane many times before, chose the O'Connors Black Angus scotch fillet with bull pepper and chimichurri.
Black Angus scotch fillet with bull pepper and chimichurri
I ordered the special, rump cap with radicchio puree, radicchio and charred onion. It was so juicy and tender and the radicchio puree was packed with flavour.
Special: Rump cap with radicchio puree, radicchio and charred onions
After dinner there was just enough room for dessert but looking at the menu I found it hard to make a decision. Luckily Nicole was facing the same predicament so we decided to order two dishes and share them between us.
The warm gingerbread, buttermilk curd, roasted quince and creme fraiche ice cream was to die for. I loved absolutely the flavours of the sweet gingerbread combined with the buttermilk curd and the tanginess of the creme fraiche ice cream.
Tea and Lamington
The other dessert was Tea and Lamington. It looked gorgeous and tasted even better. The dome had a layer of chocolate on the outside and was filled with a gorgeous chocolate mousse.
Thomas and Sheena also shared the warm gingerbread, Jess & Jess decided to go down the savoury path and shared a cheese platter.
I really loved the whole evening, the food was spectacular and the company even better. After a last drink at Punch Lane we decided to meander down Little Bourke Street to a little tucked away bar for a nightcap.
I can't wait to go back to Punch Lane, I know L would love the food and there were just so many things on the menu I still want to try.
Thank you Jess for organising such a lovely evening!