Fine Dining Modern Australian

Gimlet – Melbourne VIC Restaurant Review

Every so often I try and have a meal out and my body just won’t let me. It happened at Moxhe, and it happened again at Gimlet. This particular episode of bad food bolus obstruction sensation was precipitated by my downing of a large volume of psyllium husk and probably not enough water just prior to the meal. My gastroenterologist friend CJP thinks it might be eosinophilic oesophagitis, but my actual gastroenterologist hasn’t had a chance to weigh in yet.

Let me therefore treat you to a description of our meal at Gimlet at Cavendish House, mostly through the eyes of someone watching my girlfriend eat.

We started with some raw albacore tuna with compressed cucumber, sorrel, and vinaigrette ($36). The menu lists a similar dish with bonito instead of albacore, and I wonder if this was an on-the-day substitution to suit whatever was available at the fish market. In general the compression of fruits and vegetables is foreign to me, though I did not believe this particular version of cucumber to have been compressed as completely as it could have been by, for example, the hydraulic press channel. Overall I didn’t have the best impression of this dish, I think because as humans my partner and I prefer bluefin and yellowfin tuna greatly over albacore, which has a bit more of a floury texture than we would like. Rather than being the star of the show, the albacore tuna here was more of a vessel for the good flavours of the vinaigrette.

My enjoyment of the Half Southern Rock Lobster, wood-roasted in saffron rice with bisque sauce ($150) was greatly diminished by my weakened physical state. My impression of this, from what little I had, was that it was absolutely quite delicious, surprisingly big (though it was a solid $150), with beautiful rice that had a bit of crispiness around the edges, a little similar to claypot rice but I’m sure more similar to other rices from other cultures that I’ve not yet experienced. The capsicum dip was not really necessary with such a wonderful intrinsic flavour of the seafood and rice. My partner absolutely demolished this, almost exclusively on her own.

I did not have a single bite of these kestrel potatoes with buttermilk and caper dressing ($16), but my potatolord partner did not like them, so that I think is quite telling.

We enjoyed this gelato ($17), with rhubarb, jasmine rice and candied ginger. The flavours were interesting, and in a different lifetime could’ve been served in a chicken-rice themed degustation as a palate cleanser.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: We had not a cheap meal at Gimlet at Cavendish House, with the only true standout dish being the wood-roasted lobster. That said, that expensive-ass lobster was actually extremely delicious, and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to someone with the money to burn. I would suggest that you call ahead to ensure there is lobster availability, and also avoid the other things we ordered so that you may happen on some other smaller dishes that are better than what we had.

Extremely comfy booth seating.

Gimlet at Cavendish House
33 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9277 9777

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