Thursday, 29 March 2007

Good value and full of punch

Punch Lane
As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival a variety of restaurants around Melbourne have been offering a two course plus glass of wine meal deal.
Today I took advantage of the deal at Punch Lane and received a quality meal at excellent value.

The product

For entree I ordered the seared calamari with Thai salad, chilli and roasted peanuts. Calamari, scored and cooked up into curls, coriander, spanish onion, shredded cucumber, chilli, bean shoots. The flavours were purfect and the meal light and crisp.

This photo does not do this meal justice. It looks like some grey old piece of meat with some mash from a bain marie at an RSL.

However, it was much more than that.

Chicken confit with creamy mashed polenta. The chicken was cooked to perfection. Skin crispy, meat fell easily away from the bone and then melted in the mouth.

Polenta was easily the nicest polenta I have ever tasted. Polenta can go wrong quite easily - I had some a couple of weeks ago that looked and tasted like cold baby food.

This polenta was different - hot and smooth with a slight cheesy flavour.

The chicken and polenta was soaked in a light seasoned jus.

Meal was washed down with a glass of house riesling.

The atmosphere

The venue has a warm winter feel. Comfy red chairs with cushions, wood finishes, walls of wine, chalkboards showing wine by the glass. The crowd was mainly businessmen and there were a couple of octogenarians. People who like their food but don't need to be seen.


Service was sharp. They have two sittings for lunch at the moment for this special. One at 12:00pm and another at 1:30pm.

Considering the confit alone is usually $27 this meal represented excellent value for money.

The Verdict

Recommended. I want to go back.

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