Tuesday, 5 August 2014

La Luna Bistro, Carlton

In my opinion, Friday just gone was probably the worst rain we've seen this winter. Frosty winds, hail, rain, what more could you ask for when you had made a reservation for dinner? La Luna has been on my ‘to do’ list of restaurants for quite a while.  My partner has a new found admiration for Adrian Richardson and his dedication to good quality meat and his penchant for butter, oil, salt and all those other ingredients that make everything taste delicious. So we braved the elements and headed out, but not before attempting to make snowballs from the hailstones that had collected on our balcony!

We arrived a little earlier than planned so we walked down a block to Gerald’s Bar for a quick pre-dinner wine. We enjoyed a really lovely savoury Italian red but I was still thawing out when we chose that I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.

We arrived at La Luna at 6pm. Any bookings before 7pm are required to finish their meals by 8.15pm, luckily for us we pretty much finished right on the dot. I should also mention that even though we pushed our booking right to the 8.15pm deadline, not once were we neither made to feel rushed nor were we reminded of the deadline.

I apologise now for the quality of the photos. The lighting was dim and I do not like to draw attention to myself by using the flash.

We ordered a bottle of the 2012 Fletcher Nebbiolo (King Valley, Pyrenees, Yarra Valley) and began with a few oysters from Batemans Bay, NSW served with a red wine vinaigrette. The oysters were quite small but were freshly shucked, with no grit and plenty of its natural juices. We would have loved to order more but at $4.15 per oyster we decided to enjoy something else for entrée. We like variety!

Oysters, Batemans Bay NSW
 We ordered the tasting plate of their house cured small goods. Wow. A beautiful board of sliced lardo, lombardo, pancetta, prosciutto, two types of salami and braun served with crispy bread, mixed olives and house made pickled onions and capsicum. Drizzled with a fruity olive oil, not only was the serving very generous, we pretty much licked the board clean!

House cured small goods
As I mentioned before, being lovers of variety we chose to share two mains and two sides. The waitress also asked if we were sharing and offered to have the chef carve our dishes for us which we accepted. Not having to attempt to divide the dishes in the dim light ourselves was a really nice touch. The mains were roast pork with crackling, carrots, apples, onions and walnuts and the 200gm fillet mignon (medium rare). The sides were garlic butter mushrooms and roast carrots, parsnip, and walnuts with a feta and honey dressing. The pork was beautifully cooked and the crackling evenly crispy with the fat well rendered. I found this went particularly well with the roast carrots and parsnip. The sweetness of the honey and carrots combined with the creamy saltiness of the feta was a marriage made in heaven. I didn’t seem to have any walnuts in mine but my partner had a few with his. It didn’t bother me as I loved them without!
Roast pork with crackling, carrots, apples, onions and walnuts

The fillet mignon, dry aged for 8 weeks was cooked to perfection. Wrapped in smoky bacon the fillet was tender and the aging was evident in the taste. It’s been a while since I have had a steak of this quality, Adrian Richardson really does know his meat! The garlic butter swiss brown mushrooms had a good balance between the earthiness of the mushrooms, the butter and the garlic and a freshness added with some chopped parsley.

200gm Fillet mignon
By this stage, I was getting quite full but luckily I have a secondary stomach reserved for desserts! We ordered two Disaronno amaretto on ice and not wanting to be little piglets decided to share a dessert. YUM! Presented on another wooden board, a chocolate chip cookie was served freshly baked in the pan it was cooked in, topped with two cubes of melting malt marshmallow. This was accompanied by a small jar of vanilla milkshake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The malt in the marshmallow provided a slight savouriness and the dark chocolate a bitter note to counteract the sweetness of the vanilla shake and ice cream.

Chocolate chip cookie, malt marshmallow & vanilla milkshake

We will be back, maybe in summer with the change of seasonal produce and menu! Great dinner, highly recommend.

La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi Michelle,

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  3. we can't see your dessert picture

  4. What I meant was its a bit blurry

    1. Hi Sally,

      Apologies for this! As I mentioned the lighting was very dim and it was not the appropriate atmosphere to be using a flash. But what will I tell you is, that all though you can't see it, it was absolutely delicious!