I must admit, as a southsider, I rarely cross up north further than Fitzroy. One of the best/worst things about having such good food choices everywhere is that you don’t often need to leave your bubble of venues that you’ve already found, know and love! One Friday evening however I decided to change that and head out to Preston to check out Chill Restaurant and Bar, located in the Bell City Mantra hotel with a friend and will share that experience with you here.
To whet our appetites we started with a glass of champagne; a Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve. I love a good champagne and this got the taste buds tingling and ready for some food!
We started the night with the Pan fried scallops which were served with cauliflower, peas, sugar snaps, chorizo, vincotto. I’m a huge seafood fan so was very keen to try this dish. The scallops had a nice sear on them and were cooked through well while still being super tender.
Next we moved onto the Baby barramundi, squid ink, corn, wild mushroom ragout, tarragon butter. This was cooked beautifully, soft on the inside and with a nice crisp exterior The mushrooms also need to be called out, they were tender as can be and had a great flavour. This was paired with a glass of Pinot Gris from The Lane in the Adelaide Hills. While smelling very sweet, it was light and fruity and complimented the mild flesh of the baby barra well.
The second main course was the Spring lamb, pea puree, new carrots, dupy lentils, paprika puffed buckwheat. This lamb was quite fatty and very decadent. If you’re not a fan of fatty meats you may want to pass but if you’re looking to indulge, this will definitely hit the spot. The puffed buckwheat was flavoured well and complimented the fatty meat well. It was paired with a delicious glass of Shiraz-Riesling from Dandelion Vinyeards. It sounds like a strange combination and tasted like a shiraz but finished surprisingly sweet thanks to the riesling.
To sip on throughout dessert we had a glass of Pedro Ximenez, also from Dandelion Vinyeards. It was rich and sweet, the perfect wine to sip on and savour over a long conversation! The first dessert that we had was the Sticky fig and date pudding, brandy butterscotch, vanilla bean ice cream. This was nice and surprisingly light for a fig and date pudding. The chocolate soil added a nice sweetness to the dish as well!
The second dessert that we had was the Coffee brulee, creme fraiche, almond biscotti. I loved the wide bowl for the creme brulee – it maximises the amount of crisp toffee! There was the perfect amount of coffee in the flavour to cut through the sweetness of the custard and it was the perfect way to finish the meal on a sweet note.
Overall, the meal and experience was excellent. The wine selection was a winner and paired perfectly with the dishes on offer. The dishes are of a high quality and the casual atmosphere made for a very comfortable dining experience. If there was ever a restaurant to tempt me further north than fitzroy, this is it! For those that are local, you should definitely give it a try and for those willing to travel, you won’t be disappointed!
Loveatfirstbite_aus dined as guests of Chill Restaurant and Bar. All opinions are our own.