The WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner + Competition!!

Dining out in Melbourne CBD seems to be getting more and more difficult these days.

I often get asked last minute for dinner suggestions on a Friday night. My reaction to these questions are usually, “Mate, if you haven’t made a booking by now and not prepared to wait in line for the no-booking restaurants, you’re better off heading somewhere else!”

However, I’ve changed my tack with dining suggestions. I tell these seekers of dining suggestions, why not look outside Melbourne’s matchbox-like centre and look further to the edges by the Yarra River?

They look at me with scorn, “What? Southbank? We don’t want to cross the river!”

I smile with a glint in my eye, and tell them, that what I had in mind was not in fact across the river. All they had to do was walk along the city side of Yarra River and head towards Melbourne’s first absolute wharf edge dining precinct.

Easily accessible by car, tram, foot or even by a free water taxi shuttle (*conditions apply), the World Trade Centre wharf is a skip, jump and a hop away from the city centre.

If you’re looking to do something fun and different, why not try the WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner? For $45 per person, every Thursday night you can experience Melbourne’s newest waterfront dining experience.

Recently, a group of 6 bloggers (myself included) had a great night out enjoying each signature dish (and a drink) from the three restaurants partaking in this progressive dinner.

Read on to find out how you could be in the running to win a $100 dining voucher at any restaurant on WTC Wharf :)

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1) Entrees & Drinks at:

Byblos Bar & Restaurant

We started the evening by getting our drinks on at Byblos Bar & Restaurant. A mix of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine, Byblos has a large menu catering to all. From mixed grills to salads, dips and pies, every item on the menu has been created with care.

Whilst the kitchen decided what to feed us, it didn’t take us long to decide what we’d like to order and off we went!

Between us, we managed the C’est La Vie (Hendricks Gin, St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur, grapefruit and raspberries shaken and topped with Chandon NV sparkling wine), The Harvard (A variation of the famously sophisticated Manhattan Cocktail. It combines Hennessy VS Cognac, Carpano “Antica Formula” sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. Served straight up with a maraschino cherry and finished with orange oils), and the Gin Gin Mule (A mojito all grown up – London dry gin, fresh mint, limes, sugar and ginger).

[Clockwise from top left: A mix platter of Kebbi (Hand-rolled roasted ground lamb and ground beef with pinenuts, chili, and traditional spices) and Sambusek (Homemade pastry filled with marinated lamb, pine nuts, and traditional spices); Halloumi Salad (Pan-fried Cyprian halloumi served with fresh mint, mixed greens, tomato and avocado); Fattoush (A light mixed green salad with radish, tomato and cucumber, finished with toasted Lebanese bread and a bold lemon and olive oil dressing); and Batata Harra (Hand cut potatoes sautéed in lemon, olive oil, chopped coriander, garlic, and a hint of chili)]

We were amazed by the variety served to us and couldn’t keep up with the entrees and mixed grill items that kept landing on our table! The Batata Harra was definitely the highlight dish and each of us couldn’t stop going back for more!

[Clockwise from top leftQuail (Whole roasted quail marinated in pomegranate molasses and served with eggplant and yoghurt); Trio of Dips (Hommos Awarma, Baba Ghanouj and Labneh); Lahim Meshwi (Char-grilled lamb fillets marinated in olive oil and traditional Lebanese herbs and spices) and Shish Tawook (Char-grilled chicken tenderloin marinated in olive oil with garlic, oregano and a mild pepper paste).

The lamb skewers were utterly amazing and the whole group commented that it was really well cooked and went really well with the garlicky yoghurt dip which came along with it. The chicken skewers were also succulent and tender which not often happens when breast meat is char-grilled.

All in all, I found the flavours of Byblos to pack a punch and truly enjoyed the Mediterranean cuisine served here. I know I'll be back for more!

Food/Cuisine: Mediterranean
Dining Style: Restaurant

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday, 11:30am till late

Address:
Byblos Bar and Restaurant
WTC Wharf
World Trade Centre (Riverside)
Siddeley Street
Melbourne 3005

Tel: (03) 9614 6400

Twitter: @ByblosBar

Website: http://www.byblosbar.com.au/melbourne/

Byblos on Urbanspoon

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2) Mains at:

Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki

Next up on the list, we had to stroll down to Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki for our mains. Boasting Australia's largest teppanyaki table, it definitely is worth a visit if you are up for some Californian Japanese fusion cuisine. Having relocated from Docklands, the menu has retained some of its key specialities including the Number 1 Special.

Despite some confusion about our arrival, the service we experienced there was exceptional. Whilst we tried to sort out our bookings from each end, we were provided with a taste of Umenoyado Yuzushu, a lovely and refreshing digestive made with fine sake and Yuzu lemon.

Once our booking was finally confirmed, we sat and ordered a couple of cocktails (Yayy! More cocktails!) to try.

Whilst Taz went with the safe option of a Japanese Mojito (classic mojito turned Japanese –shiso (Japanese mint) and fresh lime, muddled with white rum and sugar, then covered in crushed ice), Azz and I decided to get a little more adventurous.

I ordered the delicious sounding Apple Blossom Martini and Az ordered the Red Lotus. In theory my drink should have rocked it as it consisted of green apple and vanilla liqueurs with premium vodka, shaken and served straight up. Upon first scent, it smelled of sweet green apples. Sadly upon tasting it, it was more akin to drinking cough syrup. *sigh*.

Azz's Red Lotus was more promising and quite sweet, just the way I like my cocktails and had a mix of rum, lychee liqueur, orange juice and grenadine.

We were also provided with some Wafu Oysters to try. I love oysters in general and love them all the more when they come with ponzu sauce. Mmmm... As one of our party was pregnant, she had an alternative dish to the oyster. So thoughtful of the staff!

As a precursor to our mains (of either Salmon, Beef or Mixed grill) we had a delicious Hot Mushroom Salad (Fresh greens topped with a selection of oyster and
enoki mushrooms flavoured with seaweed butter). I love mushrooms!

I really liked the Salmon on the Teppan which was served. It was cooked beautifully well and was very tasty. It also matched perfectly well with the miso soy sauce which accompanied the dish.

Food/Cuisine: Japanese
Dining Style: Restaurant

Opening Hours:
Lunch: Monday to Friday, 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 5:30pm - late

Address:
Kobe Jones & Riverside Teppanyaki
WTC Wharf
World Trade Centre (Riverside)
Siddeley Street
Melbourne 3005

Tel: (03) 9329 9173

Website: http://www.kobejonesteppanyaki.com.au/riverside-teppanyaki

Riverside Teppanyaki by Kobe Jones on Urbanspoon

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3) Desserts at:

The Wharf Hotel

Feeling as stuffed as we were, we waddled on to The Wharf Hotel to relax for a bit before being served up our desserts for the night. Advertised as a casual and friendly pub, we were pleased to see that the venue was quite busy and occupied with punters from Caulfield Cup.

I liked the cute outdoor-grassed area as well. I love a good astro turf!

We were seated in the rather cosy private dining area complete with cushions and lattice walls.

At this point, I was hoping for something small and light as I was suffering from a severe case of food baby-itis :P

However, the kitchen had other ideas for us and proceeded to send out an alternate of Homemade apple pie, cinnamon ice cream, anglaise and Sticky date pudding, butterscotch sauce, caramel ice cream. They must have heard that we had separate compartments in our body for desserts!

The apple pie was a good version of a country pie and I enjoyed every mouthful of it. Not a big fan of sticky date pudding, I ventured out a spoonful to try and was pleasantly surprised with how good it was.

Food/Cuisine: Modern Australian
Dining Style: Restaurant

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday, 10:00am - late
Saturday, 12:00pm - late
Sunday,  12:00pm - 9:00pm

Address:
The Wharf Hotel
WTC Wharf
World Trade Centre (Riverside)
Siddeley Street
Melbourne 3005

Tel: (03) 8680 6000

Twitter: @WharfHotel

Website: http://wharfhotel.com.au

The Wharf Hotel on Urbanspoon

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COMPETITION TIME!!

Alright! So have you read the above post, rubbed your hands together in glee and said, "I want to go there now!"?

Guess what? 1 lucky reader from each of the six blogs running this competition will win a $100 WTC precinct voucher for any restaurant!!

All you have to do is answer the question 'If you were to go to the WTC Wharf, which restaurant would you go to?'

The most creative answer will be chosen by a Nuffnang representative to win!! So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment now!

Competition for the giveaway will run from the Wednesday 7th November 2012 until Friday 16th November 2012. 

Terms and Conditions for the giveway:

T&C for WTC Wharf $100 Voucher Giveaway

[This post is sponsored by WTC Wharf and Nuffnang Australia]

The other bloggers running this competition in tandem are:

I Eat Therefore I Am
Kimbas Kitchen
Mel: Hot or Not
My Food Trail
Off the Spork
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**NOTE: Competition is now closed. A winner will be drawn shortly by a Nuffnang Representative and will be contacted via email and announced here. GOOD LUCK!

[20/11/2012] Announcement: Winner of the WTC Wharf $100 Voucher!!!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment here.

*DRUM ROLL*

Dave!

Congratulations!

34 Comments

  1. LOL I faced the exact same dilemma one Friday night in Melbourne. There was a 2 and 3 hour wait at both places we wanted to dine. It was crazy!
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella recently posted…No Town Like Alice

    Reply
    • It’s bad isn’t it? Sometimes I just want to cry!

      Reply
  2. You had me at Byblos with the pretty drinks and then there was quail! I heart quail…
    Em recently posted…Trippy Taco – Melbourne

    Reply
    • Quail FTW! But everything there was delicious!

      Reply
    • I know! Cocktails always look so pretty!

      Reply
  3. What a fantastic giveaway!

    I’d love to try out the Byblos Bar. Lebanese food is delish and is very close to my favourite cuisine which is Greek.

    This would be an ideal dinner date for me and hubby!

    Reply
    • Yeah! I love Mediterranean any which way :)

      Reply
  4. You can’t go wrong with a Mojito you know. My drink was awesome, not like cough syrup haha.

    If I’m going back to WTC, I heading straight for Byblos. I didn’t get to try my Octopus, Chicken Wings or Escargot. They all sounded amazing and I wonder how they would put a Lebanese twist on items that usually you would associate with other cuisines. I’d also definitely order another cocktail too. So many tempting cocktails to try. Now I just need to find a chauffeur so I can drink more.
    Thanh recently posted…WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner + Giveaway Dining Voucher

    Reply
    • You’re addicted to them Mojitos!

      Reply
  5. I live too far away to try these lovely restaurants, but the meals do look lovely indeed. What fun to have a progressive dinner party, great idea!
    InTolerantChef recently posted…Steamed Coconut Buns

    Reply
    • Progressive dinners are always fun!

      Reply
  6. You’re overloading my brain with all these pictures!!! O.O HAHA looks like you had a fantastic night! hehe I’m not a fan of sticky date pudding too but that looks pretty good :) hmmm I’d definitely wanna try Byblos! Everything looks so vibrant!
    Vien recently posted…Eating in Macau

    Reply
    • Byblos most certainly rocked :)

      Reply
  7. I would probably go to Byblos simply because it has the cutest name. Oh, and I happen to LOVE mushroom and haloumi so +1 for me!
    Libby recently posted…Pad Thai and Tidbits

    Reply
    • Oh yeah! Mushroom and haloumi!

      Reply
    • What? Never had teppanyaki before? Get outta town :P

      Reply
  8. Oooh, pretty cocktails! Byblos looks like they put out an awesome spread! I love Lebanese food :)
    Erika recently posted…Review: Adriano Zumbo

    Reply
    • Me too :)

      Reply
  9. Love reading about progressive dinners especially when there new up and coming. Kobe jobes Docklands has always been a favourite. Fusion Japanese is clean, healthy and entertaining. Middle eastern food is greatin big groups and everyone shares / but can be heavy on the gut. I love a good housemade apple pie with anglaise. but im keeping up with the Kobe Jones. :D

    Reply
    • Yeah I used to love their lollipop sushis!

      Reply
  10. I think it’s getting worse :P not a lot of places let you book anymore…I would love love love to win tickets ~

    I have heard and seen so many people dine at WTC but I’ve never had the chance to go :)

    Hmmm out of all the restaurants, I would love to dine at Kobe Jones the most because my man loves his Japanese food and I think it’ll be nice to take him ~

    Thanks for the chance to win WOO HOO!
    Daisy@Nevertoosweet recently posted…Central Market Tour – Eat Drink Blog 3 Part 1

    Reply
    • Awww if you win then u can try! But they were all good :)

      Reply
  11. Kop kop kop, Kobe Jones will be my choice. It would be awesome to watch the chef in action for my youngest sister’s visit to Melbourne soon.

    Thank you Ms I-hua and the Nuffers.

    Reply
    • Ooh it always is a bit theatrical!

      Reply
  12. Arriving for dinner via water taxi sounds like a pretty exciting way to turn up for a meal ;P

    Lovely pics as always! I would definitely go check out Kobe Jones as I’m a sucker for teppanyaki! Do they throw the food at you here? I used to work at a Japanese restaurant, and I tell ya cleaning every grain of rice off the floor after diners who are NO GOOD at catching their dinners is no fun at all in an ill fitting kimono!!!!!

    So if I won I would eat every bit of food to save the poor staff from having to clean up after me. :)
    [email protected]. recently posted…Eat. @ Giddiup

    Reply
    • Oops! I’m definitely one of those who are no good at catching my dinner :(

      Reply
  13. I would probably go to kobe jones, sadly because I haven’t been to teppanyaki before! Crazy huh? Plus the japanese mojito has my name all over it it. Mojito is my favourite cocktail!
    Julie recently posted…Momofuku Seiobo

    Reply
    • Another one who hasn’t been to Teppanyaki? What’s going on? Hahahha Love mojito’s too!

      Reply
  14. Dessert at The Wharf Hotel sounds like the most intriguing. What can I say, I am a girl driven by a sweet tooth and that is how I make important life changing food decisions. That strict bikini diet can weight for another time, I want to try these progressive dinners!

    Reply
    • Oh yes! Trash the strict bikini diet! That can never be good :)

      Reply
  15. The Wharf Hotel is at the top of my list! I can just picture myself swimming in that butterscotch sauce and caramel ice-cream… uh oh I really gotta control these crazy sweet-tooth thoughts :p
    Katrina recently posted…Hiking to the kitchen for Corn and Feta Fritters

    Reply
    • Mmm drowning in caramel and butterscotch.. MmmMmm

      Reply

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