Once every while I get an urge to try something different. Last time this happened I convince my friend to try some Moroccan food with me. Tonight, we were to dine at an Armenian restaurant. It’s always interesting to try something new, so I was getting pretty excited at this point. From the people that brought us The Black Toro in Glen Waverly, comes Sezar, a suave cool restaurant in one of the endless alleyways in Melbourne to serve up some middle eastern food.
To find Sezar, you must enter into Melbourne Place from Russell St just off from Bourke St. The restuarant is situated on the more southern corner of the place. Sezar offers a menu that encourages sharing plates that can be highly adapted to groups small or large.
When we arrived, I discovered that I had booked dinner for the wrong day. I was afraid that they will turn us away, but despite this little mishap, the staff at Sezar were still able to accommodate the two of us for the night. The other booking was cancelled without any fuss.
Spanner crab manti / Armenian dumplings, sumac yoghurt & chilli oil (4pcs) $15.00
I was very excited to try these crab dumplings out. The dumplings are filled with a smooth crab paste unlike which resembled the kind of filling that you would find in filled pasta, but the dumpling skin was much silkier and softer. The sourness of the yoghurt with a little bit of chilli oil makes for a very unusual combination that contrasts the savoury vinegar sauce normally eaten with Asian dumplings.
Bastourma & egg / Armenian air dried beef, quail egg, toasted brioche and garlic jam (2pc) $10.00
These bite sized morsels were just a delight. The soft runny sunny side up quail egg yolk balanced out the savouriness of the air dried beef and provided a contrast for the sweet garlic jam. Delicately placed on a small toasted buttery type bread, the bastourma and egg was my favourite dish of the night.
Wagyu beef tenderloin / garlic yoghurt & lavash $19.00
The wagyu beef tenderloin was like a build your own souvlaki kind of thing. My dining partner enjoyed it very much but I can’t personally say the same for myself. The wagyu was quite chewy and the mix of flavours did not quite suit me.
Chermoula zuchinni / Buttermilk yoghurt, barberries, fennel & mint $24.00
A light mix of grilled vegetables presented nicely on a plate. The barberries added a little sweetness to he mix of vegetables.
Another dish we ordered was the glazed pork with purslane, pomegranate and radish salad. The glazed pork was not like another typical pork belly dish. It was simply roasted until the meat was juicy, tender and falling a part. The glaze had a nice sweetness to it that appealed to my tastes and the radish salad provided a nice refreshment and contrast of flavours to the rich pork.
Sezar has supplied with me an interesting new view on mixing certain elements of flavours of a dish together. Mixing some savoury and chilli flavours with a sour tartness from yoghurt is certainly not something I am used to.
The bastourma and egg combination was however something different and really, really good at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone as a must try dish who would come dine at Sezar.