Fifteen Melbourne experience…..finally!
Firstly I must confess to my chronic disappearance from the Jamie Oliver forums this past year or so. It does seem diving headfirst into completing the final lap of high school requires the sacrifice of certain activities, namely indulging in long sessions of internet surfing. At least for the meanwhile….
In 2005 I started participating in the Jamie Oliver forums in hope of building on my glimmer of cookery knowledge. Back then I was eagerly following the progress of Fifteen in the UK. Months later, I was genuinely shocked when it was officially publicised in one of the threads that Fifteen would be opening in Melbourne. After all, it’s where I live. Despite the surrounding hype and my eagerness to immerse myself into it, I'd never really had the chance to go down for my own experience. It was definitely a place for which I'd conjured up many vivid fantasies, having read so many fantastic reviews over the past two years.
Due to slight mishap (including a fire at Fifteen and loss of computer data), we thought Fifteen was still operating on walk-in basis and thus hadn’t booked in a reservation for this evening’s occasion. To compensate, we ended up arriving a good ten minutes early before opening and ended up being the first customers to enter for the evening. The restaurant was not quite fully open for service though. Nonetheless we were promptly treated at the bar with mixed drinks. The young man behind the counter was fun, witty and at our delight even volunteered to be camera-man for a family happy-snap Needless to say I was very impressed at the friendly, attentive service and energising buzz the restaurant embraced as a whole.
Food-wise the quality was divine. Our table had chosen to sample the degustation menu, featuring dishes that reflect seasonal local ingredients fresh from the markets daily. It was really possible to feel the effort young trainees had put into preparing each dish. Presentation was meticulous. My mum got into a bit of a craze as a result and photographed every dish we were served, much to the amusement of our charismatic waiter. One would be forgiven for thinking we were tourists on a food tour or something. Mum ended up requesting a photo with the waiter and he graciously obliged.
Instead of launching into a lengthy taste analysis (or should I say rambling) of the night's dishes, I will settle for a general comment instead. The dishes were very robust, balanced out by appropriate portion sizes. Each dish stood out on its own, seasoned perfectly to draw out and enhance the unique flavour of the focus ingredient. Impressive was the array of textures present in individual dishes. From the delicate crispness of the olive leaves to the delightful crumbliness of the ricotta.... combined with the rich palette of flavours encompassed, each dish complimented another to orchestrate a joyful symphony of modern Italian food. I can't help but entertain this is the best meal I've had in quite a while.
So enthralled were we by the Fifteen experience that by end of the evening we had already booked another dinner session for our return early December. I’m definitely anticipating it. Meanwhile, I highly recommend anyone who has yet to experience Fifteen put it on their priority list.
Long time, no see mate, hope your studies are going well
So glad you enjoyed your dining experience
Shamrock =] Great to 'see' you again. Feeling chuffed to be remembered. Am currently in the middle of exams, so it seems ironic to be posting here.
Hope you have a great day.
Hi Chanr. I have missed you. I finally got to Fifteen in London in December 2009. So nice. I'm glad you got to go also. Keep up the good grades.