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Visiting Melbourne from living many of my days in Sydney, to enjoy wondrous arts and cultural development events, as well as superb Australian cuisine during my lifetime, has been a moveable feast, one that has always been enriching and enticing.
How lucky am I, my life has meant enjoying tasteful experiences and considerable culinary delights and most especially, I have particularly always enjoyed the long lazy lunch experience.
Recently, I watched the metamorphoses of a new restaurant happening along Toorak Road, South Yarra in Melbourne… and was happy to plug into a Latin styled text Omnia, for its name. Pleasurable.
Group Advisory Chef to LK hospitality, Stephen Nairn is heading up the kitchen at Omnia, sourcing the very best seasonal and stylish ingredients from local producers and growers plus a talented team of chefs. He is creating and developing dishes for new lifestyle concepts, soon to take up residence at the Capitol Grand on the corner of Chapel Street, South Yarra.
Apparently Omnia is only temporary, a stunning ‘pop up’ experience, as the owners of three new restaurants work through menus and cuisine to put in place desired offerings for a whole new generation of fashionable Australian foodies in South Yarra town.
Good food for me has always been a passion, and like so many people do, the more you imbibe and train your palette to find the various subtleties and nuances attached to tasteful wondrous flavours, high-quality ingredients, both sophisticated, sustainable and seasonal produce, the more you learn how to appreciate the beauty of the textures too.
Was very keen to see what was happening as the quiet elegant room evolved over the past few weeks, and to get to know the carefully considered simply beautiful fare my family and I enjoyed over a two week Saturday luncheon scenario.
Opening recently, in the midst of what can only be described as challenging medical circumstances, my sons and I were able, to take me to enjoy two exquisite Saturday lunches in a row at Omnia, which were quite literally to die for.
The service was impeccable and the care and consideration taken by the staff as I was in a wheelchair, impressive.
Being at Omnia was like being in a tiny patch of heaven, a really wonderful special event. What an enormous treat.
Short succinct, purposeful in its intent, this relaxed happy restaurant room was already more than impressive just in its aesthetic.
Let alone the food, the comestibles, the beautiful linens, the comfy leather banquette, the interesting art on the walls, the mood and relaxed happy atmosphere so beautifully chosen to nurture our hearts and minds.
Good food is for me and for my family, so seductive. Can’t help it. I have always had a curious and enquiring mind and love to log into the subtleties and the sophistication of simple, wonderful meals, which soothe the soul and sparkle like a sunny afternoon.
The first menu served meant we started with a selection of the very best warm marinated Mount Zero Olives, truly exquisite. Then the beguiling fresh Oysters Mignonette, Ocean Trout Cigars, plus delicious Ham by Gary Bean: Gary’s Quality Meats from Prahran Market… OMG! Too sumptuous.
No wonder Gary is a legend in this town. Do yourself a favour. I must say I was completely undone with the delicacy and gentleness of the flavours, as well as the extraordinary sophistication of the taste, design and style. Read all about it here. The secret is in the ageing for the ham.
The Oysters Mignonette. What more can I say than Wondrous!
Next came Duck Liver Parfait with preserved cherries and Parker house rolls, , which were a real treat too. For a main two of my sons chose the Linguine with me, with Portarlington mussels.
Yummo, served with Gascony butter and a robust leafy green salad with herb dressing on the side. The bread served with this was also too divine.
Then, for a final treat, Gascony Apple Pie. It was served warm with the most truly delicious vanilla ice cream. Just the right choice of dessert to end.
On our second fore to Omnia, it was a few repeats for the glorious choice of starters, including those stunning Oysters Mignonette, which will always have a place in my heart, although we crafted it as a whole new experience.
This time my main course was a rare steak with chips that were also too delicious. Nothing fancy, just sheer delight.
What more would you want except their exceptional ice cream in the form of a luscious Banana Split.
Do yourself a favour, and book a special treat at Omnia soon. It will be the beginning of something wonderful.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2019