[Melbourne] Modern-Greek at The Press Club

Aussie maverick chef, George Calombaris, is better known to Travel Channel viewers in the Asia-Pacific region as one of the judges on Masterchef Australia. His flagship restaurant, The Press Club, in downtown Melbourne has, more than a decade on, maintained its position as one of the city’s go-to places for fine dining.

Lunch is a quieter affair here, with its 10 gold-hued booth seats lending the place a retro-60s feel.

Started off with a Diotima (Oiemelo, Bourbon & peach).

The Press Club now offers a la carte options, but I opted for the lunch-time menu degustation. Started off with taramosalata, ouzo Yarra Valley caviar, and salt & vinegar loukoumades:

Tsoureki herb bread, black olive, vine leaf butter


This was followed by a cold soup with caramelised peaches:

Grilled octopus served atop tirokafteri (capsicum-feta puree), with olive oil and balsamic, yoghrt & black garlic. The octopus has been cooked sous-vide, before being grilled table-side. Melt-in-the-mouth tender.

Baked eggplant, served with wallaby meat. The eggplant was wrapped in vine leaves and grilled table-side, before it’s removed and returned to the kitchen for plating.

Flinders Island Lamb, Beetroot, Caramelised Black Olive:

Cape Grim beef cheek, Horta, Malted Tarama:

I skipped the dessert course (doctor’s orders) but had some pretty amusing petit fours which came with the bill - The Press Club referenced the Greek hobby of playing “tavli” (backgammon) as a social activity after a meal, in designing its petit fours: edible white & dark chocolate dice and backgammon pieces.

The Press Club
72 Flinders Street
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9677 9677
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 12noon-3pm. Closed on Sundays.


Thanks, good to know you are writing on Australia.

Like the octopus and the eggplant dishes: both the presentation and the food.

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Haven’t been back to Oz for ages. Hope to do Sydney some time this year.

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Interesting - looks good - you don’t really say if you enjoyed it…?

I ate there quite a few years ago and was a tad disappointed - lots of suburban masterchef fans a bit bemused by the menu. But George closed the restaurant shortly afterwards and revamped the decor and menu and it definitely looks a lot better.

It was really good. Pretty quiet at lunch-time, but I hear it gets busy in the evenings.

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