- Salt and Pepper Baby Octopus
- Wild Mushroom Bruschetta
- Lamb Cigars
- Braised Beef Cheek
- Rocket Salad
- Lime Cheesecake
- Sticky Date Pudding
It was off to an impressive start with the Salt and Pepper Baby Octopus as it packed a punch in flavour. Lightly battered and fried to a golden brown, the crispy, coarse outer enclosed tender and juicy octopus meat. Served with a rich harissa aioli, the sauce provided a creamy and slightly spicy kick to the already well seasoned octopus.
The Wild Mushroom Bruschetta was no less enjoyable. Each at a generous size, the highlight must be an abundance of sliced mushrooms sautéed to a juicy softness and finished in butter. Topping it off was a lightly melted, milky brococcini and a herby salsa verde, providing a diverse range of flavours. Holding it all together was the bruschetta itself, which was served with a garlic butter and lightly toasted, offering up a fragrant crunch with each bite. Absolutely delicious.
We proceeded to the mains and weren’t disappointed. The Paella was generously loaded with an abundance of fresh seafood, with some of the biggest, juiciest and softest mussels we’ve ever sampled. The Aborio rice was simmered to just the right softness and consistency, well seasoned and slightly spicy without being too mushy or glucky. This was contrasted by occasional bits of charred chorizo and chicken, both providing a meaty sensation to the already flavoursome dish.
The Braised Beef Cheek was no less spectacular, with the beef itself slow cooked to perfection. Simply falling apart with the push of a fork, the protein exhibited an unapologetically bold beef aroma and was incredibly juicy. This was served on top of a creamy and silky smooth potato mash, as well as some wholesome and juicy mushrooms as well as fresh spinach. A rather well-balanced dish that was pretty much the perfect comfort food.
Most salads don’t really draw our attention, but the Rocket Salad here definitely deserved a special mention. Sprinkled with crispy and thinly sliced strips of Apple, it’s sweetness perfectly contested the slight bitterness of the rocket leaves. The candied walnuts provided a satisfying crunch, while the light and slightly sweet dressing perfectly held together all the components and made it a rather irresistible side.
Just as we were about to order our desserts, we were offered a special at manager Depen’s insistence, the Lamb Cigars. While they may look unassuming, they totally took our breath away. The filo pastry was simply unbeatable, incredibly flakey, crispy and slightly buttery. Wrapped within was a mixture of well-spiced, slow cooked lamb that simply melted away in your mouth. Combined with the refreshing tang of the pickled cucumber and lemon yoghurt, this often-butchered Mediterranean pastry was pure perfection on this occasion.
We concluded the evening with The Lime Cheesecake and the Sticky Date Pudding. It’d have to be the most elaborate presentation of cheesecake and sticky date puddings we’ve ever come across, with taste to match!
The Lime Cheesecake was dense yet soft, with a bold and beautiful lime flavour permeating throughout. The creamy and smooth texture was juxtaposed by the crispness of the meringues, while the tartness from the caramelised pineapples and kiwi curds provided the perfect balance between sweet and sour. All served with an icy and refreshing lemon sorbet, this innovative cheesecake was definitely a pioneer in delivering a fruity yet cheesey dessert.
We also enjoyed the Sticky Date Pudding, which was plated up with such sophistication. Served warm, the sticky date pudding was soft and spongey, with a beautifully sweet date flavour permeating throughout. This was well complemented by a creamy butterscotch sauce, its richness made even greater by the slowly melting almond and vanilla ice cream. The crispness of the biscotti offered up a satisfying crunch that juxtaposed the softer elements of the plate, and provided a nutty sensation throughout.
The Matcha and Taro Lattes were both rather disappointing. Despite the vibrant colours, both drinks failed to deliver in flavour, which felt very uncharacteristic given how bold the flavours were for the rest of the dishes we sampled tonight.
There’s no doubt that we were very pleasantly surprised by our visit at Mr. Hobson. The dishes were universally executed to a high standard, and the combination of fresh, wholesome ingredients and unique flavour combinations made for a rather scrumptious meal that definitely tantalised the tastebuds. There’s no doubt this was one of the best dinners we’ve had in a long while.
Perched on the bay of Port Melbourne offering up a beautiful view, this is THE place to be for those looking for a date night venue with a creative, delicious menu and just a tad of wow-factor.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Most definitely. We simply can’t wait to be back for more of those Lamb Cigars and amazing desserts, and with all kinds of specials running nightly, you can count on seeing us there!
Penguineats would like to thank Mr. Hobson for inviting us.