The Hatted Grand Hotel Richmond @ Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tuesday 5th Jan

My last birthday dinner was hosted at The Grand Hotel in Richmond, fine dining, award winning/hatted Italian cuisine. Just a short walk from Burnley Station.If you found the buses that go to GW you're on the wrong side. At the underpass go right when walking off the platform, facing the city.

Last year they had their 130th birthday, while we weren't invited to the party that's when we discovered them, and stumbled upon their "free birthday dinner" offer, which is avaliable within two weeks of your special day, and not just on your actual day (unlike Cold Rock, which is NEVER open on my birthday!).

If it's free then what's the catch? You'll need to bring at least one person. With friends who are picky eaters or on a college budget/forever busy there was only one person to bring: jas. Oh and it's happening on a Tuesday. The cost is $85 for a 6 course meal, and you can add  matching wine for $55+. They cater for vegetarians and vegans too, the last one surprizingly.

We arrived at the bar, it was lovely with an outdoor area and nice and dark corners, for the nontunal. Though the dinning room is at the front on the right. 

Drinks, I gave a pass as I'm working on making an effort to work on my weight goals this year, and a chocolate milkshake is really dessert. 

Complimentary Bread with Butter & Olives

Quinoa Salad w Buffalo Mozzarella, and Heirloom  Tomatoes with a Vinegarette

Simple but fresh and delicious. I attempted to pile a few ingredients on the bread to make an open sandwich.

Calamari with Parsley, Capers and Lemon.

Our second course was something I've never had before, calamari - but not chewy and deep fried. Instead it was fresh, perfectly soft and melts in your mouth. It was beautiful! Simple but delicious. I've never had anything like it.

Gnocchi with Sage & Burnt Butter

Moving to mains, Jas loves gnocchi and this one was a hit with both of us. Soft, with simply flavours it was perfect, though he thought the serving size was a bit more than he'd serve.

Char Grilled Scallop w Al dente Rocket Pesto Rissoto.

Rissotos and a staple Italian dish and I love them ever since discovering them in 2011 at a place near school. But this rissoto we didn't like - purely on the basis that we found it too hard! Yes it's meant to be like that, al dente rissoto isn't all soft.

But the scallop was perfect, on the same level as the calamari. Simply seasoned with sea salt and lemon. 

So we sent that back, but they said it would like 30mins to make it again so offered us another dish instead. 

Beef Tagliatelle with Basil & Parmesen

In a rich beef & tomato sauce sat a styled pile of pasta, tagliatelle (long, flat ribbons), perfect for a giant to stick a fork into. I didn't get a picture before the cheese, but it was very aesthetically pleasing, ribbons of pasta, neatly arranged. It's as good as it looks!

Two more dishes to go!

A review we read said they didn't leave full, but we were getting there!

Braised Goat w Tomato & Olives, Buckwheat Polenta and Parmasen

Next was a more meaty/protein dish, braised goat that was so soft it fell off the bone easily at the touch of my fork. Perfectly seasoned, and not salty, we didn't touch the salt & pepper throughout the evening, though we rarely ever do. 

After that dish we were full! But there's always room for dessert. There were quite a few birthdays tonight, marked with a candle, though I'm slightly/mooderately relieved I didn't get a candle. Because by the time I'd taken the picture there'd be wax in the food.

Italian Donut with Toffee Ice Cream
Saffron Honey & Honeycomb 

The only deep fried thing we had tonight was this, a perfect finish to a great evening. A donut that wasn't oily with ice cream (one of our top two favourite classic American desserts), but with a fine dinning twist, the added saffron honey. It was delicious and perfect like everything else tonight!

Much like the food the staff was great, and very friendly and accommodating to my allergies (though those two ingredients are very often found in Mexican food) and the fact that I don't eat pork (traumatic experience).

The Grand is a place we'd reccomend for a long evening with a small group of friends, give it about 2.5hrs to get through all 6 courses. The menu changes, so it's a surprize, but a good one. We can't wait to return next month!

Don't forget to sign up for their newsletter & the free birthday dinner offer! - Link - This is a hatted place that's affordable with the birthday offer. If you bring a friend and split the bill it's just $42.50 per person for a 6 course degustation dinner for two!

Have you been to The Grand Hotel? Or any hatted restaurants in Melbourne?

Grand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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