The Point Restaurant
Albert Park Lake
Albert Park, VIC 3206
03 9682 5566
I was about to go home and cook something boring on a Friday night when Marc called and asked if I’d fancy coming out for dinner. We convened at my place and I released the 6 foster kittens to run amok in my living room while we had a think about where and what to eat.
You will have to bear with me, but I can’t resist posting a pic of my foster kittens, they are just absolutely adorable! This blog was set up to talk about the joys of food and eating together and by doing so, it also touches a little on what’s going on in my life. So for the month of December, it’ll have to be these foster kittens that have stolen my summertime heart. Actually, they are still running all over my living room as I type this post. One is sleeping on my lap, another two are playing hide and seek in my shoe rack, and the black one is trying to clamber up my shelf.
I heard a bit of buzz on twitter about The Point. The Spring Lamb was reputedly good and we should try it before the season finishes. On a whim, we tried calling The Point to see if there’s a spot. They did! We ushered the kittens back into their playroom and headed off.
Despite being a wet friday night, the venue was noisy. There was a wedding and a birthday party going on at the same time in 2 different function rooms downstairs. We could hear and feel the vibrations of the music throbbing from downstairs. During our meal, the dining room also got very smoky from all the steaks and meats being cooked in the kitchen. It reached a the point where my eyes smarted and started to water. I think the kitchen was working in overdrive that night catering for 2 functions on top of the restaurant.
This place specialises in meats, especially steaks. It’s set right on the edge of Albert Park Lake. Very fancy. I’ve had quite a few walks around the lake during the warmer months, it’s a pleasant stroll. The restaurant itself boasted floor to ceiling windows with spilling views of Albert Park Lake. The interior fit out reminded me of the inside of a ship. I bet the sunset would’ve been awesome to behold from the windows. This would’ve been a romantic spot for dinner if it weren’t for all that brouhaha going on downstairs.
The wine list was as thick as a textbook! Marc had a field day scanning the list. For those who’d feel inclined to splurge, one could buy a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc 1er Grand Cru Classe fr St-Emilion for $15,000! To order wine, you had to wait for the sommelier who’d give recommendations. But the wine steward took so long to come that we ended up getting our lovely waitress to take our wine order instead. We liked her. She was very down-to-earth and friendly. The other staff were busy looking and a tad aloof.
I won’t speak too much about each dish. All I remembered was that we were amazed by everything except the mains. During the course of the dinner, Marc spoke about his work and I also had a glimpse of his dating life. The wonderful bits and the painful bits. It was nice. I think the wine made things very mellow.
These interesting appetisers came compliments of the chef. I’m not sure what the white blobs of cheese was, bocconcini? But it sat in a cool and refreshing pool of green tomato dressing, with a biscuit of fried parmesan on the side. I think this is the most memorable appetiser I’ve ever had in my life. I say this because it actually really DID whet my appetite.
Entree: Suckling pig, nettle puree, rock lobster, crispy ear and hazelnuts $29
Divinely succulent piece of pork belly. Its heavily salted flavour went surprisingly well with the apple mousse and salad. I quite liked the crispy yet moist lobster hiding in one corner of the plate too. It sat on a pickly relish.
Marc’s Main: Onkaparinga Valley venison loin, white asparagus, broccoli, sauce grand veneur $44
I sneaked a taste. Very gamy, and the outsides of the seared venison were too salty for my liking. Marc wasn’t particularly impressed with this dish. He also thinks he makes better potato gratin. I personally liked the gratin, very creamy, mmmmm…
My Main: A taste of new season lamb, broad beans, confit garlic shoot and rosemary $44
The dish arrived covered in a bell jar, like a scientific experiment. When the waiter lifted it, smoke dissipated and it revealed a very artful display of different body parts of lamb cooked in various ways. One piece looked like a spring roll, deep fried outside and soft insides. If I’m not wrong, it was lamb’s brain. Very luscious and delicately cooked pieces of lamb overall, but I didn’t think it was that tasty. Also, the portions were small and halfway through my main, I sort of wished it was just a good ‘ol hearty rack of lamb rather than these thoughtful bitty bits.
The wait for dessert was long and the dining room was very smoky at this point. Marc was convinced that there was a disaster happening in the kitchen that billowed out all that smoke. I think they served this to keep us occupied. I have completely forgotten what’s in this little glass, but it was very nice. Shaved ice in a delicately flavoured syrup with fantastic bits of jelly in it.
I have this habit of placing my spectacles on the table when I’m tired. Marc does the same.
Marc’s Dessert: New season berries, yoghurt bavarois, champagne and lime jelly $18
I think Marc had a mini food orgasm here. His eyes were closed. He kept saying the raspberries were super fresh and that it really reminded him of the raspberry tree back in his family garden. Haha, my garden in Singapore only boasted a mango tree, with wormy mangoes.
My Dessert: Coconut soufflê, cherries and bitter cocoa parfait $18
My first mouthful of the coconut soufflé initially made me think of Nyonya kueh. Ha ha! The souffle had perfectly risen, but I think the coconut was derived from tinned coconut milk and it was a little too sweet. The cocoa parfait was delectable though, little fluffy cubes of soft and good dark chocolate.
There is an artistry in the food served at The Point. Portions are small and prices are high, but the language behind the food can be quite beautiful. Even though I didn’t exactly enjoy my lamb mains, I still acknowledge the thought and effort that went into shaping that dish. All that being said, I think in order to command the high price tag for each dish, the venue itself needs better acoustic soundproofing and better ventilation. If you wish to dine at The Point, I recommend you book a night where there aren’t any functions going on downstairs.