Moon Under Water

Saturday, 21 December 2013

The plan was to go someplace nice, at least one. Attica was on the top of the list (for obvious reasons) but they were booked out for the rest of the year *eye roll*. Luckily Moon Under Water came in a close second, forming (yet) another part of the A. McConnell juggernaut in Melbourne. The restaurant takes it name from a George Orwell essay where he describes his ideal pub. For those interested, Tomatom features a review of with direct comparison to the original 1946 text. Sitting on a corner lot on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, the Builders Arms Hotel and attached dining room are sporting a renovated look circa 2012. Snazzy.

The swinging double doors make for a dramatic entrance Photo Credit: Richard Whitbread

You know me, I'm always a sucker for good design and boy, Moon Under Water is sure the looker. Once you've swung your way through the parlour doors you enter a gloriously peaceful dining room, in shocking white (on white on white). Designed by Projects of Imagination, it is almost ethereal and dreamlike (forget the food, let me just LOUNGE here). Responsible also for the striking interiors of Chin Chin and Half Moon, the big guns have come out to play.

The dining room can only be described as heavenly, wouldn't you agree? Photo credit: Pip Grenda

On the weeknight we went, it was almost a private dining room (bad for business but great for our meal). Each table had their little corner of the restaurant, to speak in hushed tones (at least it felt like that) and coo over the food & wine list. The service, as a result was excellent I might add. It's a rather tight outfit that can let the food do the talking. The menu is a prix fixe $75 for 4 courses which, for the 'unversed' is great value. At some of the top notch diners across town, a main costs upwards of $45 so if you do the math...You can eat for today and the next!

Seasonal at its best, the menu at Moon Under Water changes on a weekly basis (as it should)! Here was our Spring instalment:

Grilled baby corn and smoked yoghurt dip. Unravel the piping hot baby corn and dip away - so sweet, unusual to get the corn husk and all! Underneath the wooden lid was freshly baked bread with cucumber pickles and freshly churned butter. A nifty bit of kit

Wood grilled leek, fresh curd, Ortiz anchovy & lemon oil. A nice juxtaposition of flavours and textures. The slight string of the leek with the creamy curd and bite from the anchovies made for a very clean starter

Spanner crab, zucchini flowers, snow pea & almond. Surely my favourite dish of the night, I just love this crab to bits. Tucked under a seeming 'garden bed' of fresh  leaves like nasturtium and flowers (zucchini et al). The sauce (almost juice) poured on top married it all perfectly. Like a rather expensive dinner mint!

Mulloway, shimeji mushrooms, chrysanthemum broth & turnip. An Asian inspired fish dish, the chrysanthemum broth was so delicate. The fish cooked just right. Am quite glad we added on the optional 5th course - GO team!

Spring lamb, roast carrots, sweetbreads & lovage. Blushing pink lamb, the creaminess of sweetbreads (thymus glands, folks!) and baby carrots - what's not to like?! Lovage is something I had not come across before but this herb has a rather distinct flavour!

Rum ice cream, spiced meringue, pineapple, cucumber. The perfect combination of flavour and texture - the spiced meringue (cinnamon) and rum ice cream were da bomb

Moon Under Water was somewhere I had meaning to go (between Melbourne visits) for a while. Andrew McConnell is such an accomplished chef in these parts and I was happy to enjoy the surprises of the prix fixe this evening. Once in a while, a degustation is such a lovely way to celebrate an occasion (especially if you hang out with foodie types like I do). Meander leisurely through one course after the other, sip your decanted vino and keep an open mind. It's not a sensory overload because I delight in it.

Don't be fooled by the retro exterior! The Builders Arms itself also has a pretty decent menu if you're keen for a lighter meal Photo: The Company You Keep

Thanks for reading!
Moon Under Water on Urbanspoon


  1. Have been meaning to go for some time...thanks for the reminder and review. Love the interior. D

  2. Food looks lovely and love the look of the decor too.

  3. LOVE your blog! just bookmarked it!

    would love you to give me some advice on mine as im trying to make it as good as possible :)



The City Gourmand All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger