Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9690 5777
(also at St.Kilda)
Food: European with French and Belgian influences, Belgian Mussel Pots, Cafe, Beer, Bar
After a living a day like tourists, exploring the underwater wonders of the Melbourne Aquarium and soaking in the breath-taking views across the city on the highest floor of the Eureka Tower, we decided to unwind at Belgian Beer Cafe Eureka.
Showcasing ornate, imported wooden fixtures and furnishings from Belgium, the restaurant is the sort of place you'd find corporate workers mingling over after-work drinks and snacks. The atmosphere is constantly buzzing with locals, foreigners and beer lovers abound, and groups of friends standing, huddled together under the radiant heaters in the outdoor terrace.
Much of the food is of Belgian and French origin and served cafe-style, with an attractive, elegant twist. A house specialty is their traditional Black Bay Mussel Pots, steamed with flavour combinations like orange, lemon zest, coriander and Hoegaarden White Beer; chilli, lemongrass and coconut cream; tomato, red capsicum black olives and fresh basil; and blue cheese, cream and spinach.
Escargot - snails, sautéed in garlic and herb butter with a touch of pastis (anise-flavoured liquer). For somebody who enjoys savouring the sweet and unique textures of well-cooked snails, I found the ones in this dish extremely pungent and overwhelmed by fumes of garlic. We left this dish untouched after sampling a morsel each.
Harvey Bay Scallops - pan seared and served in their half shell with a lemon scented pearl barley risotto. Interesting combination of textures from the zingy risotto, which cleverly complemented the sweet and slightly charred flavour of the plump scallops.
Crispy Spatchcock with Gruyere Gratin, Asparagus & Tarragon Jus - this was a real indulgent dish of juicy, golden brown roasted chicken with a luscious, cheesey potato bake and delicately grilled spears of asparagus
Semolina-crusted and Lighty fried Calamari - served with a refreshing fennel and parsley salad, and a spiced lemon oil dressing