Skip to main content

Tazio, Virginia Plain (closed)


*Virginia Plain is now closed.*


So I completely forgot to take pics this night. At least publishable ones that don't have my friend's face in the middle. But that's okay, because this place is worth blogging about, even without pictures.

One of my best friends and I have a regular catch-up, and this one fell the week before Christmas, so we decided to make an event of it and try the much-hyped new kid on the Flinders Lane block, Virginia Plain (31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne). We were early, so went for a drink first at Tazio Birraria & Pizzeria on the corner of Flinders Lane and Exhibition Street. We sat on the upstairs balcony, which was far less sleazy-old-man-filled than the downstairs section, and had a lovely glass of Prosecco.

When we got to the restaurant, I almost walked right past. It's so unassuming-looking. It is literally next door to Cumulus, which might make it easier for me to find it in future...

I had booked for the $75 pp degustation menu (including matched wines), but this didn't seem to have been noted, as the waiter brought us menus and wine lists. Once clarified, the first wine was promptly poured though, so we were happy. And it was delicious. I wish I could remember what it was. They were all delicious. Damn my hazy alcoholic memory.

The entree was a gazpacho - pretty good, although my friend found the croutons too dry. The second dish was some kind of white fish, cooked well and quite simply. The third was an beautifully presented assortment of meat-related items, including a stuffed bone marrow thing which we both found very odd. It was basically a bit of bone with stuffing sitting on it. Obviously you couldn't eat the bone, so the stuffing bit was the marrow somehow dressed up, and it was just kind of tasteless and pointless. There was also a roasted onion, a bit of wagyu steak, and a few other quite tasty bits and bobs. Dessert was a deconstructed Banoffee Pie served in a glass. It looked lovely but neither my friend nor I like banana, so it was somewhat wasted on us. Very rarely is banana served as the main ingredient of a degustation dessert - it's not something we'd had to deal with before! Fortunately the banana part was quite chunky and easy to pick out - the rest: toffee, ice cream, saucy creamy stuff - was wonderful, and untainted by the evil banana!

Virginia Plain is a large space, coolly decorated in contrasting tones with lots of glass and solid surfaces. It felt a bit empty, even though most tables were filled, which was surprising for a place that's had so much buzz around it. I'd expected it packed and bustling! The service was fantastic and I would love to go back to try it again, without degustation-ing.


Update: 17 June 2013

FRESH OFF THE PRESS...
Virginia Plain is currently undergoing an identity transformation. As of Thursday 20 June 2013, it is no longer schmancy restaurant Virginia Plain, but is being rebranded (but run by the same team) as the more casual Mercy Bar. Check out the official statement here. Official opening night is Wednesday 19 June 2013 - free entry for all. New Mercy Bar post coming soon!



Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina on Urbanspoon

Mercy bar + eatery on Urbanspoon

Popular posts from this blog

Steak Night and Pub Meal Specials

Want Melbourne Patron blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of this page and follow the simple instructions. Magic!


I am a sucker for a good steak, and lately, what with moving house and all the extra expenses that incurs, I've been on the lookout for great pub specials such as steak nights. I've been keeping a list on my phone of some of the deals I've found at venues around my home and work (mostly in the CBD, Fitzroy/Collingwood, Richmond/Abbotsford, South Yarra/Prahran/Windsor, South Melbourne) - and there are lots, so please note I haven't tried them all. Several of my friends have asked me to send them a copy of the list - so I figure this way, I can share it with everybody who might be interested!

PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the pub specials in Melbourne (there are many websites for that already!), nor is it necessarily current. I will do my best to keep it up-to-date - if…

The Lui Bar

In my opinion, some places are simply better experienced than described. This post features many photos which hardly do The Lui Bar (Level 55, Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne) justice, because no matter how many pictures I show you or words I write about it, there is just nothing like viewing Melbourne from 55 floors up, handcrafted cocktail in hand, listening to jazz.



The Lui Bar stems off Shannon Bennett's revered restaurant Vue De Monde, the degustation meal of which is absolutely on my bucket list. The restaurant was moved to the Rialto site in 2011, and its adjoining bar has also been making waves ever since.



Iconic in location, the venue not only occupies the top level of what was, in 1986, the tallest building in Melbourne and the Southern Hemisphere at 251 metres, but offers spectacular city views of up to 60 kilometres on a clear day. Even the Eureka Tower, currently Melbourne's tallest building at 297.3 metres, looks smaller from the Rialto's former …

Kisume

Kisumé Japanese Restaurant The new fine-dining venture on Flinders Lane by the Lucas Group
Any Melburnian foodie worth their salt is aware of the Lucas Group and its portfolio of very successful restaurants:

Chin Chin, a loud hall of colourful South-East Asian food and cocktails on Flinders Lane that still attracts queues of several hours' wait, some six years after its openingHawker Hall, a similar style venue to Chin Chin but on South Yarra's Chapel Street and with more of a focus on street food, that once infamously proffered a wait time equal to a return drive to Torquay with a beer stop in the middleBaby Pizza, quiet stalwart of the group, churning out delectable, fresh Italian food on Church Street, and Kong, offering Japanese-Korean BBQ fusion also on Church Street, and perhaps the most casual venue of the lot. 
And if you have read any of my posts before, you will know that I am utterly fed up with the 'Americana' craze, whereby every new venue in Melbourne off…