Skip to main content

Mister Jennings

Named for children's author Paul Jennings, this baby in Richmond's on-again off-again hospitality wasteland of Bridge Road is one for the real foodies. It is the solo venture of Head Chef Ryan Flaherty, who has stinted at world-renowned restaurants El Bulli and The Fat Duck, then jointly brought Northcote's The Estelle to foodie fame along with then-business partner, Scott Pickett. Flaherty's passion, creativity and refined skill is evident in his food, and indeed the whole of Mister Jennings (142 Bridge Road, Richmond) is a pretty schmick affair.

It's an unassuming shopfront in amongst the retail section of Bridge Road, near the corner of Lennox Street. Mister Jennings had been on my restaurant hit list for so long that by the time I got there, I'd managed to avoid the 'just opened' crowds, and aside from maybe three other tables, we had the place to ourselves. Then again, it's not a massive restaurant, and it was mid-week in late March -- and to be honest, I was quite happy that it meant we had more of the charming host's attention. *blinks innocently*

Lots of people seem to mention the bareness of the 34-seater restaurant; I found it simple, but warm. Wooden floorboards, chunky Scandinavian-style chairs and tables in blonde wood, navy feature walls, a dark, modern central bar, and low lighting playing on mirrored surfaces... To me, it was all welcoming elegance, clean neutral lines and quiet confidence. Upstairs is a 16-seater function room on the way to which you pass by the kitchen with its separate chef's table (SO want that next time!).

Drinks are a classy affair, the wine list devised by ex-Stokehouse sommelier, Lincoln Riley. I drank a Kiwi Pinot Gris, probably a little too keenly.

It may sound puppy-eyed but I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single thing we ate. We did that "please feed us" thing, and I find that often results in the most exciting food I ever get to try.

To start, we had grown-up Dagwood Dogs, otherwise known as a Boudin Blanc - chicken based, and surprisingly moist. (Yes, that word. You can deal.)

Then, cured scallops with a cold pea soup poured at the table. Light, fresh and creamy, with a generous topping of fluffy herbs. Good lord, I'm getting hungry.

Next up: my favourite dish of the night (and the favourite of many other patrons here, it seems) - frozen kangaroo. ...Wha?!? Any kangaroo I've had before has been in the form of a heavy, chewy, peppery steak - frankly, not that enjoyable. This was the complete opposite: finely sliced, classically prepared carpaccio - that is, frozen to serve, designed to thaw in your mouth - jumbled with a creamy avocado wasabi, julienned nashi pear, freeze-dried raspberries for kick, richness from a sort of congealed beef and wine stock. It was a party in my mouth - cold, fresh, rich and light all at once. It sounds weird, but trust me. You'll love it.

The kangaroo awesomeness was followed by a Tasmanian trumpeter - no, not a musician; a fish! - served with fried curry leaves, squash, caviar and a saffron, onion sauce (soubise). (Sorry, no pic of that one.)

Then we shared a sirloin from the Kangaroo Valley, cooked to perfection and served with simple chunky fries and salad. Thank goodness we shared this one; by this point, I was rather full.

But! Room for dessert... always. We technically had one each, but shared them all.

One was an almond sponge thing (for want of a better description... nope, there's none) served with pear, green tea, and cream.

There was a basil tuile with mascarpone and strawberry.

And finally, a chocolate fondant (yes!) with caramelised banana (noooo... nothing personal - bananas and I are not friends).

See? All kinds of yummy goodness.

Mister Jennings is a self-proclaimed bar and eatery, open for lunch and dinner. Although I'd be more inclined to go here for a good, proper meal, I wouldn't mind trying the perch-at-the-bar thing for a bit of classy wine, banter and nibbles. It's a grown-up affair, which makes me wonder what the real Mr Jennings would make of it.

Mister Jennings Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

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…


Minamishima A Japanese den by a sushi master, hidden in Richmond 
If you're the sort that baulks at $150-per-head set menus, you'll never truly appreciate a place like Minamishima (4 Lord Street, Richmond).

Sure, it's got a price tag. But for foodie purists, every cent is worth it. You are not just paying for supreme-grade ingredients, some of which are regularly shipped in from a Tokyo fish market, prepared by world-class, highly skilled chefs, presented impeccably and all melt-in-your-mouth, oh-my-God orgasmic. You are paying for the anticipation. For the ever-filled water glass and replenished napkin. For the hushed, dramatic mood of the restaurant itself. For dishes timed to perfection, and the en-pointe realisation of your most specific drink requirements. You are paying for the entire experience.

In my opinion? It's better than a weekend away, which is hella more expensive.

Minamishima opened in October 2014 with no fanfare. Owner-chef Koichi Minamishima spent t…