The name is rather self-explanatory: this restaurant is located on the 89th floor of the Eureka tower, Melbourne’s tallest building. Diners also receive complimentary entry to the observation deck on the level below, which is the highest public vantage point from a building in the Southern Hemisphere.
The restaurant layout was a little strange. Many of the two-person tables (including ours) were positioned such that the seats were perpendicular to the window, meaning that one person had their back to the view. There was also a rather harsh red light positioned above the tables, which reflected onto the windows and made it harder to see out. It also made for some really terrible photos (I apologise in advance…)
We dined on a Saturday night, during which the only option is the 7 course degustation.
Betroot veloute topped with goat’s cheese foam was the opening number. It was very creamy, almost excessively so, which meant that the beetroot flavour wasn’t quite as strong as I would have liked. Bob rather enjoyed this, probably because it didn’t really taste like beetroot.
Tender, thin sheets of pasta enclosed the tortellinis’ spatchcock and foie gras filling. Creamy pumpkin puree, sage leaves and crispy chicken skin worked well against the flavour of the tortellini.
The butter-sauteed marron had a firm bite to it, contrasted nicely by confit potato and pea puree. Crisp, lightly salted veal sweetbread pieces added further textural interest and a pop of flavour. I think this may have been my favourite dish of the night.
The roasted barramundi with soy caramel was the low point of the meal. I was hoping for crispy skin, however it was chewy and unpleasant. There was not nearly enough sauce to go with the large chunk of rather bland fish. I didn’t particularly enjoy the shredded mango and carrot salad either.
The medallion of beef was cooked medium rare and served with a classic red wine reduction. The bed of pureed cauliflower and barley was very creamy, with strong flavours of butter and parsley. It was nice, although a little heavy. I would have preferred something a bit lighter and fresher to go with the rich beef.
This simple combination of sharp lemon sorbet and orange jelly was a refreshing palate cleanser.
The warm white chocolate pudding was crusty on the outside yet moist on the inside, with a surprise piece of molten white chocolate in the centre. The accompanying raspberry sorbet was smooth with a pleasant tartness. The vanilla custard jelly completed the dish well, giving it a good variety of flavours, textures and temperatures. This was Bob’s favourite of the night.
Our 7 course degustation was $130. On other nights there is also a 5 course degustation option ($95). Full payment for food must be made at the time of booking.
I read a number of smart-arse Urbanspoon proclaiming that ‘you are paying for the view’: of course you are, I’m sure that rent on the 89th floor of the Eureka tower isn’t free. Ok, so the food’s not mind-blowing, and there are plenty of better options in this price range. But that’s not really the point.
The stunning views of Melbourne city really make the Eureka dining experience. I know that sounds like a wanky marketing spiel but anyone who is going to Eureka 89 purely for the food is kidding themselves. Although it’s a little touristy, it’s a worthwhile once-off experience for Melbourne locals too. Oh, and it should go without saying that it’s a fantastic date venue.Eureka 89 Level 89 Eureka Tower 7 Riverside Quay Southbank