Tue – Sun
Lunch 12pm – 3pm
Dinner 6pm – 10pm
Coffee: Griffiths Coffee
“There are some dining experiences where you have no control or say. You are told where to eat and the time – that’s it! It could be a family dinner at a dirty Italian restaurant because one year your uncle had ‘the best pasta ever’, or when a friend suggests a brunch place which he/she claims to be an absolute gem – when it’s not. We grin. We bare it. These times should also be seen as a chance to get out of your comfort zone. To try somewhere you would have first dismissed as a write-off. After a full and enjoyable morning learning the coffee–making process at Griffiths Coffee, it was time for a spot of lunch. The location was Port Melbourne, at a restaurant I had never considered – The Graham Hotel.
The decor certainly has a ‘nineties’ glory day feel. While this might be the case, the high ceilings, splash of colour and various art pieces do provide a modern and comfortable touch. The staff were friendly and attentive with beverages, replenishing our stock of bread as we chatted away and waited for our dishes.
On offer was a set two course meal and a glass of wine. The popular choice going around the table was the main and dessert – I had my eyes set on the Fish of Day & Mandarin panna cotta with chocolate and mandarin sorbet to send me off.
My Market Fish was panned fried exceptionally well, with super crispy snapper skin that left a crackling texture on the palate. The snapper was soft and subtle in flavour, allowing the house made sauce to be the dominate the dish appropriately. The cos lettuce gave hints of green freshness that nicely cut across the flavours of the fish. The dish was served with french fries and a garden salad that all tied in nicely.
Dessert tasted as good as it looked, with fresh and clean flavours. It wasn’t as heavy as Miss SL’s dessert, but it was a nice palate cleanser with a true hit of sugar. The biscuit base married well with the panna cotta which was firm and had the right sweetness – to my personal liking. The sorbet was the final send off and it didn’t disappoint, with a citrus flavour that worked well with the dish.
What I really like about The Graham was the ability to lose yourself in conversation. Here we were, sitting and chatting to the people of Griffiths Coffee and other foodies alike, and with the relaxed environment that nobody really wanted to leave. When a restaurant can create a truly comfortable environment and a kitchen producing quality dishes, it’s worth ignoring the advice of foodies and try something that might surprise you.”
“It was a Saturday afternoon and we had just spent the morning checking out Griffiths Coffee factory and all that coffee had us hungry!
We’d arrived at The Graham Hotel in Port Melbourne, where we were to have lunch after the tour, and I must admit the old exterior didn’t have me at hello. As we entered through the doorway, the hallway looked a little run down. Entering the dining hall, however, the place was beautiful. Clean white table cloth contrasted by cute coloured water cups against pale walls and dark wooden furniture which seemed typical at every pub. The place gave the sense that there was something fancy in the air that was nicely counterbalanced.
We took a seat and were offered a selection of mains; I’d chosen the Victorian grass-fed 250g scotch filet [normally $34], accompanied by Peanut butter and chocolate – Peanut butter parfait, Valrhona dark chocolate, peanut caramel and banana sorbet [normally $16.50]. It was lunchtime and we’d been up early, so a well deserved red wine was well-deserved. I opted for a glass of red to match my steak and it was a really beautiful drop; smooth ad easy to drink.
We’d finally met for the first time the very interesting man behind The World Loves Melbourne, David Hagger and between him and the operators of Griffiths we soon found ourselves spinning all sorts of stories. This was temporarily paused when our delicious meals landed on our table.
My scotch fillet was served plain on the plate with a side of horseradish paste that served a wasabi-like punch to the nostrils. Salad and fries accompanied the dish in separate bowls. Cutting through my steak revealed a perfectly cooked fillet- I had asked for medium-rare and it was the perfect combination of pink and brown. The meat was easy enough to cook and was full of flavour and juice. Delicious!
The other option for lunch, other than the steak and Mr LB’s Market Fish was the duck – it looked yum!
There was a short intermission between mains and dessert, allowing for the full weight of our meals to settle in. If you had asked me after my steak I would have said full, but greed got the better of me when dessert landed on the table.
I’m a huge fan of peanut butter and when my desert arrived my eyes popped open in excitement. Beautiful tempered chocolate lay slickly atop a bed of peanut butter parfait that was smooth, creamy and rich. The chocolate made an incredible snapping sound and added a lovely contrasting texture to this dish. Another dessert on the table was the souffle which arrived with an incredible meringue top. Simply delightful!
Overall I found The Graham Hotel a surprisingly lovely place to go. Their perfectly made steak has been seared into my memory and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into another one. The venue was classy yet casual and suitable for all age groups.”
Final thought: “Amazing steak that rivals Station Hotel”