So, I preface this review by stating clearly that reviewing food is subjective. Meat and poison and all of that.. so the below review reflects nothing save my own opinion.
M Bar, in Toorak Road, describes itself as "buzzy" and "trendy", "Australian eclectic with a touch of Europe"
It's loud, crowded and boring. The ubiquitous chrome and neutral colour scheme, prevalent in every other "trendy" cafe in Toorak, indeed in Melbourne. The tables were so closely packed that the waiter was close to having an intimate act that I usually only perform on my own husband attempted on him every single time he had to squeeze his groin past the back of my head.
If I'd turned around at an inopportune moment, I'd have had to have given him my phone number and expected respect in the morning.
I like my frottage on trams, thankyouvery much, NOT in dining establishments.
The other issue that stemmed from having the restaurant that jam-packed was that it was loud... I mean Unreasonably loud. We were a table of six, and I could barely hear what my neighbour was saying to me. Requests for more wine from the other end of the table were met with blank looks. A quick game of Charades was eventually enacted to get the salt passed from one end of the table to the other.
I was close to calling Di on her mobile to get my glass filled.
At sitting, small bowls of oil and balsamic vinegar were present on the table, but no bread. We stared, longingly, for a good 1/2 hour before it arrived. The bread was bog-standard Safeway bread stick, tasteless and chewy... NASTY.
The prices were steep. Mains were anything up to $34 for the porterhouse. ($35 for the flouder with chips and salad on the specials board), and when you can get Chargrilled 250gm grain fed Wagyu rump cap $34 from Bistro Vue (see Melbourne Foodie's review here...) it seems a little overpriced.
The menu consisted of basic pub fare. A porterhouse, a steak sandwich, a chicken schnitzel, some pastas and a couple of salads. The specials menu was long on fish and short on inspiration.
I went for the house pasta, $19.95 for the main serve. Glad I went the bigger size, as what I received was a slightly bigger than entree size of very VERY overcooked spaghetti with some generic sun dried tommies, a handful of baby spinach, some pine nuts and some fetta. The fetta was tough and salty. The pasta had seen al dente sometime last week.
My friend's salad looked good.. a large serve of rocket with a goodly portion of beef, but the rest of the table's offerings were decidedly ordinary looking. People actually may have raved about the food, but unless they'd drawn me a diagram, complete with arrows to indicate movement, I'd not have known over the noise.
We tossed up the dessert option, yet again nothing inspired, tired old sticky date pud, a baked cheesecake offering, an orange cake and gelati option, a creme brulee and a cheese platter, all at $12, but again, when I know you can get
Dessert: “Soufflé au chocolat” ($12): This is a dessert that certainly attracted a lot of attention. The smell that drifted across the restaurant was amazing and there were guests swooning all over the place. After a 20 minute wait, the time taken to prepare the dessert, the masterpiece arrives. On a board sits the chocolate soufflé in a cast iron pot. In a separate dish sits a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and in a jug to the side is the wonderful chocolate sauce. As the dessert is placed in front of you the waiter creates a hole in the middle of the soufflé and pours in the chocolate sauce. The traditional idea of a soufflé being more of a pudding is embraced here, and the end result certainly does not disappoint. This is one of the lightest and most indulgent soufflés I have eaten, and at $12 it certainly beats most other desserts around the city on taste, value and ultimate satisfaction. A lot of people in the restaurant were ordering this, and many of those who had not couldn’t help but glance over with big eyes and comment on how wonderful the dessert looked and smelled, trying to convince their partners that they should order one (next time).(Taken from Melbourne Foodie)
Given the crushingly mediocre fare we'd been served, we skivved off.
The house wine was not named and was $8 a glass. It took over 15 mins for my single glass to arrive.
Nearly $50 for 2 serves of very ordinary pasta and a single glass of instantly forgettable wine.
Don't bother. Go next door to Romeo's for cheaper, better, more consistent fare.