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Friday, November 21, 2008

Dinner @ The Undertaker

It's been quite a while since we last dined at The Undertaker and many things have changed - the most obvious is that the dining room has moved from the ground to the first floor.


While perusing the menu at times I had to remind myself that I wasn't across the road at Canvas. The Italian menu has certainly vanished and been replaced by one that is more middle eastern inspired - a change that makes perfect sense once you note that new chef, Ian Alexander used to be head chef at Momo's.

For an amuse,


we are offered these goat cheese stuffed filo tubes, which are served sitting in a spiced tomato sauce. A lovely tang of goat cheese works well with the crisp filo.

For starters:

Seared scallops, crushed peas, taramasalata, bastourma

I find it very hard to resist scallops and these make resistance quite impossible. A well constructed and well executed dish.

Warm Mt Vikos haloumi, beetroot, preserved orange, pinenuts

The haloumi sits on crisp filo and is coated in beetroot dust. Pickled and fried beetroot sit among the mix of orange, pinenuts and beetroot shoots. The haloumi itself has quite an unusual texture and I'll be keeping an eye to see if I can find it in the stores.

For mains:

Angus rump, ox tongue, carrots, chickpeas, salsa verde, mushrooms

Paalo makes up for his vegetarian starter with a good slab of beef.

Western plains pork, Zaatar crumbed shoulder, roasted loin, celeriac puree

The Loin, on the left, comes presented as to two thick slices, served pink - very tender and with good flavour. The cube of zaatar crumbled shoulder is the star of the plate, it's shredded meat that has been reconstructed to form the cube, chock full of flavour, the meat just melts in your mouth.

For dessert:

Lebanese doughnuts, chocolate and orange ice cream, orange syrup

Poached peach tart, almond cream, raspberry sorbet

Our only negative of the night had nothing to do with the food or the service. It was the atmosphere. Unfortunately, with the bar downstairs and rowdy patrons, no matter how refined you try to make the dining area, the noise travels straight up the stairs and absolutely kills the mood. It's hard to have a quite conversation when tipsy bar patrons are screaming at the top of their lungs.

The details:

The Undertaker

329 Burwood Road, Hawthorn
(03) 9818 3944

Dining Room
Tuesday - Friday: Noon - 3pm
Tuesday - Saturday: 6pm - 10pm


I don't often write about websites but The Undertaker has one of the more painful restaurant websites out there. If the objective is to absolutely frustrate your prospective customers then congratulations you have succeeded and I'm sure you're certain to win next years "best website award" from the shonky food guide.


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