We recently discovered this gem of a place and loved it so much we had to share this with you! The Moat is located in the CBD and is tucked away under the State Library. When you walk down the stairs you first reach the outdoor area which is a lovely place for drinks on a warm day, or even on cold day as they have the outdoor heaters to keep you warm if it’s chilly.
In our true spontaneous style, Davin and I did a quick search and just rocked up without a booking. On this particular day they were packed because they had a function on so there were no available tables however the waitress was very friendly and told us if we were happy to wait, we could enjoy some drinks in the outdoor area until a table was available. So we did just that! I ordered a glass of red and Davin got the Martin Miller’s Gin Martini with an olive.
It was quite a bit of a wait before a table was available inside however since we didn’t make a reservation we couldn’t complain. They were nice to give us the menus in advance for our perusal so that by the time we were called in we knew exactly what we wanted.
Finally a table was available so were able to view the inside of the restaurant! Upon entering it almost feels like you’re walking into a medieval cave with the dim lighting and uneven stone walls. With the additional touch of bookshelves with books and wine bottles, it’s quite a romantic ambience and setting.
We ordered the Spanish Cuca sardines picante served in a tin with crispy bread and kasundi as a starter which was really nice. The kasundi relish really complimented the sardines and made it a really tasty dish.
We also ordered the blowtorched salmon with beetroot prosecco gel and a celeric lime salad. This was a lovely, refreshing dish and presented very prettily.
The baked cauliflower with raddichio, lemon and zucchini, labne with a walnut and parmesan crumb looked interesting so decided to get that too. Although the dish was quite nice, it was probably our least favourite out of everything we ordered because the other dishes were so amazing. So onto our two favourite dishes of the night!
We ordered the pulled BBQ beef brisket which came with roast corn salsa, chilli sour cream and corn tortillas. The ingredients were de-constructed so you could wrap as much of what you wanted in your tortilla, and let me tell you, it was SO GOOD! The beef brisket was so unbelievably flavoured! Combined with the roast corn salsa and chilli sour cream, each bite with the tortilla was just a burst of flavours. It was my favourite dish of the night and probably one of the best beef briskets I’ve had to date!
Davin’s highlight was the chipotle spiced chicken ribs with smoked garlic aioli. This was pretty amazing, It was so amazing that we ended up ordering a second serving! The chicken was so flavoured and moist, coupled with the smoked garlic aioli it was divine! We are a big fan of smoked dishes and loved it with aioli.
For dessert we really wanted to try the coconut panna cotta with limoncello syrup however it was unfortunately sold out. We were so disappointed because we wanted to compare it to the one we had in Venice. Oh well! We settled on their creme brulee which was their special that day. It was very nice as was all their dishes that night.
Overall, The Moat provided us with a great experience and we have to say that this was our favourite restaurant for 2015! The service was great, the food was top notch (I’m still thinking about that beef brisket and the chicken ribs) and the ambience was really nice. Whether you’re looking for a place to have a drink or to have a great meal, I highly recommend you check it out!
Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone:+61 3 9094 7820