Generally, when you exit Melbourne Central, the first thing that comes to sight is the spectacle that is the State Library of Victoria. But because of the library’s sheer size, you may have easily missed The Moat – a café and bar making residence on Little Lonsdale Street.
Located under the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne’s centrepiece for everything related to creative writing and ideas, The Moat is what you would normally expect of a café closely connected to a literary organisation – vibrant red carpet, dim lighting, displays of novels, with the open kitchen producing an air of fine dining. The fact that the café is quite small in size only adds to the great atmosphere, making it a perfect venue for all intimate gatherings.
For this review, I decided to try their pork and veal meatballs, eggplant and almond sugo served with a side of bread.
When I first saw the dish, I was a bit worried about the meatballs since they looked a little overcooked. Although when I tasted it, those apprehensions were immediately cast aside as I was introduced to the terrific hearty taste we all know and love from meat. On the other hand, the eggplant provided a good contrast with its velvety texture, which then complemented the sharp tangy taste of the sugo sauce.
What intrigued me the most however were the almonds. While the other ingredients remained consistent in providing a smooth texture, the almonds were the opposite as they gave off quite the strong crunch. Nonetheless, they were able to deliver that extra bang, making the entire dish perfectly balanced in terms of taste and consistency.
Overall, the cafe provides an exciting menu as well as an extensive wine list, so rest assured that you’re in for a treat every time you dine there. If you’re ever in need for some food for thought, then The Moat is the perfect place to go.
The Moat, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne