WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner + Giveaway

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Picture this. It’s a balmy evening. Trees gently sway, creating dappled shadows. You sit by the water’s edge and watch boats pootle along the river, the sunset glistening on your skin as you sip your drink and prepare yourself for a night of feasting.

Queensland? Bali? The Mediterranean?

No. Right here in Melbourne! To be precise, at WTC Wharf, for me an undiscovered side of the Yarra right across from the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, the wooden beams of Polly Woodside and the neon brights of Crown.

As a previous Queenslander it has always seemed remarkable to me that Melbourne has always been an inland-facing, underground-burrowing sort of city, turning its back from the river in the hunt for an unmarked laneway. Granted the Yarra river is not Sydney Harbour but still, there are some beautiful relaxing views which can be found along the water of which I don’t think we take enough advantage.

WTC Wharf is a city-fringe dining precinct hosting three restaurants which make the most of their waterside frontage – you can even reach it via the WTC Water Taxi service leaving from Federation Square. I was invited to try a progressive dinner at the precinct, dining at each of the three restaurants during the course of an evening.

Entrees were hosted by Byblos, a modern Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant. The food is hearty and rustic and the servings are so large that you’ll be groaning out the door.

Of our selections I recommend the Rekakat – flaky filo pastries filled with feta and mozzarella with a hint of herb and onion in the mix; the very tender marinated lamb fillet and chicken tenderloin flame-grilled skewers served with a punchy garlic and lemon yoghurt sauce; and the labne blended with garlic and mint, partnered with a baba ganoush and hummus in a dips platter.

Less successful were the very dry kebbi (minced lamb and beef balls with nuts and spices) and the over-seasoned batata harra (crispy fried potatoes).

For mains we readied ourselves for a complete change in cuisine – Japanese. Kobe Jones offers a la carte riverside dining and theatrical teppanyaki and we tried two items from their teppanyaki a la carte menu.

First up was a hot salad combining oyster and enoki mushrooms flavoured in a seaweed butter atop mixed salad green. I thought it was quite an odd East/West combination and while it is included in all of the set menus I wouldn’t choose to order it a la carte for $17.

The salmon cooked on the teppan was much more to my taste. For me Japanese food is about fresh produce shining through with simple flavours and in this case the fish was enhanced with a choice of three dipping sauces – a ponzu sauce, miso citrus sauce and traditional teriyaki. I’m not sure whether the teppanyaki set menu normally provides three fillets per person but it was a very large dish – apparently 200g of fish per serve.

With barely enough room for dessert we stumbled to The Wharf Hotel, a casual bar which also serves food in the dimly lit booths at the back of the venue. The Wharf Hotel caters predominantly for a pub-going, sports-watching crowd with bar snacks, pizza, comfort food favourites and huge desserts. Hence we sampled gigantic apple pies floating on custard and topped with a silky cinnamon icecream and slabs of fluffy sticky date pudding with crunchy butterscotch sauce and caramel icecream will set you back only $12.

Of the two I preferred the pie as the pastry was flaky and the ice cream, spicy.

WTC Wharf currently hold progressive dinners at the three restaurants every Thursday night for the reasonable sum of $45 a head. Choose a sunny day after work, eat and drink your fill and enjoy the views.

Giveaway! Thanks to WTC Wharf I have 1 x $100 voucher for any restaurant in the WTC precinct. To win all you have to do is answer the question ‘If you were to go to the WTC Wharf which restaurant would you go to?’ by 5pm Friday 16 November in the comments below. The most creative will win and further terms of the competition are here.

WTC Wharf, World Trade Centre (Riverside), Siddeley St, Melbourne

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20 thoughts on “WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner + Giveaway

  1. I must admit I’ve not ventured over that side of the river for dining.
    I think I’d like to try Kobe Jones – Japanese is one of my favourite cuisines for their delicate use of flavour and seasoning. I love the whole concept of umami and no one does it better than the Japanese!

    Also – tuna truly tastes best when it’s raw so I’d be all over their sashimi! 😛

  2. I’d go to Kobe Jones. Nothing says progressive like Japanese Fusion but the traditional japenese ingredients allow the chefs to keep it fresh and all about the produce!

  3. YAY! This is a fantastic give away and I’d love to win :) I’ve heard and seen so many wonderful pictures of the restaurants from WTC ~

    If I was to win, I’d love to go to the Wharf Hotel because I am salivating over to try that Sticky Date pudding and i think it’s a match made in heaven with the cinnamon ice-cream!

    Thank you so much for the opportunity to win~

  4. Kobe Jones and spend the whole lot on dessert – those chocolate chopsticks are absolute bliss!

    How many could I order and manage to eat (I would share!)? I’m happy to do the hard yards and report back :)

  5. I looked at all these photos and my mouth started watering. The idea of Byblos with large, hearty food is so appealing, particularly after a hard week at work.

  6. Thanks for this giveaway :) I would choose Byblos because I’m really fascinated by Mediterranean/Lebanese cuisine, because I haven’t eaten it much, and when I have, I have loved it.

  7. To start the evening I would be excited to arrive by WATER TAXI and make my way to BYBLOS an
    imaginative Lebanese and Mediterranean Restaurant with lavish hospitality, luxurious surroundings,

    Located on the beautiful Yarra River, Byblos is the ideal location for a quiet dinner, a celebratory cocktail, or a special event.

  8. I have actually been wanting to try Byblos for a while, and coming into this gorgeous Summer weather, it will be perfect for trying their famed Rekakat and Grilled Haloumi while overlooking the Melbourne skyline. Perfection! 😀

  9. Kobe Jones… because I love getting fresh, seasonal ingredients cooked to perfection in a restaurant that delivers me a total entertainment experience not just a meal!

  10. Definitely Kobe Jones (and it seems I’m not alone!). Mostly because I had a sticky-beak at their menu and they have slipper lobster – I’ve always wanted to try that. I’d have a hard time deciding what else to eat though – the whole menu sounds fantastic.

  11. Kobe Jones, popular choice I have perused the menu and might just have to indulge in the Kashi (Riverside). I am yet to try a japanse dish I dislike. Yum…

  12. Byblos hands down! I love middle eastern cuisine! I really love that the Docklands (darklands!) are starting to establish a bit of a foodie vibe. I used to work down that way and the choice for food was slim-to-none. Excited to see how the area has progressed!

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