Yesterday, we took the kids to The General Assembly in South Wharf for some lunch.  It’s a huge restaurant/bar capable of catering for up to 600 people with plenty of sitting and standing room available – both inside and outside – with water & cityscape views.  The central feature of the fit out by their architects, Six Degrees, is their amazing bar which features 49 taps containing 12 different craft beers from the Matilda Bay Brewing Company, Peroni, & unpasteurised Carlton Draught straight from their duo copper tanks.  They also offer a selection of minimal intervention wines for wine buffs.

 

With children in tow, and both my husband and I completely lacking aldehyde dehydrogenase, we bypassed the drinks menu and got stuck into the amazing array of food on offer.  The menu has been designed by Head Chef Darren Mercaldi (previously Matteo’s, Circa, Nobu, Brighton Middle Baths & Ladro) who has taken care to create food that matches well with their beverages.

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Pork scratchings – salt & vinegar ($5) 
Ours came out without the vinegar for some reason but our children loved them none the less.  They were big and crunchy and salted very well.  They were very much like Chinese prawn crackers but better because they were pork-flavoured.

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Wagyu slider – cheddar, house made BBQ sauce, cornichon ($8.50) 
Take your normal small slider and divide it by two.  This was miniature and super cute.  It tasted great but was a bit overpriced for what we actually got.

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Smoked eel bruschetta – riesling jelly, wasabi mayo ($15) 
My husband ordered this for something a little different and because he loves unagi.  Served on grilled sourdough, the eel was firm and smoky like any smoked fish and peppered with an interesting array of riesling jelly, wasabi mayo, and some little green balls that popped in our mouths.  It was ok, it wasn’t amazing, and it certainly wasn’t something that we’d order again – especially for $15.

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Spring Bay mussels – seeded mustard, cream, leek, sage ($18) 
Served with some toasted sourdough, these were absolutely divine.  The mussels were perfectly cooked with a nice and tasty creamy sauce.  I loved the crunchy, fried, sage on top.

For sides we ordered..

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Polenta chips – smoked salt ($8) 
These were really tasty.  Both of our children polished them off without help from us, if any.  They were lovely and crunchy and tender inside.  Perfectly seasoned and fantastic on their own, let alone as an accompaniment.

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Heirloom carrots – hay smoked ($8) 
Our 3-year-old son is a devout Dutch carrot enthusiast.  He isn’t, however, a farm animal – at least most days of the week.  So we certainly had a giggle whilst he made me clean the hay off each and every one of the glistening carrots.  The smoky smell & taste of the carrots were divine – we just didn’t have multiple stomachs to digest the garnish which was stuck on each and every one of the carrots!

As mains, we ended up selecting a couple of brilliant dishes.

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Ocean trout fillet – served with peperonata ($28) 
We just had to try a dish made in their wood-fired Spanish Josper charcoal grill / oven hybrid which is supposed to lock in the moisture and flavour of everything cooked within it.  The ocean trout was exquisite.  It was lovely and smoky and very tender.  And it was perfect served alongside the grilled lemon wedge and deliciously complex peperonata.

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Charred pork ribs – coconut, peanut, chilli jam (half serve) ($19) 
If you order one dish.. this has to be it.  It was unbelievably good.  Almost satay-flavoured, only mildly spiced, they were so uniquely seasoned and the pork fell right off the bone.  Mouth-watering, heart-racing, stomach-satiating.  This was pure brilliance.

All in all, our family had a fabulous time at The General Assembly.  The food is fairly good and the waiters proclaim the beverages on offer are fantastic.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
29 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf  VIC  3006
03 9682 6007

Open 7 days from 11 am – 1 am.

We’ve collaborated with The General Assembly and you can now win a free dinner for 4 valued at $220!  Enter now… competition closes at 23:29 AEST 11 November 2014.

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