Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Trust

So much time has passed since I was last in Melbourne that I'm now thinking about when I should head back next for a visit. Which just goes to show how overdue this post is.

Selecting a location for a dinner with colleagues is always a challenge; the restaurant has to be close enough to the office, the space has to accommodate at least 10 people, food should be reasonably priced, there must be enough vegetarian choices available, there should be a decent wine list, and the menu should appear tasty enough to some of the fusspots in our group (ahem, me).

After a bit of searching, we decided on The Trust which appeared to at least satisfy all these requirements. 

The Trust
Walking into the big front restaurant, there was certainly enough space to seat all of us. Apart from a few other patrons enjoying after-work drinks, we were the only diners. Which suited us just fine. 

The menu has an Italian spin to it and is quite extensive covering antipasto selections, pastas, and fish, lamb, chicken and vegetarian mains.

To kick things off, we ordered a few items from the antipasto bar.

Salumi Misti
It's hard to go wrong with thinly sliced, well cured meats. I can't remember the exact cost, but the menu says it's $20, which in hindsight was way to expensive for this, no matter how good it was. 

For the benefit of the vegetarians, we ordered some chickpea chips.

Chickpea Chips
These were nicely crunchy on the outside, and by contrast, soft on the inside. I found them to be a little bland and the sauce only helped to add a little flavour. Much better were the gooey aracini balls. 

Another vegetarian dish, these were stuffed full of cheese. Not a healthy choice by any stretch, but comfort food in small serves is always in fashion.

A beautiful demonstration in simplicity came in the form of a calamari entree.

Calamari Grigliati
With chilli, lemon, olives and parsley, in my mind this is a quintessential Mediterranean dish. I certainly can't vouch for the authenticity of this, but it was my favourite starter full of flavours and fresh-tasting seafood. 

We ended up getting almost all the mains available between us, however I only have shots that turned out well thanks to my colleague's camera (my iPhone failed to take decent photos in these lighting conditions). 

From memory, Agnello all Brace of 10 hour slow cooked lamb, chickpeas and mixed grains was rich and thick, with a generous portion of meat accompanied by a salty broth.  

I'd ordered the fish of the day, accompanied by roasted baby beetroot and potatoes, a lonely spear of broccolini, and a very odd tasting crab-quinoa concoction.

Fish of the Day
The fish was crisp and nicely salted, with a nice firm flesh, but really, I couldn't get over how jarring the crabby mousse thing was. Points for healthiness and creativity, but unfortunately no points for taste.  

Squid Ink Linguine
And for interest, the squid ink liguine was ordered. Because differently coloured pasta is always a hit (but of course it tasted like any other well-cooked pasta). Not as good as freshly home-made, but a decent dish. 

Overall, we had a good time at The Trust and would certainly recommend it for groups. The atmosphere is cosy but still professional (like an old library full of dark wooden furniture), the waitstaff are friendly and efficient, there's something for everyone on the menu and the food is satisfying and decently priced (average standard for a CBD restaurant). Nothing mind-blowing here, but sometimes that's not a requirement. 

The Trust
405 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon-Fri 9am-12am, Sat 5am-12am

The Trust on Urbanspoon