Tasting Melbourne – Valentine’s Dinner at Vanilla Lounge

Howdy all! Hope you’re well wherever you are and welcome to another week on the old blog!

Yes, another Valentine’s day has passed us by and the year is moving along quickly. Did you do anything special for Valentine’s day? I was working on Friday, the 14th, so we went out for dinner on the Saturday evening just passed. My wife wanted to go somewhere new and so I booked a table at Oakleigh’s Vanilla Lounge.

Oakleigh is a nearby suburb to us and has a large Greek population, and the largish shopping precinct is not short on restaurants, cafes and fast food joints. I’d heard good things about Vanilla Lounge and so booked a table there.

Which was a good call. Booked the day before and they only had tables on the covered balcony area. It’s a very popular place. There are multiple areas to sit. Inside, outside, there’s an outside section on the pedestrian mall.

On the ground floor you’ll find a bakery with some seriously yummy looking cakes and tarts, plus tables etc. Upstairs there is the cosy indoor area connected to the covered balcony which is mostly closed in. And there’s a bar there too. And when we went a display of pink balloons in honour of the day!

I looked for something to drink and saw a couple of ports on the menu. Well it has been a while so I took the opportunity to try a Penfolds Grandfather Port, and I was not disappointed. Ahh it took me back to… early December last year back in Porto! Penfolds is an Australian company FYI.

The menu is a very decent size. They have a mostly Greek menu which includes a plethora of tantalizing Greek desserts, a couple of fish options – snapper and fish of the day which was salmon on the day in question.

But we went for the meat platter for two. Lamb and chicken skewers, sausage, pork, more chicken with salad, chips and pita bread. It was $72AUD and worth every cent. The meat – especially the lamb was incredibly tender. Of course there was also taziki dip on the plate. So of the food we were suitably impressed.

Perhaps the only issue was the noise. Because it so big and so busy all the chatter from so many people made it hard to hear each other. But that’s only testament to its popularity I guess. Oh and if the platter wasn’t so big we might have had room to try something else!

All in all it seemed like a great place to eat. Staff were always checking that things were ok which is a good sign. It took a little while to get our food but it was Saturday night!

If it sounds like your bag Oakleigh is a twenty-five minute ride from the centre of Melbourne on the train. Less than ten minutes walk from the station. Not a bad spot at all. May the Journey Never End!