Tasting Melbourne – Time Out Bar, Federation Square

Folks, a little review for you today. It was the first place I was able to sit down and eat out at since lockdown was lifted here in Melbourne, and as such it was right in the centre of town, so as far as location is concerned, it can’t be beaten! In fact it is slap in the middle of town in Melbourne’s main square, Federation Square.

Activity in Fed Square

It’s directly opposite the main train station (for suburban lines) in Melbourne, Flinders street and despite it only being around 25 years old, it’s become a pretty iconic place and the sort of place people often plan to meet each other when they are out and doing something in the city. It’s design, in my opinion, is not particularly attractive, with an overuse of different shades of light brown and ugly shapes mixed together. But at the same time it is a landmark of city and a recognisable place.

It’s a place with a number of restaurants, bars, a large screen where in times before and hopefully after the pandemic people would gather to watch sporting events and other events like New Year’s Eve, it has a large tourist information centre, which is as good as any place to get an idea of what there is to see and do not only in Melbourne but also Victoria.

So it’s central and it’s not a bad place to find yourself at lunch or dinner time. The dining is varied in many ways, and there are more upmarket places and also less upmarket places. And there is ACMI and SBS there too, SBS being one of our broadcasters and ACMI being the Museum of the Moving Image (ie film).

So anyways, the location is great. In Time Out Bar/Restaurant we are talking about a range of cuisines which amounts I guess to standard slightly upmarket ‘pub’ fare, for the sort of place that tries to cater to families mostly but is also good for most people. I love a chicken parmigiana and when I saw it on there board for $19AUD I decided that as I hadn’t had one in such a long time, I would have one now.

The service was really friendly. There is an outdoor and indoor area for dining, and despite it not being the warmest of days I decided on the outdoor part. As of October 31st the laws were 50 outside and 20 inside but also depending on total area. It was a late lunch though so I could choose either and they took my details down in case any need for contact tracing might arise as is pretty standard. They had a bar code to scan for that but it didn’t work for whatever reason on my phone. Anyways, this is the procedural stuff you go through at the moment with the pandemic.

Service was really friendly by the masked-waiting staff. The menu as I said is pretty varied and they do breakfast until 3pm. Other items available for example include wagyu beef burgers, satay chicken sticks, a small selection of pizzas, salmon, pastas, risottos, and a variety of cakes for dessert or if you just pop in for an afternoon tea break. So as I said, fairly varied and probably something to make most people happy.

The chicken parmigiana is an Aussie standard these days and is in some ways considered the ‘national dish’ here, despite it’s obvious roots in Italy. It’s usually a crumbed chicken snitzel, covered with tomato sauce and then mozzarella cheese. It is also common to pop a slice of ham in there on top as well under the cheese, which Time Out didn’t do, but nevertheless it was well cooked and not dry, came with a nice salad and decent chips as well. Very agreeable if clearly not the best parmigiana in the world. So all in all the food was decent, location and service excellent. But I can’t say I tried much of the menu! But if you are in the centre of town and need a place for a meal, well it’s not a bad option at all!

Parmigianas can be very varied and made in other ways, although the cheese, chicken and sauce are standards. I know a great place with a variety of ‘parmas’ on their menu near me including one with salami and olives which is really awesome!

Thanks for popping by today. This was my first proper example of covid-style dining for quite some time, and I felt comfortable in eating there. Thanks for reading, May the Journey Never End!

9 thoughts on “Tasting Melbourne – Time Out Bar, Federation Square

  1. I had no idea that Australia’s national dish was the chicken parmigiana; if anything, I’d assume it was strictly limited to Italy! But I guess it’s like the tikka masala in the UK, even if it’s Indian-inspired…thanks for sharing this delicious dish, though, and I’ll have to try it when I visit Australia someday!

  2. I had no idea chicken parmies were such a big Australian thing until I got here in September. Glad to hear you had a successful dining experience out, and cheers to more to come!

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