The Boathouse

7 The Boulevard, Moonee Ponds, Vic 3038
Date visited: 10th August 2013

The time of the year has come again.  Since I've been working out of Melbourne this year, MerlinFan and I didn't have time to celebrate our birthdays together, so we had decided to celebrate it on the weekend before.  For those Masterchef fans out there, you may remember that the contestants were brought to Gary's baby, the Boathouse in last week's episode.  There is nothing like self-promotion and it worked - LOL MerlinFan made us a reservation the very same night :D

It was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies when we headed out to The Boathouse out in Maribyrnong.  The spot itself is convenient if you don't want to drive - we got on Tram 57 from the CBD which stopped just outside Maribyrnong Park.

I just had to take a photo of this sign outside.  There was an area outside for pets too, how cute was that.

The interior was beautiful - warm, homey and comfortable.  

There were cushioned benches around the peripheries, adorned with brightly coloured pillows.  The windows overlooked the gentle, meandering (sort of) Maribyrnong river.

We had a reservation, so we were brought to our table right away.  We had regular paper napkins and printed paper menus, which further accentuated the weekendy, brunchy feel.


San Pellegrino Mandarino, Rossa $4.00 each
Our waiter had to give us extra time to order because everything sounded so good we couldn't decide.  He looked under the pump, but was his response was nicely "sure!" and "not a problem!" which was good LOL.  Since it was cause for celebration, we were all set out to over-order and overindulge.

Interestingly, at The Boathouse, the menu is divided into the Mezze/To share, Pizzas and Not Pizza (how inspired) as well as sides.  We decided to order a Mezze and a Pizzetta to share, which was to come out before our mains.  

Firstly, we had the Croquettas with roast garlic mayo.  The croquettes had a crunchy, crispy crumbed shell with a mushy interior that was salty from the chorizo and had a slight piquancy from the manchego.

Croquettas $13
Now their pizzas are made the Italian way, in a wood fired oven, thin, crispy, and with love, using only Tipo 00 flour.  There were ten types of pizzas to choose from - you could choose to have the pizzetta for one person or the big pizza to share.  We opted to have a pizzetta so that we would have room for our mains.  Our choice for the day was Pizzetta Number Two, which consisted of pear, gorgonzola, prosciutto and rocket.

Pizzetta No.2 $14
The pizza base was fantastic.  Super thin, crisp and beautifully puffed.  There wasn't a hint of sogginess at the bottom which meant I could lift the pizza with my hand and not have any toppings slide off.  Made with love it sure was.  The gorgonzola was really quite salty with a distinct bite - both MerlinFan and Mum felt that with the salty prosciutto, the pizza was almost too salty.  I, on the other hand, loved it - the nuttiness from the rocket and the sweet, mellow flavour from the thin slivers of pear did tone down the saltiness a notch, although I did have perspiration break on my brow as I finished my last bite.  Still... I would happily eat one on my own >:D

There was quite a lull before our mains... about 40 minutes, MerlinFan counted.  And in the meantime, who should show up but Gary Mehigan himself.  We occupied ourselves trying not-so-surreptitiously to catch glimpses of him standing at the service counter LOL.

Finally our mains were here.  It was a long wait, but it was well worth it.

Mum had the Slow cooked lamb shoulder with freekah, pomegranate and lemon.  I should point out that I thought it was very helpful that our waiter clarified with Mum as she was putting in her order, that this was more of a salad with pieces of lamb on top (or on the bottom as we had).  It was nice to have this explained, rather than be surprised or disappointed if you were expecting more of a hunk of meat sort of thing.  

Lamb salad $18
The first thing Mum said when she took a bite was how soft and melt-in-your mouth the lamb was.  Very nicely complemented by the mountain of rocket, freekah and juicy pomegranate - the lamb shoulder got an enthusiastic thumbs up from Mum.

I had the 300g Clare Valley grain fed Scotch fillet.  All the meats from the grill section are accompanied by hand cut chips, salad and you can choose to have either capsicum butter or peppercorn sauce.  I hate capsicum so I opted for the latter.

Scotch Fillet $35

I had my steak medium done.  And when I cut it open...

Perfection.  Doesn't get any better than that.

Mum and I agreed that the steak was delicious.  The chargrilled flavour was absolutely gorgeous.  The steak was juicy, moist and the flavours of the meat really shone through.  I especially loved the crisp, char-y corner bits - I just wanted to keep them in my mouth and savour the taste, as disgusting as it may sound.  Cue contented sigh.  Mum loved my steak so much I think she had almost half of it LOL.

MerlinFan could not get pass the 250g Wagyu burger with brioche bun, crispy onions and pickles.
Wagyu burger $25
MerlinFan really liked the crispy chips.  She opted to have her wagyu patty well done - it was just the slightest bit pink in the middle and flavoursome, although quite salty.  The portion was huge - MerlinFan did well to finish all but a small chunk, which was an admirable feat seeing that most people around us only made it through about half of their burgers.  

After our mains, MerlinFan and Mum were halfway into a food coma, however I had more than enough room for dessert and coffee.  I had a cappucino and Mum had a latte.

Cappucino $3.50

Latte $3.50
The coffees were nicely strong and bitter, perfect to accompany our sweet dessert.  We chose Gary's cheesecake, with toasted nut crumble and rhubarb syrup.  Seriously.  How could we visit Gary's joint and not try his cheesecake.

Gary's Cheesecake $13
Yes, it was deconstructed.  There was a massive quenelle which looked like ice cream but wasn't - it was an indulgently rich, creamy, tangy cheesecake.  I loved the toasted nut crumble and biscuit for that crunch and texture.  Usually I'm not a fan of rhubarb but the syrup was lovely too.

Overall, we enjoyed our leisurely lunch at The Boathouse immensely.  The food was delicious, and I would return for several reasons - to try one of their other alluring sounding pizzas, to have the scotch fillet again, and lastly to try their breakfast menu!  Yes, I would love to come back in the near future.  Just keep in mind that on the weekend, service is not the speediest and is probably best reserved for if you have ample time to spare - perfect I suppose, if you were having a lazy, relaxed weekend catchup and don't mind the wait.

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  1. I love the flowers on the faces, were they meant to hide the faces? I went there recently and didn't like it a lot. Meh I live near there

    1. Yes, the flowers were to cover the faces in case anyone didn't like their faces plastered on someone else's blog! Saw your review and a lot of mixed reviews online but fortunately ours was a positive one - I'd still love to try their other offerings.