Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mr Mason

Tenancy 10, 530 Collins St 
Melbourne, VIC 3000

So I may be a little bit of a control freak. I like to have my day planned out to the minute, and my life planned out a couple years in advance where possible. As a result, when Chris decided to take me out to a romantic dinner at a surprise location, I had several almost-nervous-breakdowns in the week leading up to the date. 

Turns out I needn’t have worried. Chris had done his research and booked us in for a lovely dinner at Mr Mason, a French restaurant tucked up near the Southern Cross end of the CBD. Careful though, despite the address saying that it’s on Collins Street, the actual restaurant entrance is just around the corner, on Little Collins Street.

When we rocked up the restaurant was practically empty, but my apprehension disappeared upon seeing that most of the tables had a ‘reserved’ sign on it. I guess we’re just getting old – dinner at 6 and home by 10 on a Saturday night. 

Chicken Liver Parfait ($14)

We started off our meal with a wedge of Chicken Liver Parfait ($14), served with pear and date chutney, and toasted brioche. Most of my experiences with liver products come from the lovely, chunky pate spread inside Vietnamese sandwiches, but this was a classier act altogether. Encased in a layer of butter, the parfait is fluffy, smooth, and faintly sweet. The rich flavour was further brought out by the warmth of the toasted brioche, but it was the fruity chutney that really made it shine. 

Salmon Tartare, Creme Fraiche, Nasturtium ($17)

Next up was the Salmon Tartare, Creme Fraiche, Nasturtium ($17), served with warm sourdough. Being a seafood-lover, this was a no-brainer of a choice for me. The plump morsels of salmon mixed together with the crème fraiche, diced onions, and fresh capers made each mouthful a dazzling combination of freshness, creaminess, and just enough bite to cut through it all. They didn’t quite serve enough bread on the side though, and we ended up having to pay another $2 just to get some more. 

Confit Lamb Shoulder with Ratatouille and Eggplant Puree ($28)

Confit Lamb Shoulder with Ratatouille and Eggplant Puree ($28)

The rich entrees we had just devoured really took the edge off our hunger, so we decided to share a main and a side. We both had our eyes on the special of the day – Confit Lamb Shoulder with Ratatouille and Eggplant Puree ($28), and it turned out to be a great choice. The lamb came as a bit of a surprise, as it was condensed into four little patties. It still tasted great though, the crispy patty pulling apart to reveal tender lamb, though I usually do prefer my meat pink. It was a gorgeous summer dish, garnished with a tumble of bright garden vegetables in a smoky BBQ sauce.

Hand Cut French Fries ($9)

We did manage to make room for the Hand Cut French Fries ($9) though. I was originally a bit disappointed as they looked exactly like the kind of thing you’d get from a fish and chip shop, but one bite changed my mind entirely. I don’t know how exactly to describe it but, these chips tasted much more wholesome and organic than your regular fries. My guess is because it’s made from good potatoes, hand-cut with its skin intact, and then fried in good, clean oil.

We never managed to finish the chips, as much as we would like to have, and our dessert stomachs chose that night to fail us. We didn’t end up ordering any more food, but we had a fabulous time. Mr Mason is a little bit fancy, but it’s very friendly and down to earth as well. It’s a place for good quality French-inspired food without the ridiculous price tag that some other places attach. We finished up our night by exploring the beautiful city of Melbourne as it hosts its first ever White Night Festival, which coincidentally, also hails from France. 

Rating: 14.5/20 – monsieur mason. 

Mr Mason on Urbanspoon


  1. Hey I really do like it. good post. I went to their launch party in March and am a member. Are you a member of Mr Masons? If you are there are free parties every month

    1. Free parties every month! That's great incentive to sign up, I might look into that - thanks for the heads up! :)