Last half-day in Melbourne with a 7.5 hour plane ride ahead of us bound for home. Try to do the sensible thing and go light? There is Verge. Modern European with Japanese touches - sounds like jackpot.
If you're not familiar with the area, the non-descript bar entrance on the ground floor may throw you off, but the restaurant on the first floor, with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking Treasury Garden across the street, is a good place to sit and watch the Melbourne CBD crowd enjoy their lunch outdoors or Melbourne's trim and fit hit the park for their lunch-time run or yoga sessions.
Verge offers a set lunch menu but we decided to try their main menu since we may not get a chance to visit again.
The veal tartare, granny smith apple, mojama, red miso, and fried tuna mayonaise was a decent and fresh start. Not spectacular but an interesting mix of flavours. The use of granny smiths was quite clever since they lent both a sweet but tangy flavour to the dish.
Our first main of Japanese eel tortellini, califlower, rice senbei, melon and spring onion was good if not too tiny. Thinking this was Australia, we opted for the starter portion almost at the hint of the waiter, who probably thought little of our Asian appetites. A little unfortunate but we did savour what there was. If we weren't pressed for time, we would have ordered another but service was a tad slow despite it not being very busy.
Our mains was the catch of the day of Barramundi with pumpkin and sea urchin foam. While it was decent enough, the fish was a tad overcooked and there was no hint of sea urchin. An otherwise blah dish although their pumpkin was unusually sweet and creamy.
All in all, interesting takes on food but not for the hungry. If you really don't feel like eating too much, and just want to watch people and listen to the sparrow mock you about the bird-sized portions from the tree next to the window, go. Otherwise, you might give this a miss.
1 Flinders Lane