275 Exhibition St (cnr Lt Lonsdale St), Melbourne (map)
Friend M left Melbourne a few weeks ago, heading to the 'Berra and the glamourous legal position awaiting her there. We wanted to catch up for a final dinner in the CBD, ideally somewhere up towards Carlton way. I wanted to try somewhere different, so spent some time browsing the excellent map function on yourRestaurants and came up with Trunk. In the formal restaurant the mains are around the $32 mark - we ended up eating from the cheaper bar menu.
Despite its very fetching interior and general air of fabulousness, I've heard strangely little about Trunk on the grapevine. Lethlean wrote up a favourable review and Jon posted up photos on Melbourne Foodie of a Gourmet Traveler Readers' Dinner he attended there (still waiting for the review you promised would follow the pics, Jon!)... but that's about it. Maybe it's a geography thing? For me at least, Exhibition and Little Lonsdale is a pretty out of the way corner of the CBD, unless I'm heading to Troika for drinks. Or maybe the site is fated for perpetual reincarnation - originally a synagogue and then a kindergarten, I can remember the building housing Seoul Garden (a Korean BBQ grill) and then Sillitto. Whatever the reason for Trunk's quiet presence on the grapevine it's a shame; I really enjoyed our dinner and intend to head back there soon to try out the full menu.
M and I just wanted to keep things simple on the Wednesday night we visited, but we couldn't resist a starter of crostini with agrodolce anchovies ($9.50). I LOVE sweet and sour mixed together (just thinking agrodolce makes my mouth water), and the sour/saltiness of the marinated capers and anchovies resulted in a carnival ride of flavours. Good sourdough too.
We shared two mains: spaghetti with garlic, chilli, breadcrumbs and lemon ($17) and the Pomodoro 'Plus' pizza (tomato, mozzarella, basil, olives, capers and chorizo - $18.50). Both were great - I especially liked the texture of the breadcrumbs and the lemon and chilli flavour combo.
FYI, Trunk is one of only two places in the CBD that does take-away pizzas (at lunch, Mon-Fri 12-3pm, and dinner Mon-Sat 6-10pm). There are 11 pizze on the menu ranging from $16.50 to $21.50, and with the Corporate Special you can buy 9 and get the 10th free. They reeeally should include the take-away menu on their ultra-minimalist website!
To finish us off, we shared the chocolate Valpolicella custard which was served with 'ossi dei morti' biscotti ($13.50). Really great dessert - the red wine and chocolate made the custard quite rich, but the not-very-sweet biscotti balanced it out.
Anyone else been to Trunk? Was I the only one left in the dark with this one?
(***Edited to add: no Mum, "Look in the Tunk" is not a typo. It's a Simpsons reference - I was in a silly mood when I wrote this post***)
Oh, and another emailed reader request:
Just wondering if you could recommend any really good places for Tiramisu? It's not something I eat since I can't stand coffee but a visiting American friend is dying for some.
What d'you reckon? I only occasionally order tiramisu and have no fixed opinion on where to get a good one. Brunetti? Pellegrini's?