We were very fortunate to have been shouted a lovely dinner by some friends at the Living Room recently, which is a somewhat polished yet cozy spot tucked away in a nondescript section of shops in Templestowe.
Our group shared a serve of Warm Turkish Bread ($7.00) which came with a pad of butter and saucer of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic reduction. We plugged the empty spots in our tummies with this relatively good standard of bread and then tucked into our other shared plate….
Piled up like Jenga pieces, the large Polenta Chips ($8.00) were just crispy enough to keep their form and tasty once dipped into the tomato chutney. One wouldn’t think anything particularly special about this plate, but at the same time, it wouldn’t offend if it was ordered again.
Hubby bear and our friends all three ordered the 200gms of Eye Fillet which was hidden among a couple of large Portobello mushrooms and sweet potatoes, and finished off with red currant and golden shallot jam and red wine jus. The overall verdict from Hubby was that it was a “Neil Perry Rockpool-quality dish”, which for a suburban restaurant, is a big commendation!
Our incredibly informative and attentive server told me there was no way I’d eat the ‘main’ sized Mushroom Risotto so I took his advice and ordered the entree version ($18.00) – and jeeez – I’m glad I did! I swear my plate appeared very normal in size, so the only logical explanation for the quantity you must get as a main is it’s meant for the miscellaneous Bigfoots and Giants who drop in from time to time. 😛 Now, I’m not actually a huge fan of mushrooms, but there were less sautéed mushrooms than there were bits of roasted pumpkin and spinach — and as you can see from the photo – a generous helping of crunchy fried shallots. Overall I was really impressed with this risotto and would happily have it again (even if I’m not a Bigfoot or Giant).
Because none of us had anything green on our plates, our lovely server suggested a side of Green beans ($8.50). It was a simple bowl of sautéed beans with cannellini beans, Spanish onion and sundried tomato pesto – and a great touch for all to dig into.
And this is where the meal took a downward turn for me, but not because the flavour or quality was off, but because I don’t like my Tira Mi Su ($13.50) with so much creamy filling that I can’t decipher the coffee flavour or appreciate anything else. If you love masses of cream filling, this is the Tira Mi Su for you!
Hubby bear got stuck into the Apple and quince, hazelnut crumble ($13.50) which had a drizzle of caramel sauce and topped with salted caramel ice cream. The crumble was actually pretty dry and hard, which was unfortunate because it looked like it should’ve been better.
Our friends shared a serve of the Sticky Date Pudding ($13.50) and given they chomped up all the cake, butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream would mean the Living Room hit a home run with this particular dessert!
Overall, these guys are serving up food that’s just that cut above expectations – in a nice relaxing environment – with really great service. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Address: 19 Anderson Street, Templestowe, VIC 3107
Tip! If you’re coming up Thompsons Road, through the shops, you’ll take a right at the round-about and they’re on the right. If you continue turning right at every chance after the round-about, you’ll end up with more parking options than what’s available on the street.