Is it a restaurant or a night club? Do they serve breakfast, lunch or dinner? Is it really imperative that you go? The answer to all those questions is: yes! For my garble-garble-eth birthday, some of my besties and Hubby Bear treated me to a night at Magic Mountain Saloon. And with a name like that, it’s important I describe this place, since I forgot to take photos!
It’s a narrow, multi-level corner building dotted with windows glowing red from moody ambient lighting. The happy sounds of laughing, thumping music, and clinking glasses & plates all spilt onto the ridiculously narrow sliver of concrete (aka. the footpath) where we were gathered on Little Collins Street. This is the precursor for the volume for rest of the night…
After we climbed the winding staircase, dodging servers and tipsy patrons – and passing the DJ perched on one of the tiny levels – we made it to the insanely packed top dining room. (Note to yourself: you must book to get in here on a Friday night) Since the menu is incredibly massive, we opted for a “Feed Me” type of banquet with a $65/pp cap to spend on the food – and our server didn’t just deliver in spades food-wise – he kept us laughing most of the night, too!
Our night started off with steamed Garlic Chive & Water Spinach Dumplings ($18.50), whose more delicate interior flavours were well balanced with the drizzle of tart black vinegar and spicy-salty chilli soy sauce. As one of the stand outs for the night was the Sweet Onion Roti ($6.00) – delicious! We cut up the large piece of flat roti bread to share and were all totally surprised with the flavours inside! Stuffed with caramelised onions, mushrooms & chilli, the sweet versus spicy explosion in that buttery bread created many OMG faces among us!
The carnivores were all supremely pleased to see a plate of Lamb Handles ($39.50) with hot mint peas hit the table, and at first glance, it didn’t appear like an Asian Fusion dish in any way! But when the eggplant & ginger blossom relish was added to a bite, that’s when the two cuisines melded together. Hubby Bear loved the tender meat and flavours so much, that he wants to go back so he can have a plate all to himself!
I must declare this next dish, the Tomato, Zucchini & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad ($26.50) as the pièce de résistance for me! The chunks of of tomato, thin slices of zucchini and clumps of Buffalo mozzarella somehow melded seamlessly with the chilli, basil & cashew crumble to make an Asian caprese-like salad! Hmmmm! Damn! It was so incredibly good! Give me this salad and that stuffed roti and I’m set for life! Side note: I did allow a couple of the carnivores a chance to taste this brilliant dish, but in all honesty, I kept it mostly to myself because it’s my birthday and I’ll eat the tomato, zucchini & buffalo mozzarella all by myself if I want toooooooo………
So the Tea Smoked Ocean Trout ($24.50) dish was for the carnivores what the aforementioned salad was for me — the all star attraction for the night! The big pink chunk of trout sat atop a mixture of greens and seasoning that nearly created a social etiquette issue among my friends: now that all the meat eaters had their initial share, and there’s some left over….who gets it? Yet another dish that’s solely worth going for!
All the carnivores agreed that the Pork Neck ($31.00) was chocked full of flavour, it had a thick sauce oozing all over it and also come with a green chilli sauce and braised cabbage. The singular complaint for this dish: it didn’t need the extra chilli sauce; the flavour of the meat’s seasoning was so good it could stand on its own!
As the only vegetarian on the table, our server took really good care of me and plopped down a big bowl of Red Curry with Tofu (not sure the price, couldn’t see it on the menu anywhere) that was delicious! A fantastic mixture of vegies and big squares of fried tofu made for a hearty and flavoursome main. I’m seriously getting hunger pains from the memory!
The other curry for was a Lamb Shoulder Red Curry ($26.50 for a small bowl) which had potatoes and peas throughout. Similar to my veg curry, it had a well rounded hearty flavour and was perfectly spicy – all things any good curry should have! We all shared serve of classic Roti Bread ($5.50) and although I can’t recall it, I’m pretty sure we had rice to eat with our curries, too.
We honestly didn’t have room for dessert, but we figured the group of us could share the three sweets listed on the menu…and hey, it was my birthday! There must be sweets! So we all had a few bites of the Pumpkin & Coconut Creme Brulee ($14.50), and whilst described as a staff favourite, it didn’t hit any serious buttons for anyone at the table. On the other hand, the stacked Thai Tea Crepe Cake & Honeycomb ($14.50) was beautifully light and combined with the honeycomb (which added the much desired crunch and sweetness to top each bite with) was heralded as almost everyone’s favourite. I personally preferred the Coconut & Lime Pannacotta ($14.50) which had a strawberry & mint compote — but I’ve always been a fan of fruity desserts so that’s not a big surprise! 🙂
Squeeze a heap of people into a narrow, multi-story building, throw in an attentive, humorous server – along with a random party-goer who would slip into our table’s festivities from time to time (and make us crack up with his drunken anthems of love and happiness) – serve up truly amazing food, topped with a slightly too loud environment, and that makes for one helluva brilliant night! In short, even if don’t like loud music (go with earmuffs on, you may start a new trend!), go for the food!
Atmosphere: ★★★★★✔ (if you don’t mind it loud!)
Address: 62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tip! Despite the fact you’ll miss out on some incredible food, if you want a quiet, romantic evening whispering sweet nothings into your lover’s ear – this isn’t the place to go, at least not on a Friday or Saturday night!