Mikkayla reviews: Lollo at W Melbourne — ‘the most wonderful dining experience’
Lollo at W Melbourne
408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
This is Mikkayla’s last review with Ross and Russel. She will be back next week for a final review with Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power before she departs 3AW Breakfast.
Press PLAY below to see some of Ross and Russel’s on-air goodbye (+ where she’s off to next)
Here we go: Lollo at the new W Melbourne is pure brilliance and you all need to get there as soon as possible. I could leave it at that and hope you all just blindly trust me, but of course, I’ll throw a couple of extra details in to cement the deal.
Located in Melbourne’s newest luxury hotels, Lollo is impressive as soon as you walk in. The place is opulent and spacious but still intimate and mysterious, with beautiful details everywhere you look. The expansive open kitchen runs along the main area of the restaurant yet isn’t intrusive in neither noise nor presence.
Adam D’Sylva is the genius behind the menu — which is divided into 5 sections of small, in-between, bigger, and on the side, plus desserts — and heavily inspired by his Italian-Indian heritage. Nibble on freshly baked flatbread, warm and crisped from the oven that you then smother in house-made ricotta with particles of crunchy black garlic and white sesame mixed through, while you peruse the options and narrow down your choices. Yellow fin tuna is done served tataki style — seared on the outside and left raw in the middle — served on a puddle of tart Japanese ponzu, and finished with shreds of fresh horseradish, coriander and pomegranate. It’s light and flavourful, and a delicious treat for all seafood lovers. The fat Mooloolaba prawns that are grilled and served with a fresh green mango salad and sweet yet sour palm sugar soy dressing are also the perfect bite to start the meal.
Buffalo mozzarella encroute is a golden-wrapped pastry delight, with hot cheese strings leading from the serving dish to your plate. You can taste the pungent, garlicky truffle paste that’s used inside and the dots of salsa verde, rocket puree and fresh rocket leaves punctuate the flavours nicely. Grilled cosberg quarters done in a ‘Cacio de pepe’ (cheese and pepper) style leaves me second guessing if I actually ever need to eat pasta again. A thick, creamy and peppery sauce coats the wilted leaves and is finished with crunchy sourdough crumbs. It’s inherently clever and a very modern take on pasta-less pasta dishes – though probably still won’t get the tick of approval by any discerning nutritionist.
The flagship item of the menu is the lasagne — baked to order, presented in the cast-iron dish it’s cooked in and set down with a flourish of grandeur by the waitress. You can smell the richness of the duck mince Bolognese which is bubbling out of the pasta sheets that are served rotolo-style which makes it easier to portion out. I’m back on pasta again. Finished with torn pieces of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, it’s left with a beautiful crisp crust around the edges that you dutifully scrape off the sides and try to sneakily put on your plate alone. It’s a five-star pasta dish that probably has the staunchest of Italian Nonnas tsk-tsking at the very idea of duck meat and spirals, but leaves everyone else in pure ecstasy, even with the $52 price tag.
There are plenty of other showstoppers to keep the punters happy – including the 500g O’Connor’s rib eye; D’Sylva’s signature red duck curry, and the super crunchy chicken cotoletta made with corn-fed birds from Hazeldenes. Don’t be fooled — it’s not just your average pub-style chicken schnitty. Like the lasagne, this wholesome comfort food has been elevated to the level expected to suit the confines of the ultra-luxe W hotel.
For drinks, there are over 300 wines, 50 beers and an expansive cocktail list with detailed ingredients and interesting combinations. They are as theatrical as they are delicious, like The Hot Mess which comes with a shimmering bubble quivering over the mouth of the glass that, when popped, disappears in a smoky haze. The buffalo trace bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, pineapple and champagne combine together for a fruity yet subdued concoction that is entirely gulp-able.
The service, the venue, the food and the atmosphere all combine to give guests the most wonderful dining experience. Melbourne is certainly not short on high-quality hotel restaurants, but Lollo has raised the standards to heights beyond what we’ve already experienced, and, like a fine wine, is sure to only get better with age.
Lollo is open from 12pm to 10pm Tuesday – Saturday