5 Dishes to Warm Up Winter Nights in Melbourne
What comes to mind when someone says winter in Melbourne? If you live here, you know the truth. There’s nothing mild about Melbourne weather. And this year the winter chill didn’t waste one second, busting out the single digits by June 1. After two years of lockdowns through winter it’s time to dust off those scarves, coats and umbrellas.
When the temperature drops and days become shorter, one of the best things to make you feel good inside is a great meal with friends and family. Sitting around the table talking and laughing over wintery dishes warms the body and soul.
With the popularity of cooking shows like Masterchef, you’d think more people would cook at home. But with our busy lives back to normal, who has time to whip up a roast?! Plus with everyone socialising online it almost seems too hard to get people over to socialise without the distractions.
Well we think it’s time to gather some friends and let some chefs do the cooking for you. It’s time to put down those phones, order some wine and relish those mouthwatering winter dishes. Stepping out to a restaurant is the perfect way to make the most of Melbourne’s chilly winter nights.
Saros Bar and Restaurant
Saros Bar & Dining in Moonee Ponds is the perfect Melbourne winter restaurant. Some might say it’s all about the relaxed and inviting atmosphere. A warm welcome from staff enhances the moody ambience of soft lighting and toe tapping beats. And there’s nothing better than a lush, velvet interior .
When you enter the restaurant, the first thing you’ll notice is the social atmosphere. People are not on phones talking or texting. Instead, they are engaged in conversations with those in their company. When the food arrives, there will be a slight rise in the volume for the “ooooh” s and “aaaah” s, and then a lull in conversations as the first bites are savoured.
So let’s find out which winter dishes are inspiring the best reactions at Saros. Both warm and comforting meals and wine to match, here are five dishes at Saros to warm up those Melbourne’s winter nights.
Coq au Vin
Let’s start with the Coq au Vin, a slow-roasted chicken in red wine. Most people won’t have the time or patience for the 2 + hours it takes to prepare the dish, but Saros does it lovingly. Coq au Vin is a rich meal full of flavour, and makes you feel like you are in the embrace of the most loving arms. The flavours created by the chefs at Saros are outstanding, the earthy mushrooms and the smoke of the bacon… delicious!
The best wine to go with such a rich meal is full-bodied, dry and a little acidic to cut through the richness of the dish. The best recommendation is the Snake & Henry WA Chardonnay.
Roasted Duck Breast
Next is the Roasted Duck Breast. If a crispy exterior and succulent and juicy inside isn’t enough duck, you are in luck. It comes with tortellini stuffed with duck leg covered in a l’orange sauce and wilof (Belgian endive) that adds just the right amount of bitterness. Again, the chefs really outdid themselves on this combination.
And the wine? What else but a pinot noir from Giant Steps. Cherry and strawberry flavours with a hint of spice and earthy tones will highlight the rich duck flavour. Pinot noir is great for any winter night.
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
On to the Whole Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder. This one is a larger dish and can be shared between two people. When we say slow-roasted, we mean it, all 5 hours of it. And after 5 hours, the meat falls off the bone and is so tender it practically melts in your mouth. It is cooked in Moroccan spices and served with a delectable ratatouille and goat cheese that gives it a pop.
Pinot noir is the right choice of wine again, but the Craggy Range from New Zealand. This silky smooth pinot noir has a more earthy and savoury taste with notes of berries – a wonderfully balanced wine for this exquisite meal.
Vegetarians and vegans are not left out in the cold on this winter list. Saros’ Baked Eggplant is bursting with comforting flavours. Eggplant nestled in a curry of pumpkin, lentils, and tomatoes accompanied by labneh (yoghurt with a soft cheese consistency), makes this meal a mouthwatering dish even meat-eaters would love.
You don’t want to override the flavours of this dish, so go with the cabernet sauvignon from Peter Lehmann H&V. A medium-bodied wine with blackcurrant, blackberry, vanilla, and a hint of green leaf that will linger on the tongue makes this a match made in heaven.
250gm Angus Porterhouse
Last but certainly not least is the 250gm Angus Porterhouse, a thick cut of steak that is marbled and cooked to perfection by the Saros chefs. The Porterhouse comes covered with an au jus and tarragon butter that will knock your socks off. You can’t help but feel warm inside while eating what might be the most tender steak you will ever have.
A deep dark wine with bold flavours of blackberry and liquorice propped up by dark plums would complete the meal, and that is what you get in the Syrah from Yabby Lakes. The wine also provides a fresh acidity that will cut through and let the meal shine.
Don’t forget the sides! Our a la carte menu offers five delicious sides. The Duck Fat Potatoes are a must, but if you’re sharing with the table, you might need to order two.
So getting your friends or family together over a heart-warming meal is made easy by the chefs and staff at Saros. Everyone gets to choose what they want, but no one has to do the dishes afterwards.
As our menus are regularly updated, food and wine mentioned in the article may not always be available. Click here for our current menu.