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Published June 27th 2012
The Press Club is the brainchild of chef George Calombaris
The Press Club, located centrally on Flinders Street, is the flagship venue of chef and restaurateur George Calombaris, opening in 2006. George was subsequently named as The Age Good Food Guide's Chef of the Year in 2009, and has gone on to open several other restaurants as well as publish The Press Club cookbook. His name may be familiar to viewers of Ready, Steady, Cook, as he has made regular appearances on the show.
George at work
As expected, The Press Club is a gastronomical delight, favouring Greek cuisine with a contemporary flair. A seasonal a la carte menu is available for lunch or dinner, as well as an amazing degustation menu, which comes highly recommended. The wine list is extensive, featuring tipples from around the world, and a knowledgeable sommelier will be on hand to provide guidance if required.
The indulgence of a degustation menu comes highly recommended
The aim is to use the wine to compliment the cuisine, creating a full bodied experience. The dessert and traditional sweet snacks menu is packed with Greek favourites with a modern flair, and cannot be bypassed - the baklava is delicious. Head chef Joe Grbac was handpicked by George himself, and the two work closely together when developing the innovative menu.
Be sure to leave room for dessert
The Press Club embraces the founder's Greek heritage, and embodies the beautiful European ideal of food as a tribute to hospitality, warmth and family. The venue itself was refurbished in 2010, with the restaurant's bar being transformed into The Little Press and Cellar, where you can unwind with a drink and some nibbles before dinner, or enjoy a nightcap after dinner.
Whether you're after a drink after work, or a drawn-out degustation menu for a special occasion, The Press Club is a feast for your senses. You won't be disappointed.
On a visit to Melbourne, we went to The Press Club and had the 8 course degustation. I went to the Press Club only knowing it was GC's restaurant and had no preconceived expectations. However, what I did expect was Greek food but it translated more to me as Modern Australian. The food was pricey ($135 for the 8 course) and a la carte mains sat around the $45 mark. The food was very flavorsome; great for me but might be too salty for others. Most of the serves were pretty generous for the type of restaurant it was. Service was excellent but may lack warmth depending on who your waitress/waiter is. If you are really into food, I suggest sitting at the chef's table, where you get to see the chefs in action - a unique experience