Nobody likes a good bargain more than me – have you ever heard of me extolling the virtues of the Entertainment Book? (Of course you have, I talk about it all the time!) While I don’t use it as often now that I’m not dining out all the time, by splitting the book with my brother, I still get some good discounts when I do go out to eat.
A family dinner at The Mill Restaurant in Hardware Lane earlier this year is a good example. We stopped in for a quick dinner after K and I finished work, and before we dropped my dad off at the airport before his late night flight overseas for Chinese New Year. With a 25% off offer (up to $35 value), it essentially meant that one person in our group of four dined for free – bargain!
We managed to grab a table by the window overlooking Hardware Lane. While it was a mid-week evening, there’s still always lots of people-watching to be had in one of the busier food precincts in the city.
First main – the Pan-seared Salmon. If there’s one complaint to be made about this main (and honestly, with all the mains we ordered), is that there’s very little focus on what goes on the side. While the salmon was cooked adequately and had a nice crispy skin, the side salad was absolutely pitiful.
The daily special of the Bacon-Wrapped Steak is precisely what your doctor would tell you to avoid to maintain better health. Who can turn down crispy bacon and juicy steak though, especially when served with a generous amount of crispy and crunchy golden chips on the side?
The house-made Mill Burger was served with the same crunchy chips on the side but surprisingly, it was the burger itself that was the highlight. The fat and juicy burger patty was seared to perfection with just the slightest hint of a charcoal crust, the cheese was melted and the extra hit of prosciutto really brought it all together on the soft sesame-crusted bun. Great example of a simple burger done well.
We finished off with the Roasted Chicken Breast, which was unfortunately a tad dry. Again, four limp green beans and half a potato do not make a great veggie side – and the glazed peach was a strange addition that didn’t add much to the dish overall.
The Mill Restaurant offers a fairly standard modern Australian menu with the requisite steaks, burgers, chicken, fish and Italian pasta options. While you won’t find anything particularly innovative or mind-blowing on the menu, the prices are reasonable (especially if you dine with a discount) and the atmosphere can be quite cheery with the noises and laughter of Hardware Lane spilling into the restaurant. Just make sure you order some veggies on the side to share!
The Mill Restaurant is located at 71 Hardware Lane in Melbourne CBD.