The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

The Sharing House

35 Dukes Walk
South Wharf VIC 3006
+61 3 9245 9800

My shares are performing poorly at the moment. What genius told me to invest in retail and banking shares two years ago? Oh yeah, my ‘stockbroker.’ But if said stockbroker had a bit of hindsight and if South Wharf’s Sharing House were listed on the ASX (TSH, SRH?), then it’d definitely be a company I be wanting to buy into.

South Wharf is only a short walk from the Melbourne branch of the ASX. You then need to stroll along the wooden bridge from Spencer Street – and past the black swans nesting – before reaching your destination. There are a handful of new restaurants along South Wharf but just look for one with the colourful LEGO bar and you’re there.

Apparently Sharing House owner Paul Matthis loves this LEGOs so much – this bar was made up of $12,000 worth of LEGO blocks. Very cool.

The dining room was really dark when Dave and I rocked up after our pre-dinner snack session at Akachochin. We were given a table next to the window which meant that we would have had great views of the water – if it wasn’t pitch black both outside and inside. Ah well. Maybe this summer…

Sharing House’s menu is designed for, duh, sharing. The waiter suggests that we order several small dishes and one large dish to share – and maybe a dessert if we’re craving something sweet at the end. The consensus around the Melbourne blogosphere is that the rabbit and cauliflower popcorn is Sharing House’s signature dish so this was the first thing we looked for on the menu. Unfortunately (and much to our disappointment), it wasn’t on the current menu. I guess it must have been duck season.

Instead, we started off with some corned beef croquettes with HP sauce ($3 each).

Dave made a comment about croquettes being on every second Melbourne restaurant’s menu. He does have a point but I do like my croquettes and they were only $3 each so why not, I thought. The croquettes were very crunchy on the outside but the filling wasn’t tasty for they skimped on the corned beef. They did taste better with the smoky and sweet HP sauce that came in a little makeshift jar paired with a cute little spoon.

I love nothing more than trying new ciders, especially locally produced ones. The Lucky Duck apple cider ($8) that I ordered was created by an osteopath and a marketing manager duo. They used the very best Braeburn apples to ensure that the end result was a cider that was sharp and bold, with a beautiful crisp finish.

We got bread. It was beautiful, but we didn’t touch most of it for we needed to save our stomachs for the rest of the food.

The gravlax ($16) arrived next, an ugly name for such a beautiful dish. Fresh pieces of ocean trout were cured with apple vodka and as a result, each piece tasted piquant, smoky and slightly salty with a hint of apple flavour. For some reason, the ocean trout was also slightly gamey and Dave agreed, saying that it tasted like a cross between sashimi and prosciutto.

I also liked the various ‘textures of apples’ that adorned the trout pieces all over. There were Granny Smith apple balls, apply jelly cubes and compressed apple pieces that disappeared into a cloud of nothing into your mouth. All this was held together by a lovely mustard crème fraîche, which provided a nice kick.

We got into heavier territory with the scampi mac n cheese ($22). I wouldn’t normally pay more than $20 for a mac and cheese dish but when the sauce has been made with taleggio and infused by an aromatic broth made with scampi shells, with a generous amount of baked scampi tails shattered all over, well, that’s a no brainer. It may have been a deceptively tiny serving but man, was it filling!

I once made a Moreton Bay bug mac and cheese but even that had nothing on this!

The porcini pizza ($15) was the dish that really filled us up. Like the mac and cheese, it wasn’t overly big (six inches) but the dough base and the generous amount of farmhouse goats cheese ensured that we could only eat one slice each before going, ‘OH MAN, SO FULL!’ Still, we persevered. We couldn’t help but like the lovely flavour contrast between the earthy porcini and wild mushrooms and the creamy cheese, with bits of lemon thyme to break things up.

I like how Sharing House give their mains one word names such as ‘beef,’ ‘mussels’ and ‘tomahawk’, the latter being a 1kg rib eye. Dave and I tend to have beef with certain people so we decided the ‘beef’, which was a Beef Wellington, was an apt main course.

For a Beef Wellington to come with a $58 price tag, it needed to be spectacular. Unfortunately, we had consumed all our pizza (yep, we still soldiered on after that first slice) so we struggled to fully appreciate the awesomeness of this dish.

The beef tenderloin was soft and juicy, and the pâté so creamy. Meanwhile, the pastry that covered the beef was awesomely golden and flaky, like a Gold Coast slurry. The Beef Welly was accompanied by some sweet heirloom carrots and crispy artichokes too. We could only manage one slice of Beef Welly each before declaring defeat. The waiter, however, was more than happy to doggy bag the Welly for us in separate containers. I enjoyed my microwaved Beef Welly the next day for lunch while Dave and his brother had theirs for breakfast.

After all that, it would have been crazy to order dessert. We may not have had enough room for another bite of beef but for some strange reason, we decided that we could squeeze in some dessert. We ordered an ice cream man ($14) to share, essentially a test tube holder-like thing that held six mini Cornetto-style cones.

The flavours we enjoyed were wild strawberry and limoncello, mint chocolate chip, armrena cherry, pistachio, Pedro Ximenez and cocoa nibs. Although they weren’t the best ice creams I’ve ever had, it was nevertheless a fun dessert to consume.

The bill came in a, yep, mini-LEGO house and was something like $140-150 but thanks to a 30% discount from Agenda, we (or more accurately, Dave) paid just over $100 which was pretty good given the amount of food we ordered.

I will definitely be back when the weather gets warmer and hopefully by then, the rabbit popcorn will return. After all, reinstating this dish could only ensure that Sharing House’s market value will increase in the long term.

The Sharing House on Urbanspoon

24 Comments on The Sharing House

  1. squishymonster
    September 22, 2012 at 14:49 (4 years ago)

    Totally worth it, it seems! Lovely croquettes and gravlax–yum! And too cute that it arrived in legos—kinda softens the blow, huh? =D

  2. Choc Chip Uru
    September 22, 2012 at 20:26 (4 years ago)

    Sharing is caring though I would be hard pressed with these delicious dishes 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. helene dsouza
    September 22, 2012 at 21:22 (4 years ago)

    Hi Libby!

    How have u been, its been a while?

    Your killing me with the beef wellington and the ice cream and all. I really want to know now, what that rabbit and cauliflower popcorn is all about. Restaurants like that would be a top place in goa, not many owners r so creative in plating and serving up their dishes and I love the concept of that one.

    • libishski
      September 25, 2012 at 19:29 (4 years ago)

      Hi Helene!

      Good to hear from you again :) Hope you’ve been well.

      Maybe you should open up a restaurant in Goa that serves those sorts of dishes? :p

  4. yummychunklet
    September 22, 2012 at 22:08 (4 years ago)

    That is one awesome beef tenderloin!

  5. Savory Simple
    September 22, 2012 at 22:59 (4 years ago)

    Everything looks so tasty, especially those corned beef croquettes!

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    September 22, 2012 at 23:02 (4 years ago)

    What an enormous meal! And I would have struggled to fit in all of that too (but my eyes are often bigger than my stomach). It sounds like it has a real sense of fun :)

  7. Parsley Sage
    September 23, 2012 at 06:32 (4 years ago)

    Whoa Beef Welly! I feel like slapping your hands a little bit for filling up on that pizza to leave more room for the wellington…buuuuuut then I realized I’d have probably done the same thing because goat cheese and mushrooms on perfect pizza dough would blow my mind.

    • libishski
      September 25, 2012 at 19:30 (4 years ago)

      Mushrooms are my favourite things in the world and there was no way I was going to say no to them :)

  8. Liz
    September 23, 2012 at 08:49 (4 years ago)

    That beef wellington is enormous! I would of loved to try the corned beef croquettes – I have a soft spot for corned beef at the moment.

  9. theragingcook
    September 23, 2012 at 13:51 (4 years ago)

    South Wharf is magically fantastic! And yes, where’s the rabbit popcorn chicken?? Not happy Sharing House! Not happy at all! Hahaha

  10. Iron Chef Shellie
    September 23, 2012 at 16:47 (4 years ago)

    That mac and cheese sounds like the bomb, and worth it. I’d not normally pay something for a dish like that either. Must check the place out.

  11. Ames
    September 23, 2012 at 19:24 (4 years ago)

    I’d definitely book through Agenda if I go since $140/2 will pretty much blow my uni student budget lol there’s always room for dessert, darls 😉

    • libishski
      September 25, 2012 at 19:30 (4 years ago)

      I also need to tell you that Agenda charges you $10 every time you making a booking, but you do make up for it with the money you eventually save 😀

      • Ames
        September 25, 2012 at 20:08 (4 years ago)

        Ah, thanks for the tip !

  12. machisan
    September 23, 2012 at 19:28 (4 years ago)

    Sounds perfect!

  13. thehungerpangs
    September 23, 2012 at 19:56 (4 years ago)

    I came here for lunch not too long ago and had the rabbit and cauliflower popcorn – loved it! Shame you missed out, but you sure made up for it with all of these amazing dishes! The scampi mac and cheese looks delicious! :) x

  14. Catherine
    September 24, 2012 at 10:35 (4 years ago)

    Oh I was looking forward to having the rabbit & cauliflower popcorn again. However the mac n cheese and beef wellington look scrumptious! I love the agenda tables discount too , must make use of it soon 😉

  15. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    September 24, 2012 at 19:00 (4 years ago)

    Holy cow what a lot of food! It all looks so good and that beef wellington has brought me to tears. :)

  16. kellysiew
    September 26, 2012 at 02:18 (4 years ago)

    The Scampi Mac and Cheese is really quite awesome. I also loved the Croquette. The beef wellington is textbook. Though I was actually wanting to order the Pork Belly but alas the girls won’t let me!

  17. Adrian Briones (@food_rehab)
    September 26, 2012 at 20:44 (4 years ago)

    scampi mac n cheese – yes please!!!! It does look filling but comfort food right there!

    The lego bar rocks

  18. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake
    September 29, 2012 at 20:56 (4 years ago)

    I’ve been seeing this place so much lately! Making me really want to try it out. The food looks fantastic, especially the mac cheese and ice cream!

  19. piggyeatalot
    October 21, 2012 at 16:34 (4 years ago)

    OMG I felt the same- when I finally got around to TSH the rabbit popcorn is already gone! I really want to try it! We shld start up a “Bring Back the Rabbit Popcorn” campaign!


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