Review: Sezar (Melbourne, VIC)

6 Melbourne Place
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 9663 9882
http://sezar.com.au/

Last weekend, I helped Nee celebrate her twenty-something-plus-one birthday. In due course, you’ll hear about the time we all sat at a very awkward table at B’Stilla and then attempted to dance to some very terrible music at Poof Doof before my poor old head decided that it couldn’t take it anymore and so decided to spontaneously down a couple of whiskies with a fellow Twitterer at a random bar on Commercial Road. (hi Steve)

For now though, let’s recount the first dinner I had with Nee. We decided to meet up earlier this year after exchanging a few dating stories on Twitter and snapchatting each other. Yes, this is how ridiculously large my backlog is but now that I’m voluntarily living the semi-reclusive life, I’ll be up to date very shortly. Promise. For reals.

At the time, we were both working in Melbourne city so we decided to go to Sezar, the coolest (and probably only, as far as I know) Armenian restaurant in or around the city. Housed in the former St Peter’s restaurant, Sezar is owned by the guys who look after Black Toro in Glen Waverley. I wasn’t terribly wooed by Black Toro but was keen to see what Garen Maskal had in store for Sezar. Plus, I’d never had Armenian food before…

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I ordered the cocktail named after Kim Kardashian because why not? Like the lady herself, my cocktail was fruity and probably a bit too much (i.e. sweet) for some (i.e. me)…

Spanner crab manti (3 for $15)
Spanner crab manti (3 for $15)

Nee and I love dumplings and dumplings with crab in them? Bring it on, baby. The manti is the Armenian answer to the dumpling and we loved them. I especially loved the thick skins that house a generous portion of crab meat filling – all went well with the sumac yoghurt combined with the chilli oil.

Bastourma and egg (2 for $8)
Bastourma and egg (2 for $8)

I doubt that this is something  they eat back in the village – Armenian air dried beef, quail egg, toasted brioche and garlic jam, say what?! – but it was nevertheless another stellar dish. We loved the contrast between the crunchy brioche and the creaminess of the egg.

Slow cooked lamb shoulder ($70)
Slow cooked lamb shoulder ($70)

We expected the lamb shoulder to be a lot bigger than it was – after all, the menu said that a minimum of two people was required and after all, the dish WAS $70. The lamb came with some yoghurt sauce and tabouleh as well as flat steamed buns – think of it as a DIY dish.

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The lamb dish may have looked tiny upon first glance but it did well to fill us up pretty quickly. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth-and-sizzle-like-it’s-Queensland-hot-worthy (in other words, good) and the tangy yoghurt added a lovely creamy touch to each bite.

Spiced BBQ chicken ($28)
Spiced BBQ chicken ($28)

The chicken, however, was the highlight of the night. I normally don’t go out of my way to order chicken at restaurants because it’s so boring but because we’re gym girls who like to eat protein and all that jazz, we decided to order it. And thank goodness we did. The half bird was beautifully cooked; given that the meat was a bit salty, we reckon they brined it for a bit which explained the meat’s velvety soft texture. It was then served with bulgur, corn and herbed yoghurt; it was flavoursome within being too heavy, two thumbs up.

Zucchini and dill fritters ($9)
Zucchini and dill fritters ($9)

Just when you think we couldn’t fit anymore in (oh, har-har), out came the zucchini and dill fritters. I’m not a big fan of zucchini and I think Nee loves her fritters more than I do so I wasn’t initially keen on them. However, they were surprisingly tasty and we polished off the whole lot.

Semolina cake ($14)
Semolina cake ($14)

We had room to share a dessert between us, the semolina cake with slow cooked quince, almonds and crème fraiche ice cream. I normally love semolina desserts but this one erred on the rich side. That said, I supposed it could have been because we ate a shitload beforehand so we couldn’t enjoy it as much as we would have liked. It tasted lovely though – a little nutty, a little creamy and a little fruity.

I enjoyed our meal at Sezar just as much as I enjoyed hearing Nee recount a few Tinder horror stories. Unfortunately, my lack of experience with Armenian food meant that I have nothing to compare Sezar’s food too (and the one Armenian I met recently had to move back to Canada – hi Aaron!) so I can’t say whether this is close to the real thing or not. Regardless, the dishes were good enough for us to warrant a return visit – I’d totally have the chicken again.

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4 Comments

  1. HA tinder horror stories – I hav e heard more of them than I have ever needed to 😛
    I probably would have gotten excited about the zucchini fritters too, they are a favourite!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  2. Hi Libby,

    Great blog! We are glad you enjoyed your meal here at Sezar 🙂

    We have just finished our renovations and our upstairs will be open as of next week! We hope to see you back here.

    I just wanted to clarify that the lamb dish you enjoyed that night was actually our pulled lamb neck ($16) not our lamb shoulder. Our Lamb shoulder is close to 1kg of meat! So you would definitely not be disappointed with the portion size and value!

    If you think we’ve made an error email me at garen@sezar.com.au and we’ll go through it.

    Hope to see you soon

    Garen Maskal

    1. Hi Garen,

      Thanks for the feedback. Ah yes, that sounds more like it! I was only going off what was written in the menu I took a pic of with my phone though and I must admit, I was confused when it came to writing it up… Will correct the error straightaway, cheers.

      Libby

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