Being a customer at the place you work can be an interesting experience, yet choosing Number 8 by John Lawson seemed natural, considering the emphasis the menu places on regional Victorian produce and how this fits in with the theory of regionality and food. It was also a lovely excuse to indulge with a few close friends and show them where I work.
The menu is very much ‘modern Australian‘, with a mix of European dishes and cooking styles, as well as the influence of Asian cuisine, whilst maintaining a strong focus on regional produce. Two of my friends chose the “Milawa duck breast”, a dish with a very strong French influence, (being plated up with foie gras and confit duck leg) yet, the duck breast is bred specially for the restaurant, from Milawa in Victoria.
Another spotlight on the region is evident in the ‘Victoria by the Glass‘ promotion which three of the four of us took up. Even though Number 8 has an extensive international winelist, ‘Victoria by the Glass’ encourages you to opt for Victorian wines. I had the Oakridge Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley while my friends with the duck had the Mount Macleod Pinot Noir from Gippsland.
I think one of the most profound takeaways from this experience was how much it made me realise I enjoy fine dining. The combination of the well balanced meals with great flavours, the carefully selected wine list and the high level of service really make you feel special.