Magic Mountain Saloon

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Asian fusion food is a trend that took Melbourne by storm a few years ago and it seems there are no signs of it slowing down. The originals like Cookie and Chin Chin have become stalwarts on the scene but there are a few new players, namely Magic Mountain. Magic Mountain is actually run by the same team that run Cookie, The Toff In Town, Revolver Upstairs and Boney.


A converted Irish pub which has been turned into a tri level venue that is as much a restaurant, as it is a bar with music, Magic Mountain places equal amounts of emphasis on food, drink and atmosphere making sure that you will have a good night on all accounts.


We went as a group of six people, three vegetarians and three omnivores, and were at a loss as to how the tackle the vast menu. Luckily the staff are amazing and they suggested a banquet option. We name our price per head, and they would decide on our dishes, with the guarantee that there would be enough food. We decided to take them up on the offer with a $40 per head request, but not before we ordered a few beers from their diverse beer list. Pirate Life Ale anyone? They did ask us if we had any preferences or objections to any foods, but other than the fact that half of us were vegetarian, we were happy to trust their judgement.

It wasn’t long before the food arrived, starting with the entrée dishes.

Our first vegetarian entrée was the curried rice and mozzarella balls with coriander and avocado sauce. These were an Asian take on an arancini ball but so much better. They still had the creamy rice and the gooey cheese centre, but they were packed full of Asian flavours with lemongrass dominating. Combined with the avocado sauce, this dish was amazing. I was worried that my dinner had peaked too early!


We also tried the lotus root, peanut and pickled turnip tapioca dumplings. These were also tasty but had an odd texture. The skin was made with tapioca which made it a bit too gelatinous, and I think I would have rather had normal dumplings. Nevertheless the filling was delicious, with the peanut flavour packing a punch.


We were served a salad as part of the entrée and this dish was also one of the favourites on the table. It was a tomato, zucchini and buffalo mozzarella salad with a chilli, basil and cashew crumble dressing. The tomatoes were sweet, the zucchini was sliced paper thin and the mozzarella was so creamy. The dressing brought everything together perfectly, and we were all eyeing off the plate to scrape every last bit off!


The omnivores also received a bowl of crunchy fried chicken ribs which they unanimously agreed was super.


Four entrees later, we were already more than half full, and we were unsure about whether we would be able to make it all the way through mains. Still, when you have a table of foodies, stomach size is never a barrier, and so we ploughed on!

The mains started streaming out, and we struggled to make room for everything on the table! There were two different red curries, a vegetarian one with tofu, baby corn, beans and kaffir lime, and then a duck curry with lychee and pineapple. Both were deemed to be excellent, rich in flavour and with the right amount of spice level.



There was also a noodle dish, which I felt was an interpretation of pad thai. Rice noodles were prepares with egg, tomato, thai basil, garlic chives and garnished with peanuts. Once again, this was another dish packed with flavour which was proving to be a common theme through the night.


A salad was served with main too. This time it was a cauliflower salad with thin slices of grilled pumpkin and almonds, dressed with Asian herbs and spices. Whilst not everyone around the table was excited by this dish, I really enjoyed it, and appreciated the freshness in contrast to the creamy red curry.


The omnivores also had a big bowl of sticky beef ribs which were tender beyond belief. They were able to pull the rib bone straight out of the meat cleanly without the need for a knife!


And to share we had a huge bowl of rice for the table. To say huge would be an understatement, I don’t think we even got through a third of the bowl, which was a shame because I hate wasting food.

Overall the meal was delicious and we all left pretty much rolling out the door because we were so full. Would I go back again? Definitely. Magic Mountain also serve breakfast, so perhaps I will have to put it on the list to see what treats they dish up during the earlier hours.

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3 comments:

  1. Great photos! Mine were all drenched in red lighting. The cauliflower salad looks really interesting.

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  2. Oh yum this looks amazing! Almost asian and italian fusion. Now I'm craving good asian food at 7.30am Monday morning!!!

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