French-inspired cuisine at Mr Mason in Melbourne
Barely 20 degrees outside, rain; it feels really good when we come inside Mr Mason. Our table is located next to a fireplace (a gas one, but still!). The place is dark and warm, with a lounge and a dining area.
Most of the people here are having business lunches. The restaurant is quite fancy, and the prices too. But during the week, you can order a two course meal for $25, or three courses for $35, which is really interesting, considering the quality of the food.
Mr Mason is a French-inspired restaurant, but not only that. The menu changes weekly (except a few French classic dishes) following the seasons. I think the quality of the restaurant lies on simplicity and fresh local ingredients. Mr Mason defends a rustic sensibility, and does it pretty well, along with excellent wines. I highly recommend it!
As a French expat, I like the fact that Mr Mason doesn’t fall into the clichés of French Cuisine. No, we’re not eating snails and frogs all the time! Some courses sounded really Australian to me, so I chose obviously two French-inspired courses, to see if these interpretations were faithful to the original.
As a main course, my ‘flounder meunière, truffle purée, kipflers and asparagus’ was very delicious. Well cooked, excellent flavours and good presentation. I’m not an expert in truffles, but the fish and the potatoes remind me of home. As a dessert, a light ‘caramelised lemon tart, poached rhubarb, cognac & orange clotted cream’ does the job perfectly. Sweet, with just enough acidity, along with a really fruity dessert wine. Miam !
530 Collins st, Melbourne CBD
Open Monday to Friday, 7:30am – late, and Saturday, 5:00pm – late
Photographs by Hannah Duke