During the course of the ever-long eating journey, you come across many difficult choices. One of, is which cafe or restaurant will be the next destination to be feasted at. Choosing to dine at The Smith in Prahran was not one of these difficult decisions. After driving past the premises, pressing my hot hands up on The Smith’s front windows to see the sleek interior and checking the menu on their website; I was hooked before I’d even visited.
Strategically positioned on the corner of High Street and Clifton Street in Prahran, The Smith comprises of a cool, sleek double-storey charcoal building, which forms quite a large presence in the area. The simple, but effective signage facing High Street and the yellow beacon on the tip of the property are the only indicators of any name for the site – I like it that way.
The Smith markets itself as a combination pub and restaurant (a.k.a. gastropub). The Chommery understands the gastropub genre as one that provides both for the eaters and the drinkers. Unlike most restaurants where you would most definitely be expected to eat, The Smith has a designated bar and restaurant section. My fellow chommer and I sat along the Clifton street wing = eating department. This is where we enjoyed a great selection of smalller dishes from the ‘tastes’ and ‘a mouthful’ section of the menu. Due to the small number of chommers in our party, we refrained from ordering from the ‘Fish & Meat’ (main meals) section.
To begin the eating fest, a crunchy yet light appetizer of Betel leaves with crispy fish salad, chili and salmon pearls ($6.00 each). Only the freshest ingredients used for this flavorsome concoction.
Kingfish sashimi with lime, chili, toasted coconut and hot mint ($17.00). The delicate soft pieces of fish complemented the strong mint flavours excellently. It was best to try and get some of the white mayo-foamy goodness with each piece. This dish is truly becoming an addition to many of Melbourne’s newer/fancier restaurants because it is just so damn delicious!
Tuna tataki with pickled papaya salad and wasabi dressing ($19.00). Four pieces of very fresh, raw tuna served lightly seared and accompanied by a softly dressed bean-shoot salad.
Tempura soft shell crab sushi roll with avocado and kewpie wasabi mayonnaise ($21.00). The combination of the light tempura on the goo-ey white rice made for a filling entree. I loved the alternate seaweed used to wrap up these substantial pieces of california roll. This could have been our favourite dish for the evening – order it!
Rare-breed sticky pork belly with seared scallops and red chili dressing ($20.00). You could tell that this indeed was a very rare breed, rare enough that we could only have a small taste of this piggy. This could have almost been a psuedo-dessert dish as we found it scrumptious and very sweet.
The main chom concluded with these soft fajitas with braised Cuban wagyu osso bucco, avocado and spicy corn ($18.50). Great note to finish on (of the savoury dishes) if I don’t say so myself. The whole spooning of the tender wagyu, dripping in it’s goodness, over the prepared tacos was a nice touch. I would highly recommend this dish if you are into the current taco wave or just love mad food.
A dessert to remember. This was an epic way to conclude the meal. To think – we were going to leave without dessert. This is the raspberry souffle with white chocolate sorbet ($17.00). I believe this is a must order when you dine here for dinner or if you are in the mood for a late night cheeky dessert and a drink.
The Smith is an excellent restaurant (and pub). The staff are very knowledgeable and helpful, the fit-out is cool and clean and the overall experience made this place as one of my more memorable experiences. The Chommery suggests you head on down when you are happy to justify spending a little bit more coin for this Chommery-approved.
The Smith is a beautiful Prahran gem.
The Important Details…
Suitable for: 18 years +
Dress: Smart casual
Price: $65 per head
My View: Go. Go.
Address: 213 High Street, Prahran
Phone: (03) 9514 2444