After a devastating fire destroyed the Albion just weeks before opening in 2015, it was a long journey to get back to this point, but now they are finally here, bringing a top quality lifestyle venue to South Melbourne.
Food: Seared nori tuna, Chicken karaage, Soft shell crab bao, Calamari fritti, Spiced lamb, Miso glazed tofu, Crispy cider braised pork belly, Dry aged beef shortloin,
Rainbow carrots, Cheese, Fruit and Truffles Platter
Having to start all over again a little over 2 years ago turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the Albion finally reopened its doors this weekend. While I think everyone on board wishes this journey hadn’t taken so long there’s no doubt they should be incredibly proud of what they have now achieved. Not much is left of the original structure, but they managed to retain the traditional facade outside and one window internally as a memento. Travelling up in the lift, you are greeted by a breathtaking rooftop space, with rich, dark woods and lots of greenery, not to mention the city view. The lounge bar below continues with a similar theme and offers an opulent environment to enjoy yourself.
It’s hard to categorise the Albion. Opening from 12pm every day, they will offer lunches – including $20 specials using produce freshly chosen from neighbouring South Melbourne Market, after work drinks, dinner and then on the weekend partying until 5am. So much thought has gone into the venue, for example there’s a sound ceiling which allows revellers to be partying with a DJ on the dance floor, but move several feet away and be able to enjoy a conversation.
We were obviously there to sample some of their menu which revolves around fresh food, experimentation with new produce, and sharing. Everything we had was delicious are there are so many dishes to mention. The chicken karaage was heavenly from the moment the smell hit your nose until the last mouthful and was probably my favourite thing from the night. However, I loved my soft tofu (as I can’t eat crab) bao. This is definitely something I could see myself ordering as an entree.
The Spiced lamb, served with cauliflower paratha, heirloom tomato and cucumber salad, and mint yoghurt was a great dish, and while a little messy to share would be ideal as a lunch or light dinner option. The beef shortloin was beautifully cooked and I loved the presentation of this dish. Surprisingly the miso glazed tofu was another highlight for me. It had a great texture and a wonderful flavour. It’s the kind of dish I often worry would be boring, but I could easily have eaten more of this. The pork belly could have done with a little more crisp – but this is a very small criticism in a sea of excellence! Finishing off with a special cheese and truffles platter (similar items will be on the menu, but this particular version was just for the opening) was the perfect finale. I’m not a big “I love cheese” person, but the Onetik Chebris was so moreish I found myself slicing off more and more. I adored the homemade truffles, and this is yet another menu item I could see myself enjoying with a glass of wine, or one of their awesome cocktails.
There’s a real exciting vibe around The Albion, and it’s not just because of the time taken to get here. What was amazing was how in one meal they managed to make me envisage myself visiting their venue for so many different reasons. They managed to perfectly create the “lifestyle venue” persona that they are trying to cultivate. They know they’ve got something new and different and they can’t wait to share it with everyone.
Address: 172 York Street, South Melbourne
Weds: 12pm to 3am
Thurs: 12pm to 3am
Fri: 12pm to 5am
Sat: 12pm to 5am
Sun: 12pm to 3am
Parking: It’s just across the road from South Melbourne Market so plenty of car parking available around the market.
Getting here on PT: From the city there’s several tram routes you can choose: 96 and alight at South Melbourne, 12 and alight at York Street or the 109 to Port Junction. The 58 also runs fairly nearby (alight at York Street and you’ve got a 5-10 minute walk),
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of The Albion. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change (including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting)