REVIEW: WILSON AND MARKET, PRAHRAN MARKET
Making good use of their location at the boundary of the Prahran Market and access to the best seasonal produce in Victoria and beyond, you know that the ingredients used at Wilson & Market are sensationally fresh. Throw in Chef Paul Wilson's culinary touch and you get a winning combination that makes for one enjoyable dining experience.
The gorgeous and expansive space is home to a cafe, brasserie and luxe bar, tailored to cater for feeds and drinks all throughout the day and evening (operating hours vary between days). While I've yet to check out the morning feed, the luxe brasserie dining will treat diners to all the fresh seafood and for the time being, hearty dishes that scream winter comfort.
For some, bread at the start of the meal serves to keep the hunger at bay until the 'real food' comes out. For me and my love of bread, bread is very much part of what can make a meal truly memorable. And W&M's 28 hour fermented soir sourdough did not disappoint. Beautiful earthy flavours danced throughout the bread, paired with a creamy and silky umami seaweed butter. It's unlike any other combo I've encountered before and utterly delicious. The rest of the meal could have gone completely astray, and I would still return for that bread and butter.
Other highlights included the silky and fresh smoked Petuna ocean trout, topped with a flavoursome rub that played off the natural flavours of the trout beautifully. The accompanying devilled egg also shared the spotlight with the trout; the combination of creamy egg, hit of horseradish and salty olive rub highly moreish.
Onto the mains, we went straight into winter comfort territory with a chestnut wood-roasted rare breed suckling pig and porchetta paired with organic fennel and a radicchio salad with mustard fruits. While slightly on the drier side with its texture, the roast suckling pig had a gorgeous and fragrant charred flavour that complemented the sweet glaze and natural sweetness of the pork. But it was the flavoursome stuffing of the porchetta that made this dish the real winner in the battle of the two porks. The salad, also a great pairing; I welcomed the bitterness of the radicchio and tang of the dressing, both playing their role to offset the heavier meat element. Adding to the heartiness of the feed were the charcoal potatoes with black sesame tahini and Transition Farm heritage pumpkin with native limes and sage. While I was not the biggest fan of potent sweetness of the tahini sauce, much preferring that sort of flavour profile in a dessert dish over a savoury, my taste buds fully embraced the buttery and aromatic sage presence in the roast pumpkin dish. Perfect to soak up with some bread if we hadn't already consumed it all by this point with that delicious seaweed butter.
Apple pie: the perfect winter dessert to end a winter feast. Perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Very nice indeed. We were served their warm Bramley apple pie with what looked like vanilla ice cream but turned out to be cheddar ice cream. The apple pie itself was a delicious medley of balanced spice and sweet. The cheddar ice cream tasted exactly as expected and while it was an intriguing and distinct addition, the punchy and savoury flavour of the cheddar did not exactly meld with the spice and sweetness from the apple pie. Needless to say, my taste buds were very confused and I probably would have preferred that scoop of vanilla ice cream instead.
Luckily aside from the very few hiccups, the remainder of dishes we tried had us singing their praises. But as I said earlier, the bread and butter alone warrants a return visit.
Wilson & Market
163-185 Commercial Rd,
South Yarra, Victoria, 3141.
(03) 9804 7530
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of Wilson & Market. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.