This is the kind of place that inspires you to blog and spread the word. It’s a culinary adventure! We were recommended Epocha by ma soeur, and while we were in the area (going to IMAX at the Exhibition Building no less) we thought it was a good opportunity to have a taste…
Open Lunch and Dinner every day (except Monday, also no dinner Sundays) it’s actually within reach of the CBD and I’m itching to get back on a long lunch break. The setting is a beautiful old terrace building (which S informs me was previously a Gentlemen’s Club, ho ho), decked out in a homely but elegant style. I think I got a little over-excited when I spotted a Michelin Guide (circa 1900) in the entry.
Complimentary black bread, served warmed in a cloth bag (reminded me of PM24!) with smooth salted butter. A definite winter warmer and heart melter
Epocha’s menu is a sharing plate bonanza – we’re encouraged to select a few large shares and a few more ‘mall shares, as well as try some of the snacks. It can be roughly described as ‘humble European’, with Bubble & Squeak and Grueye Pie… a sampling of what I’d like to think as a whirlwind tour of the best of European cuisine.
Snacks, below. We ordered pig’s ears (crunchy and delicious, a less fatty kind of crackling) and pâté. If you’re a fan of pâté (like L and me) I’d suggest you come try this for yourself – smooth and full of flavour.
I think we’d utterly destroyed the small sharing plates within minutes of their arrival to our table. We tried: Aubergine with peppers and lemon crumb ($12), the Lamb Kalamaki (a very popular dish and for good reason – I’ve never seen lamb matched with blue cheese and poached pear, but it was an inspired and glorious combination – $22) and the Storehouse meats ($28) which came on a platter with a startlingly generous array of jamon, salami, pork rillettes, etc.
Mains were also a protein frenzy, with the special ‘Tongue in Cheek’ (Ox), Pig (belly, jowl, neck – $38) and Bird (breast, thigh, leg and wing – $32) with a side of asparagus (recommend – if only for the crumble on top). Each dish was so extraordinarily different in taste, from the crispy skinned confit Chicken (which was my favourite) to the Ox cheek that literally melted, or the Pork that seemed to be a favourite of the bunch.
Our wine was well-matched, the atmosphere was homely and cozy for a late Tuesday night, the waiters were knowledgable, friendly and had a distinct penchant for showmanship (including the procession of cheeses and honey that we saw ordered at another table, wheeled around on an antique trolley).
Verdict: If only I’d had room for dessert. Best meal of 2013 so far.
Food: 10/10 (or pretty darn close)
Value for money: 9/10
Score (food is weighted double): 94%