Date night has always been my favourite night of the week to indulge in a bit of fancy wine and dine. This week we headed to Embla to check out whether this moody, tucked away wine bar is really worth its Gourmet Traveller accolades.
Wow wow and wow...this place embodies Melbourne nightlife. The interior is dark and moody and as all good places in Melbourne are - it is hard to find. The front is a nondescript black door on Russell Street so keep an eye out for it. The atmosphere is tangible inside though and is bustling with chatter. We got there at about 5.30pm and we got the last table in the joint (be aware, no bookings allowed). Though very busy it has a very personal and private touch to it that it wasn't difficult to hold a conversation.
Moving on to service. It was perfect. The waiters are extremely friendly and happy to help. I'm not a particular wine expert so I required quite a bit of help picking and choosing and a bit of banter with the waiter really helped make the experience more enjoyable. The wine list is not your ordinary list though-you won't see any Pinot Grigio on here so rely on the waiters! :)
Oysters: No complaints - Tasted extremely fresh and were very juicy.
Raw Beef: Not a steak tartare for sure. It was quite refreshing with what I think was tomato diced through. Loved it.
Squid Salad: The boyfriend really enjoyed this dish. Intricately cut squid mixed in with some veggies and peas. The pea flavour is very strong so do not order if you don't like them.
Lamb: OMG...a highlight. There's a lot of fat under the skin but it simply just melted in my mouth. The skin also had a bit of crackle to it. Main complaint of this dish is it is quite small for a main so maybe order two mains between two (we shared everything ordered).
In the end, A MUST TRY. Give it a shot and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. The atmosphere, dark corners and great wine is enough to get me back here for another date night!
Presentation (5): 3.5
Taste (5): 4
Service (5): 4
Atmosphere (5): 5