The Moat, 176 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

A hidden gem, situated behind the State Library

Walking down Little Lonsdale Street we finally may our way down a set of stairs, not sure where it was going to take us. 

It is next door to The Wheeler Centre and has a literary theme with books cases, books - even as wallpaper. The stone wall is painted deep red with gold, a feeling of luxury, a feeling as though you can slip on your smokers jacket, light up a Cuban cigar and kick back.

We had the lamb and eggplant ragout on soft polenta with rocket salad and the beef short rib salad, vegies, giant cous cous with a mint and pomegranate dressing.  All perfectly presented and cooked.

The lamb and polenta was real comfort food.  The polenta was smooth and buttery, perfect to soak up all jus.

The beef short ribs were tender, well seasoned, full of flavour. The pomegranates were a real explosion of flavour, the sweetness which contrasted well with a unctuous rich beef.

There is also an outdoor seating/dining area, decorated with vintage pieces, art deco lamps and fake turf - very quirky. A great place to meet colleagues for a coffee and chat.

Go on, take a leap of faith and walk down 'those' stairs.