6 Melbourne Pl Melbourne, VIC 3000
I’m usually quite reluctant to try tapas-style food in Melbourne but the idea of Armenian cuisine at Sezar definitely piqued my interest. Created by the same team behind The Black Toro, this restaurant has become a popular dinner destination over the last few years and is known to serve some great food. Dimly lit and crowded, it’s perfect for an after-work wind-down, but the atmosphere is not particularly conductive to a relaxed catch-up or intimate dinner.
Soft, fluffy flat bread with a smooth, simple hommus. There could have been a bit more acidity in the dip but it was otherwise a great starter.
I wasn’t personally a big fan of these scallops which were seared nicely but otherwise unremarkable.
Both K and my favourite dish from the night, these dumplings had a silky smooth and delicate wrapper and were generously stuff with spanner crab. The yoghurt sauce added a lovely freshness that balanced the dish nicely.
The beautifully tender Wagyu was cooked perfectly and I loved the little bites of caramelised onion in between. Adding the bread and yoghurt made this a very refined version of a classic kebab dish.
Unfortunately, I found the lamb kofte to be on the dry side, but the fresh, acidic pickled salad added a lot of flavour and texture.
An interesting take on the classic baklava. While I think I’d prefer the original, I appreciated the creativity and balance of flavours in this dish. In particular, the salted caramel added a great contrast to the sweet ice cream and the filo was flaky and delicious.
While this dessert was written on the menu as a brulee, it was texturally more like a firm panna cotta, likely as a result of too much gelatine. Otherwise, the topping of freeze-dried berries was delicious, as was the milk crumb, which helped to add more flavour to the otherwise subtle brulee/panna cotta.
Both K and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Sezar – we were very impressed with the delicate balance in all of our dishes, both in flavour and texture, and it was fun to experience something quite different to what we usually eat. That being said, it was clear that while the food was inspired by Armenian cuisine, it has definitely undergone a great degree of ‘Melbournification’ – the dishes were a modernised, refined version of the peasant-style Armenian food they take after, and this was certainly reflected in the price. Overall, delicious food and friendly staff but perhaps not a restaurant I’d frequently revisit.