Dari has been out and about once again, this time her travels taking her to Melbourne’s CBD
After several months of anticipation on what would become of George Calombaris’s Press Club site, late 2019 finally marked the start of the new venue – Elektra.
Unlike the Greek influence of Press, Elektra takes its roots from all around Europe, but the inside shell stays much the same. Those familiar with the old venture would recognise all the decor, including the luxe 70s round cream leather booths, draping curtains and opulent circular gold ceiling pipes. However, the intent of this new beauty Elektra is to retain the glam sophistication but move away from the ‘prim and proper’ fine diner and act as more of a ‘bar resto’ – with a casual relaxed vibe. (Fortunately, too, they’ve retained the elite glassware and excellent bar staff.)
Pickled shiitake taco, macadamia cream
Southern Ocean squid, greens, malt tarama, finger lime
Elektra x Lune butter chicken vol-au-vent, pickles
Menu is completely different, and at first glance, you may wish it had a glossary at the back to help with tricky terms. It's mitigated by polite and helpful wait staff who assist you to overcome any perplexing menu hurdles and guide you to your desired plate. Start with a complimentary bowl of mixed nuts with Asian herbs and spices, then a Mexican influence of a taco of pickled shiitake mushroom and macadamia cream. It’s balanced, and refined, like an adult version of a deliciously smooth peanut butter sandwich. Southern ocean squid is unique and interesting. White squiggly curls of squid are soaking in a malt tarama with pops of native Australian finger lime and sautéed greens for good nourishment. Lune butter chicken is French meets India with a bit of Polish pickles. A thin square of crisp golden pastry (that would make a Parisian croissant envious) is piled high with a robust creamy butter chicken. The combo is a little out there but the richness works well with the line of fresh green pickles. And to match, there’s a huge selection of vinos by the glass with enthusiastic explanations. (And an exceptionally generous happy hour of the finest ‘spritz’ just for 10 bucks.)
Bottom line: When one door closes, another one opens – and this delightful door is named Elektra….