Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Winston received a voucher to dine at Sezar courtesy of Free Wines app
A seriously gorgeous bottle of wine to kickstart the evening, which you can get for FREE
All you need to do is download the Free-Wines app on your phone (download also available for free!)
Kataifi Wrapped Lamb Neck with Sesame Mayo -- $12
Bastourma & Egg -- $15
Armenian air dried beef, quail egg, toasted brioche & garlic jam
Spanner Crab Manti -- $16
Armenian dumplings, yoghurt soup & paprika butter
Molasses Glazed Pork -- $22
with roasted celeriac puree, grapes, walnut & purslane
Spiced Baby Chicken -- $32
with wheat berries, corn & lemon buttermilk
BBQ Wagyu Tenderloin -- $22
with garlic yoghurt & lavash
Mujadarra -- $9
braised lentils, rice & fried onions
First of all, let me just start by saying that this is not a hack. It does come as a real surprise (to myself at least) to be posting a restaurant review again because it has been so long since I've done one. To be honest, I must say that I have missed it a little bit. I did become more passionate than ever last year about homecooking and food styling so I that's why I decided to pursue that more on this space.
That said, there were so many times instances last year when I tried a new place that I really liked, wanted to talk about it here but I decided not to blog about it because I seldom brought my camera with me so I had no photos to go with the post. Instead, I just talked about it with people around me IRL. I really hope to start getting back into restaurant reviews again though because I've always enjoyed giving people suggestions for where they could go to have a good meal with their friends and family. Most people know that I don't like the term "review" as it really is me merely sharing my personal experience at the time instead of "rating" a place, but you get what I mean.
Back to Sezar. Free-Wines first got in contact with me a few months ago to introduce themselves and what they did. They basically have an app (which is available to download on iPhone or Android for free) that allows people to enjoy a bottle of wine at any of their participating restaurants free of charge when they spend over $100. So easy. They had asked me if I would be keen on dining at any of their partnering restaurants and sharing my experience on the blog. I'll be honest, I had the slightest apprehension at the start because I have not heard of them before and wasn't sure if they would have any restaurants that I'd be keen to try. As soon as I scrolled down the list and saw Sezar, I immediately took up their offer to dine there and used the app.
Now, I don't have a lot of places that I am actually keen to try out as I do prefer eating at home (so boring, I know) but Sezar was definitely a rare exception. I first heard about this Armenian restaurant from a few good friends who has been there on numerous occasions and couldn't stop raving about it. Not only did the food that they showed me look absolutely spectacular, I've never had Armenian food before so I really wanted to experience it for myself!
The ambience of the place as soon as you walked in felt very typical of Melbourne CBD restaurant. Very dim, young, hip, chic, and everyone there seemed very well dressed (whereas I rocked up shamelessly in my hoody and Adidas trainers lol). At the start of our meal, I showed the waitress the app on my iPhone to order my complimentary bottle of wine and decided to go for the Melbac from Argentina. A truly stunning red wine that I honestly don't have enough of. Great notes of fruit and spices without being too heavy. Very easy to have with our entire meal. Again, I had my doubts about whether or not the wine we could get was going to be any good (since it was free) but must say that it was very, very good stuff. Imported too.
Foodwise, I was quite blown away to be honest. Often times, I'd read the description of the food on the menu and sort of know what to expect when it comes out. My meal at Sezar, however, was nothing like that at all. Every dish that came out looked and tasted completely different from what I had expected, in an extremely delicious kind of way. The Armenian flavour profile was very unique and distinct to those that I've experienced at other Middle Eastern restaurants as well. It is so nice to experience that sense of genuine surprise, delight and appreciation from eating a dish at a restaurant once again so I do sincerely thank them for that.
First, the Armenian dried beef with quail egg entree was sensational. Tender and flavourful mouthful of meat coated in that rich, unctuous yolk. Amazing. Next, we felt like it would be an act of sacrilege if we went to an Armenian restaurant and not order a lamb. Our decision for this was justified. Dumplings had a strong seafood flavour, which I enjoyed. The glazed pork tasted as good as it sounded but to me, one of the highlights of that evening was the chicken. Maybe it was the use of baby chicken; maybe it was just their impeccable skills in the kitchen; but the dark meat of the chook had a very delicate, silky texture whereas the white meat was so soft to the bite. Paired with creamy, tasty flavour of the berries underneath it was honestly HEAVEN. I am salivating just thinking about it. Finally, the other notable dish (which happens to be a side dish) that you absolutely must have when you're here is the Mujadarra, a Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish. Wow wow wow every mouthful of the stuff was packed full of flavour. It was incredible to eat and went so well with the other mains or proteins we were having that evening. I could have a bucket full of the stuff on its own. So damn good.
Overall, I was very impressed with my meal here at Sezar and it's definitely high up in the ranks for me. Besides that, I was also very happy to have experienced the Free Wines app too and I can't stop telling people about it. It's so easy for us to spend over $100 when I dine with a group of friends. Now, I know that we can also get a free bottle of good quality wine as well to enjoy with our meal. Fan-friggin-tastic.