[tweetmeme] Nestled back from the hustle of Swanston and Little Collins Streets, you could be forgiven for totally missing Council House 2. Which would be a shame, because they definitely have something you don’t want to miss out on.
Although arriving very early on a Thursday evening, I was shocked to find the place almost empty. I had heard some very good things about CH2, so channeling Lord Vader, I found their lack of patrons disturbing. The menu is relatively compact yet offers plenty of choice. I opted for a starter of chicken bisteeya (pastilla) and ordered the Napoleone & Co cider from the team at Punt Road Wines. The pastilla was good, with intense flavours from the chicken and currants, and a balancing sweetness from the pickled carrots. My only real qualm with this dish was that is was very oily, a problem that could have been overcome with the addition of more sweetness. There was also the absence of almonds, a taste that makes this dish so great. Still, it was very tasty.
With the starter and my cider down, I moved onto a glass of ’09 Crittenden Estate ‘los Hermanos’ Albarino Savagnin (the Albarino was actually struck off the list like this – a humorous gesture) and the bangers and mash with onion gravy. The bangers were pork, fennel seed and chilli and they were lovely. Well cooked, flavoursome and they finished with a nice sweet bite from the fennel seed. The onion gravy was good but rather light on and the mash reignited the debate over whether mash should taste like potato, or cream and butter, as was the case here. Whatever your persuasion, the creamy mash was a nice accompaniment to the salty sausage and onion gravy.
So despite the lack of patrons from the restaurant and almonds from the pastilla, Council House 2 is well worth the visit. The force is strong with this one.
Council House 2
Shop 1 – 240 Little Collins St, Melbourne
p: (03) 9639 7778