Prix Fixe left me sadly unsurprised

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Update: Prix Fixe is now closed

Jason M Jones and Chef Phillipa Sibley’s Prix Fixe restaurant is billed as Melbourne’s first ticketed restaurant.  The deal is that you pay for your set menu ($75 a head) when you book.  The website describes Prix Fixe as a restaurant “where your table is the stage and each course – the show”.  It also promises that “Sibley’s eccentricity, kookiness’ and love of all things ‘silly’ will shine through in the fitout, menus and music – always expect a little twist or surprise and a touch of whimsy.”  

PRIX FIXE

Perhaps I read too much into things, but I was a bit disappointed to head to Prix Fixe with Meat-and-Three-Veg for our wedding anniversary and find this was a restaurant without theatre, silliness or whimsy.  The only thing out of the ordinary was eating from a set menu and having to pay for my meal in advance.  

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Chef Phillipa Sibley chatting to diners at Prix Fixe

The set menu changes on a monthly basis and this month it’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The courses for the menu were described as ‘Acts’ and paid homage to the Shakespeare play’s setting in Athens.  To start there was an amuse bouche of Sibley’s take on Avgolemono is served.  Rather than the traditional egg and lemon soup it was a smooth asparagus soup with an egg and lemon sorbet. 

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Chicken ballontine

Next was a disappointing modern interpretation on a Greek meze plate.  There was a rather rubbery haloumi with sauce á la Greque, layered ‘tzaitziki’ with ouzo infused labne, pea falafel and an overly salty taramasalata made with salted cod.  The main course was a better option, including a slow cooked ballotine of chicken, stuffed with a panzanella salad and served on top of skordalia with “Green Fairies” artichokes and green olives, barrel aged feta and a rich chicken jus.  

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To finish there was a complimentary pour of rosé over tiny, frozen grapes and then dessert of a wobbly truffled honey panacotta, apricot sorbet, partly poached apricot, pinenut and almond baklava topped with candied rose petal.  

The food was mainly well executed but didn’t reach the same heights as Sibley’s former restaurant, Albert Street Food and Wine.  Plus I just couldn’t get over the disappointment that the only theatre was in the ceramic shades hanging low like tiny spotlights over each table.  

Essentials
Details: Prix Fixe, Alfred Place, Melbourne 
Damage: Pricey.  Dinner $79 pp – 3 courses and a surprise or two.
6/10
Prix Fixe on Urbanspoon

4 comments

  1. Oh it does sound like there would be more theatre involved from the pre dining literature! I was really interested to see your review.

  2. Lorraine – Glad to hear I was not the only one who thought that.

  3. Had an evening at Prix Fixe with three friends a few weeks ago. None of us enjoyed ourselves, which prompted me to email Prix Fixe directly with feedback. There was no reply to my first email, however my friends and I happened to be enjoying a casual Sunday arvo session at another venue when one of the owners of Prix Fixe (Jason Jones) rudely barged into our conversation and in a bolshy manner proclaimed that they wouldn’t be responding to my email. As it was far from an appropriate forum to have that conversation, I suggested that I was happy to discuss the matter with him at another time. I sent my second email the following day to confirm my comments and to clarify a few matters. The subsequent emails are also included in the photos.

    All in all, this place is well over-hyped – Average fit-out, average service, well below average wine (if you select the matching wines). The food however was great. – Compliments to the chefs, but don’t expect anything other than just another restaurant, as the “theme” is a joke.

    I’ve uploaded the image here – https://www.dropbox.com/s/h64362zzis07xbg/prix.jpg

  4. Couldn’t agree more. The wines were truly average and were only matched by the worst response to honest feedback I’ve ever experienced. Will not be going back, and spreading the word.

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