|PM 24 has a modern feel to it but retains some traditional French elements like classic bistro chairs|
The menu is printed on one large piece of card, and what a menu, I wanted it all. It jumps from one French classic to another with a special section for the famed rotisserie. In the interests of economics my friend Claire and I decide to ignore Epicure’s dish of the year, PM 24’s rotisserie chicken, and instead order from the set lunch menu which includes two choices of starter and main for $37 (there is also a very reasonable Sunday lunch menu which is worth remembering for the weekend).
In contrast to the menu, the parochially French wine list is lengthy and while it includes the options of trying some new wines with enomatic wines by the glass, the prices are steep. We struggled to find a bottle under $50 and in the end the sommelier suggested a bottle of dry and crisp Great Western Riesling ($53).
|Prawns wrapped in tempura batter|
|Cured salmon with a blini|
To start, cured salmon was topped with slivers of fennel and teamed with a fat potato blini ($19.50). However the salmon and rich mustard dressing overwhelmed the fennel and the blini seemed more like a scone than the slim pancake I was expecting.
|Rotisserie pork loin served with frites rather than pommes purée|
While first courses were competent rather than memorable, the rotisserie came to the rescue with the pork loin. The pork is cooked on the rotisserie to a state of tender pinkness and topped with caramalized apples and a reduction that is brave and well made. After spying the excellent frites on a neighbouring table I asked for them to accompany the pork rather than the pommes purée listed on the menu. It reminded me more of a true French rotisserie experience when the meat is roasted and drips onto frites resting in a tray below.
The kitchen provides good reason to linger in the form of a smart little Gallic dessert list. I was tempted by the creme bruleé which is flamed table side but in the end settled for a bronzed canelé with a scoop of fast melting honey ice-cream ($6.50).
|Canelé with honey ice-cream|
Perhaps my favourite part of the meal came at the end when we ordered coffee and were brought around some complimentary snakes of raspberry home made marshmallow which was cut into pieces at our table. The lolly pink, fluffy marshmallow was another example if it is ever needed of how much better a home made treat is than the mass produced version you usually get.
PM 24 takes a light, contemporary approach to French food and there is an injection of fun and novelty through the open rotisserie and homemade marshmallow rather than a slavish reproduction of a traditional French bistro. Now that I am living over the other side of the world from Paris at least I know I can quell any Francophile sorrows at PM 24.
Details: PM 24, 24 Russell St, Melbourne CBD, Victoria, Australia 3000 (Ph +61 3 9207 7424). Open: Lunch Sunday to Friday – 12pm -3pm, Dinner 7 days – 6pm – late.
Damage: Pricey. The bill came to $162 for two with one bottle of wine.