UNION DINING (and the $35 schnitzel)…

                        272 Swan Street  Melbourne VIC 3121

                                     (03) 9428 2988

I’m all for paying a premium for good quality food, but only if the produce is so fresh it’s mind-blowing (and I mean my head should literally implode), or I can see some real technique has gone into every element of the dish.

Which brings me to the $35 schnitzel.

My partner and I dined here after trying (unsuccessfully) to get a table at uber trendy Fonda Mexican a few doors up on Swan St, Richmond. I was mainly impressed with the decor and the fact that the place was inhabited mainly by suits with money and rich Richmond mummies with money.

The staff were lovely and we were greeted immediately and seated. The waitress went through the menu and specials with us but we were so starving, our eyes darted immediately to the MAINS section of the page. I ordered the Spatchcocked baby chicken with Otway shiitake mushrooms. He ordered the Parmasen crumbed Western Plains pork loin schintzel.

It didn’t really occur to me until the meals hit the table that my boyfriend had ordered pub food in a fine dining restaurant, but generally these things are glorified and modernised to the extent that you can warrant spending a little extra.

Did I mention I was paying?

Having said that, my dish was amazing and the flavours were potent and well balanced, and the chicken was tender and moist. But a shaved cabbage salad and some crumbed, fried pork just didn’t impress me, and with a drink each I walked out of there nearly $100 poorer.

A real shame in Melbourne where great restaurants are affordable prices are hardly scarce. If only we’d got that table up the road!

Might have worked for some but sadly not for me.

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