Quick, casual and fun
The four of us were looking for somewhere for a reasonably casual dinner on Friday night. The Gourmet Wives
had a "chick-flick" that they wanted to see, while Dave and I ... well ... we just wanted a quiet dinner and
to go home and play computer games. Markov Place in Carlton is a restaurant which Sarah had visited
before, which is a good thing, as it's not the easiest place in the world to find.
You can get in through an alley off Elgin Street, or by walking straight through
Little Markov Bar on Drummond. Once you get through the bar you get to, basically another bar, just
with a few more set tables around.
Markov Place is essentially a tapas bar, specialising in the usual assortment of Spanish sharing
dishes that you'd expect. It's a bit of a cavernous room, with concrete floors and high ceilings, and
can be a little loud. That's not necessarily a bad thing as it sets a certain mood which
very much suited the laid back dinner that we were after. Given that some of the party
required leaving before a certain time it was perhaps not so wise deciding on the 7 or 8 dish banquet ($55).
But that's just how we roll.
I actually think this would be a reasonable place to bring a larger group. It worked well for four,
but I can imagine being here with a group of 8 or more and being perfectly catered for (although you would
certainly need a booking), provided you took the plunge and did the banquet. There is a perfectly
serviceable a la carte menu, but very few dishes I would class as mains, it's mostly small sharing plates.
I've made my feelings on sharing dishes clear in the past, I think it generally works for very small and friendly
groups, and here I'd imagine I'd feel the same. But with the banquet there's a certainty about what
is coming and who gets how much of what. I liked it.
There was a lot of seafood, which I guess you'd expect, even if it's not my cup of tea. Although it did
lead to a surprising wine choice. When perusing the reasonably short but interesting wine list, Dave
turned to Sarah and asked what she felt like after our initial glass of sparkling
(Chandon Blanc de Blanc). Without a skipping a beat she responded "maybe an Albarino". I'm not
sure when it happened, but I think my wife has far outstripped me in terms of wine knowledge. It turned
out to be a Bodega Castro Martin Rias Baixas from the North West coast of Spain, and an excellent
I won't go into details of the food, you can see all the dishes in the photos. All were tasty, nothing
mind blowing, but good simple Spanish food. I'll give special mentions to the charcuterie plate and the
honeycomb parfait as personal favourites, and let Dave fill in any blanks he may like to mention.
We had a good night at Markov Place, it's casual but quality, and that was exactly what we were looking for.