by James Ridenour
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The Deck Restaurant

This week I visited The Deck which had been one of my go to restaurants for people looking for a an excellent mid-priced Modern Australian restaurant in the city. The Deck is located in the Southgate complex at Southbank which has undergone and extensive renovation. The Deck has moved from its prime riverfront location to a smaller area located at on the top-level close to Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre.

There has been quite a bit of discussion amongst the concierges in Melbourne as many of us favoured the old restaurant for its quality, price, location and view. We were all eager to see how the change in location would affect the overall offering of this great restaurant.

My first impression of the restaurant was inevitably a comparison from the old location to the new. The owners had to choose to either expand the old restaurant in the same location or take a new smaller location in a less prime location. They chose the latter and in my opinion made the right choice.

The Deck has always been consistant in its delivery of moderately priced quality food with exceptional service. The new location allows the owners to concentrate on just that. The space is modern and tastefully done and is separated into three sections; a long bar at the entrance to the restaurant, the main inside dining area and the deck which has amazing views of the Princes Bridge, Federation Square and the north end of the city. While only the outside seating has the city view it is clear the space will allow the restaurant to continue to do what it does best. Great food and service at reasonable prices.

To start I had the mushroom ravioli which was rich and flavourful. For the main course I had the ocean trout which was beautifully done with a lovely herb crust. Dessert was a mille feuille which was a modern variation on an old favourite. It could have been called trois feuille though! The wine list is reasonably priced and offers a good variety of wines and beverages. You should feel comfortable asking for advice as the wait staff are friendly and knowledgable.

I will happily continue to recommend The Deck for guests who are looking for a dining experience as good as many restaurants at a much higher price. Mains in the low $30’s make this restaurant excellent value, especially with the food and service still rating a lot better than many restaurants with mains above $4o.

If the weather permits a seat outside on the deck is the best choice. One of the very special aspects of Melbourne is the old vs new architecture and the view of Princes Bridge along with the modern architecture of Federation Square is an excellent example of this. At night-time the view sparkles.

The Deck would also be a great place for pre-theatre as it is right next to the Arts Centre.

The Deck is located on the upper level of  the Southgate Complex, Southbank – Telephone 03 9699 9544

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