On a cold dark July evening I settled into the cosy warmth of Diksteins in Bank Place. This has long been a favourite of mine, and although naturally it has changed over the years, and I lament the loss of my friend the waiter who would hand me a Liitle Creatures as I walked in the door, it's still a pretty nice place to be. This is a view from the tiny bar, looking out into Bank Place.
Soon I was joined by the city and Docklands workers, and we set off up Little Collins to McKillop Street and Hardware Lane, dodging the restaurant spruikers on the way, to our destination near the corner of Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets.
Up the wooden stairs we climbed, to Seamstress. Although we had opted to dine at the early hour of 6.30, the place was already buzzing. We met our fourth discoverer, were divested of our coats and escorted to a table at the back of the long room. We admired the ceiling swathed in swatches of cloth, which concealed the subdued but not too dim lighting, and the bent wire coat hangers from which bottles of artificial white flowers were suspended.
Although the place was so busy the service was really friendly and efficient, and we were soon enjoying our drinks and consulting the menu.
First up came a snake bean and sweet potato won ton with green pea and coriander purée, closely followed by the remarkable crispy brussels sprouts with lemon miso and chili. Having done my research I knew we simply had to have these, and we discovered that all the rave reviews were spot on. Next came a lovely dish of eggplant with miso sauce, tofu and sesame seeds. The chunks of eggplant were rich and tender and contrasted very nicely with the crispy tofu. If we had a complaint at all, it would have been that the ratio of tofu to eggplant could have been increased. But that is a small complaint for something so delicious.
Meanwhile some duck rice crêpe money bags and eye fillet with porcini and shiitake pâté and wasabi sweet potato were shared among the carnivores.
Replete after this feast, we had no room for sweets or coffee, although some of us found space for some more of the excellent beer selection. At this stage I will admit that yes, we were encouraged to try Seamstress on account of the special offers from Dimmi and Urbanspoon, but honestly it had been in the back of my mind to try it out some time anyway - it had just taken me a few years to get around to it. We really liked Seamstress and can recommend it any time, special deal or no.
With our coats skilfully retrieved from their perch high above the front window, we were soon on our way to nearby Parliament Station, in good time for the connections to both the east and the inner northwest. The Belgrave train and its attendant shuttle trundled us efficiently back to the dark and gloomy city of Boroondara, where our damp walk from the station was illuminated by this gorgeous flowering wattle.