Melbournians are a proud bunch, who’ll go out of their way to appear nonchalant about their legendary rivalry with Sydneysiders over who has the better city. As a fellowman who’s perhaps a little more neutral than most, I do give Sydney props for being the more visually pleasing city. Having said that, what Melbourne (arguably) lacks in scenic beauty, it more than makes up for in coolness by being the country’s foodie haven. All you have to do is follow your nose around the narrow alleyways of CBD or hop in a taxi to Fitzroy or St. Kilda to be spoilt for choice over delectable world cuisine.
So with New Years Eve upon us, to avoid the whole ‘all dressed up with nowhere to go’ syndrome, we made good use of our new best friend Jacob the concierge, to secure a table at Taxi for good food and a thoroughly raucous night out in the heart of Melbourne. And you couldn’t get more quintessentially Melbourne than Taxi if you tried.
Located on Federation Square with the Yarra to one side and historic Flinders station to the other, the restaurant is all polished concrete and glass, offering floor to ceiling views of the world passing by. The entrance is a little tucked away and therefore very easy to miss. We sat at the bar for quite a while, enjoying sundowners and chatting to the enthusiastic bar staff who were obviously keen to get things started. When we eventually made it to our table, we had a prime view of festivities happening in the Square – the perfect excuse to crack open another bottle of the delicious Mount William sparkling wine from the Yarra Valley. We kept things focused on seafood, and I recall ordering King Whiteing – though much of the night begins to get a little hazy from the main course onwards. I do however recall enjoying a stonkingly good passionfruit soufflé, which no doubt was followed by more Mount William to keep us going through the night.
From what we pieced together from our collective conscious and by looking through a great deal of very fuzzy photographs as proof, there was plenty of evidence to show the other Mr. Highlife and I having a great night out. Taxi is the perfect example of how the Aussies have mastered modern, uncomplicated cooking at it’s finest. Very hard to beat location-wise, an interesting urban crowd and excellent value for money.
Restaurant – 8/10
Experience – 9/10