Fo0die dined as a guest of Messer and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Located just outside of the CBD, we took tram route 11 out from the CBD and arrived at the venue on a Friday evening. At the time of dining (at start of March 2019), the venue was 11 months old.
For those wanting to drive, parking is available on the street but is ticketed and 2P.
The name ‘Messer’ means knife in German and fits in nicely with the team’s other venue named ‘Copper Pot’. The chef and owner’s philosophy is good food using good produce will bring diners back. And with that kind of philosophy, we looked forward to the meal.
As we approached the venue, we could see black umbrellas with wooden bench seats paired with black plastic chairs. But what stood out was the wall art on the side of the venue.
Entering the tall glass door, we stepped straight into the dining area. On the two sides are padded bench style seats with woven chairs on the other side of the table. The decor of the venue is clean and comfortable; almost like a home.
For our visit, we had the venue’s ‘Taste Berlin’ which leaves the menu to the team. And if you hadn’t guessed, Messer is a modern Berlin diner which offers their own take of classic German dishes. The A4 sized menu is simple and is separated into ‘snack’, ‘shellfish’, ‘pasta’, ‘vegetable’ grill’ and ‘sweet and cheese’ section.
We started the evening off with a glass of pinot blanc from France and winded down from the busy week as we slowly switched ourselves into weekend mode.
Our first three dishes were from the ‘Snacks’ section of the menu which touched on each of the different tastes; salty, sweet and sour and chilli.
The trout sandwich used the skin of the trout to ‘sandwich’ the smokey trout which was on the saltier side for us. While the sweet and sour beetroot had the natural beetroot sweetness with a slight sourness to it (very appetising to start the meal with).
The pork and duck sausage was served on top of a tomato based curry which was slightly sweet and packed a bit of heat which built up as you ate.
The flat bread may not look impressive but it was warm, fluffy and buttery. And if that wasn’t comforting enough, the addition of the potato, speck (smoked ham) and aromatic leek definitely did. One of our favourites from the starters we were served.
The pippies had a nice seafoody flavour to it and was slightly spicy thanks to the nduja sauce which we looked up later and discovered that nduja is a soft, spicy hot, spreadable salami which explains the sauces colour.
Next up was an egg based pasta with gruyere cheese and fried shallots. Who would have thought fried shallots would go so nicely with a pasta dish; we loved the addition and of course the cheesy goodness of the pasta.
We don’t often have veal schnitzel and Mr J in particular said he’s always found veal to be quite dense so has never really enjoyed it. But we both loved Messer’s veal which is milk fed for 6 months, sliced thinly and cooked to be slightly crisp on the outside. This was served with a traditional German potato salad which had diced cucumber and mustard seeds.
Our final dish was a deconstructed apple strudel. Just like a traditional apple strudel, the overall dish had warm flavours, think sweet crumble, fresh apple julienne and burnt butter ice cream.
Our knowledge of German food in Melbourne is literally meaty pub style food but this experience of Messer’s interpretation of German cuisine on a plate has opened our eyes. And for $60 per person, we felt this was good value and both left quite full.
Dishes that make up this review
- Taste Berlin ($60 per person)
- Smoked trout ‘sandwich’, trout roe
- Sweet and sour beetroot
- Berlin-style duck ‘currywurst’, crisp potatoes
- Flammkuchen, creme fraiche, potato, leek with speck
- Pippies, sweet riesling, nduja
- Kasespatzle, kale, aged gruyere, shallot
- Rose veal schnitzel, pretzel crumb, potato salad, lemon
- Apple ‘strudel’, filo shards, burnt butter ice cream