175 Swan Street Richmond, Victoria 3121Average main $35
|Opening hours||L Fri-Sun; D Tues-Sun|
|Features||Accepts bookings, BYO, Licensed|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard|
Fluorescents burn and signs are gaudy in the shops nearby, and even the pretty young things on Swan Street are bright, bright, bright. Then there's moodily lit, carpeted Noir. The acoustics are perfect for conversation, the service unobtrusive, as a black slate is slipped before you carrying tender beef tartare with quail egg, waldorf salad in miniature and crisp potato wafers – and you sigh, realising the busy day is over. If it's lunchtime, you may be in big trouble. This elegant restaurant with its intricate food is not for rushing, and choosing the well-priced tasting menu ($80) will make sure of it. Loved for its upside-down pies – rabbit, and more lately mushroom – Noir is where satisfaction meets sophistication, in dishes like cold-smoked oysters, garlic-buttery fricassee of seafood, confit duck risoni with mushrooms and hazelnuts, and bright seasonal flavours: perhaps mango souffle with passionfruit curd to spoon inside. Dim the lights, we're dining out.
And ... Swan Street Social is Noir's nod to Richmond's nightlife – pop upstairs next door for pre-dinner drinks.
Vibe New-fashioned food in an old-fashioned restaurant.
Best bit Tonic sorbet with gin.
Worst bit The noir-ish light can be a little too dim.