Saturday, 28 July 2007

M.O.O. (Money Order Office)

I celebrated my mum's birthday at M.O.O. (Money Order Office) this year and really enjoyed myself, and I've always been looking for a chance to go back with foodie greedy San and my sister. This morning we decided on a whim to go for dinner tonight, and hence we did just that.

All hidden and cool like an exclusive club.

AND when we reached there, I found out that I forgot to charge my camera like the idiot Mouse I am, and thank goodness San's Sony Ericsson mobile phone camera was rather reliable, unlike my crappy Samsung one (I don't hate my phone, I love it but no denying that the camera sucks almost as much as taugeh (dumb beansprouts/beanshoots)).

M.O.O. used to be a money order post office back in as early as the early 1800's and it's in a rather hidden part of the city. The restaurant had a very nice interior, with a mixture of archaic and modern styled decorum that maintained some sense of the original structure. There's a bar where a lot of people were standing and drinking tonight, and a dining area with the usual wooden tables and private little booth-styled tables. We got the little booths as they seat three people nicely.

The interior!

Interior again!

And obviously not outside!

We sat down and was promptly served. After much debating over the specials and the menu, we all decided to share an entrée, have a main each and share a dessert. Bread came first, served with olive oil as usual. Ordinary crusty bread, that's all I have to say.

That's all the bread we have...each.

For the entrée, I was adamant, ADAMANT on the Snails on Puff Pastry (1/2 dozen; $14). I had them the last time I went and I love them.

Not what you see in the garden eating your plants, these snails.

As gorgeous as I remembered them to be. The garlic parsley butter was superbly fragrant and buttery, soaking into the puff pastry and went very well with the chewy snails. The herb salad was really yummy as well, in fact San decided to swipe the pastry bite with a little of the herb salad and its dressing, and it tasted yummy as well. A complete satisfaction; I could actually order that as my main and be happy with it, BWAHAHA. I love snails when they're cooked and shell-less.

San had the Pheasant ($35) as her main upon the chef's recommendation.

I am a pheasant not a chicken.

It was grilled and served with parsley potatoes. San was not a big fan of meats the Western style, she had the dish because it was recommended. She reckoned it was only okay, even if she did really like the complimenting sauce. She thought the pheasant itself was a little dry and coarse to the bite...maybe a little overdone? I had a bite of it and I think I do like it, even though I agree with San's sentiment that it was a little dry. But I'm a bigger fan of breast meats than San - she's a "fat person" to quote her directly. And no, she (and I) doesn't mean her size - that woman is anything BUT fat.

Sis (also known as MM in San's posts) went for the
Cassoulet with Jumbo Quail ($36).

Served in a red pot.

And lids off to reveal the treasure!

A success to Sis, she really really liked it. A Cassoulet is a type of French baked dish with beans, usually with duck but M.O.O. had their variation with quail. Sis loved it and I tried some of it, gotta say the (haricot) bean mixture went really well with the meats. The bean mixture was spiced nicely with peppers and spices. There's also pork along with the quail and a strange looking sausage that was Sis's only complaint in the entire dish. San really slurped on the pork - and I don't blame her, very tender and juicy.

I had the Fish of the Day (price unknown) because Mouse should be eating lotssss of fish.

The Mouse Fish.

Served with olives, tomatoes and black olive mash, my fish was beautifully pan fried to perfection. The texture was succulent and yummy and the black olive mash complimented my fish nicely. The fish was seasoned just to the right taste as well. The tomatoes were grilled and very juicy and sweet to the bite. My only complaint was that the drizzle of olive oil was a little bit more than what I would've liked. Although I would rate my satisfaction to be quite high - higher than San with her dish. :D

Because Mouse should be eating veggies, we decided to order a side of veggies to share. I intended to order the Vine Tomato Salad or Sautéed Spinach but there was some miscommunication with the waitress, as it was noisy and she didn't hear us properly. She didn't reconfirmed with us and somehow put in an order for
Bitterleaf ($7).

These leaves are BITTER eating some Chinese medicine mixture, blaah.

For non-fans of bitterness ANYWHERE, this side was NOT a success to any of us. We were cringing and trying our best to finish it and I had to take gulps of water along with it because I really cannot stand bitter things. Uragh. What a complete waste! The tomato salad sounded nice, too. :(

For dessert, we ordered the Vanilla Bavarois ($14), served with fresh strawberries and candied mint.

It's pretty delicious, cos it's pretty AND delicious.

WOW. Really fantastic! All three of us loved it. It was basically a custard style dessert with fresh strawberry sauce, strawberries and sorbet. It was cold and nice and very fruity. The custard wasn't sweet and had a hint of vanilla in its taste, leaving the sweetness for the fruit sauce and sorbet, hence everything was matched very well. A success with this dessert!

I think it's a satisfactory and rather lovely dining experience. Granted it was a little noisier than expected, but the ambiance was lovely, food was on the whole rather good and the staff was friendly enough. One of the hidden fine-dining places that should be given attention.

FYI, The Age Good Food Guide 2007 did review M.O.O., and gave it 14/20 - one point short of a chef hat.

As for why the price for my fish was unknown, it was because I had the Entertainment Card and got a free main for one main ordered. :D The Entertainment Booklet was a GREAT buy and proceeds go towards a range of charities, including the one I support full-heartedly, the Cancer Council of Victoria. It has great many discounts for many many food outlets, from fine dining to ordinary pizza places etc. Find out more HERE.

- Mouse


Driver Lane
318 Little Bourke Street
Phone: (03) 9639 3020


Anonymous said...

M.o.o. is a pretty cool place with its big leather sofas come into vision once u walk down from the stairs. The historical decor is quite grand and the wrought iron gate that separates its dining area n bar also makes this place looks different from other restaurants. I esp enjoy the "little booth" area where we sort of hav more privacy in savouring our dinners.

For the food, the snails n the dessert rock!!

San loves her handphone

Victoria said...

I love pretty dessert, but it makes it so hard to make that first move of ahem, destroying it.=)

boo_licious said...

That is such a cute name for a restaurant - the food looks good esp the snails on the puff pastry.

IronEaters said...


Told you the snails are gonna be worth every cent and all the walking braving the cold. Bwahaha. Sorry your pheasant was so-so though.



That is SO true. Whenever I have dessert, I'm a little hesitant to dig in, just because it'll all be destroyed. :( But once I started eating, it'll be all good. :D



Definitely a cute name to catch my attention! And the snails were magnificent - if you ever go there, that is a dish you should NOT miss out!

mellie said...

I adore MOO. I was in there a couple of weeks ago for dessert and had the most amazing gingerbread pudding (OMFG!). Those snails look amazing though, and I must get back there for dinner to try them out.

Ali-K said...

I'm really looking forward to a chance to eat at M.O.O. however one of my recent visits there, just for drinks, was a little disappointing. S-bo and I went to the after party of his end of financial year ball. After 1 drink it was decided that the men in tux's were too drunk & the bar was closing. This was a 1 am. I'm not sure of the actual closing time but I've seen 3 am printed in some places. What's more, a group far more raucous than us were still being served! That group loudly announced to the waiter that he should tell us all to F--- off! Honestly! Surely responsible drinking laws should mean they could simply stop serving drunk people rather than spinning some story about the bar closing.
Sorry, I am using your blog to gripe, however your posting has encouraged me to keep looking for an excuse to have dinner there. The food sounds sublime.

mouse said...


Oooh, we were looking at the gingerbread pudding, but went with the custard instead. We would've ordered two, but we were so stuffed that we didn't want to risk not finishing. ;) But the snails, I definitely recommend! I hope you would try them, can't wait to see what you'll think.



I actually DO get what you mean. When we went there, the bar was OVERSPILLING and on our way in, a very very drunk young lady nearly knocked us down. But cos we stayed in the safety of our little booth, we weren't disturbed too much. Your experience was really sucky though, I'm sorry you had to go through that. I hope that if you do return, it'll be a much better time! :)