Monday, January 15, 2007

Fifteen, Collins St, Melbourne

Fifteen, Collins St, Melbourne
Monday 15 January, 2007

Fifteen now occupies the former site of MoMo. I loved that place - you entered via some dark stairs into a basement underneath the rear of the Grand Hyatt hotel. It was reminiscent of a Middle Eastern bazaar.

Fifteen has now transformed this space into a colourful Italian restaurant and turned their young chefs into minor celebrities. After spending several hours at the tennis we were walking back to our hotel mid afternoon when we decided to have a sticky beak at the Fifteen site.

We wandered down the stairs, past the colourful graffiti and were met with a busy, happening restaurant that was still relatively full from lunch. We looked around and saw all the kids working away in the kitchen before deciding to have a drink at the bar. We then realised there was a bar menu on offer so decided to indulge in a late lunch.

Our waiter was young, hip and friendly and more than happy to chat about the Fifteen concept of transforming disadvantaged kids into competent chefs under the guidance of Executive Head Chef Tobie Puttock (he now sports a shaved head). As their website states,

The purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvantaged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business.
In November 2002 Jamie Oliver opened Fifteen London - a restaurant that put a training programme for young people experiencing tough times right at its heart.

The Fifteen program is now running in Amsterdam, Cornwall (South West UK) and as of September 2006 in Melbourne. The Fifteen programs in London and Amsterdam have seen over 60 young people graduate from the program, many of whom have gone on to continue their careers in the restaurant industry.

Beautiful food requires top quality seasonal ingredients. Victoria, blessed with more than its fair share of fabulous food and talented producers, is heaven for food lovers. The menu at Fifteen Melbourne will be making full use of this abundance, creating fresh, simple Italian-inspired dishes that allow the ingredients to speak for themselves.

I couldn't go past the tagliatelle with rabbit ragu, green olives, thyme and marscapone and my tennis buddy ordered the Bruschetta with fresh crayfish, salmon roe and summer leaves. Both serves were entree size and cost $17 each. I was pleasantly surprised - the tagliatelle was very good - it was cooked al dente and the rabbit ragu was generous with a great smattering of green olives that gave it a salty kick.

After our late lunch we popped over to the kitchen and the kids were happy to talk with us and explain what they were doing - as they had finished lunch they were now preparing for the dinner service. There is a large open window into the kitchen near the entrance of the restaurant and if you visit I encourage you to have a chat with one of young chefs occupying the space - I'm sure you will be impressed.

I'm really pleased we chose to visit Fifteen on the spur of the moment.

Fifteen Melbourne - Basement, 115-117 Collins St (Enter through George Pde) Melbourne - 1300 799 415


Post a Comment

<< Home

Sign my Guestbook from Get your Free Guestbook from

View My Stats

Ring Owner: Augustus Gloop Site: Grab Your Fork
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Site Ring from Bravenet