Jul 28, 2011

PM24: A Good Restaurant? It's all about the service!

What makes a restaurant experience really fabulous?
Is it superlative food?
Yes, that's certainly part of it.
Is it a beautiful interior?
With clever design and thoughtful attention to detail?
Perhaps it is the warm ambience that 
comes from happy diners laughing & sharing good food?
I think all of these things make for a good 
restaurant experience. 
But what takes it up a notch
is the service
When it's bad, we don't return.
But when it's good - oh my - can't wait to go back!
Last night my husband & I were strolling down
Russell Street, 
feeling ravenous after enjoying one of the State of Design 
events of the evening,
when we popped into the (newish) PM24.
On a freezing Wednesday night, 
the restaurant was packed to the brim. 
Under the watchful eye of Philippe Mouchel,
busy in the open kitchen,
the service was beyond expectations. 
Our staff were witty, informative,
quick to observe & happy to chat.
They knew when to appear,
and when to gently withdraw.
And when we protested that were so 
full from the delicious food 
(mussels in white wine & cream fraiche for me/
roasted pork for my husband/
with caramelised Brussels sprouts...mmm!),
our waitress produced the most extraordinary
fresh strawberry marshmallow to go with our bill. 
And the final delicious touch?
On departure, she handed us 
a little packet of house-made chocolate nougat,
to warm ourselves in the chill evening air.
It's a clever idea.
Because a sense of over-delivery on expectations
is always a good thing in a restaurant. 
After all, isn't that why we go back?

PM24: 24 Russell St Melbourne
Images: (1/15)blue fruit + (others) PM24


  1. Hattatt Janeandlance28/7/11 5:34 PM

    Hello Virginia:
    You sum it up exactly as it is. Yes, food, surroundings, etc., but it is the welcome and the service which, in the end, really do become the deciding factor. But PM24 looks to be wonderful on every count. A pity, for us, that it is half a world away!

  2. Glad you agree, I thought you might. And yes, the welcome is quite as important as the rest of the service - I forgot to mention that they did a great job of that. The maĆ®tre d' made a fuss of us and settled us at the bar while he somehow found & quickly set a table. 
    How many times have I walked out of a restaurant because the reception was cool or non-existent? lots! 
    And it seems that I am compiling a list of gorgeous places for you to visit, so perhaps one day you will just have to pop across the oceans to check it all out in Oz! 

  3. Annie Loveridge Interiors28/7/11 6:12 PM

    Agree with every word and know exactly what you mean when you're treated that well in a restaurant. What gorgeous pics - I'm skiing with my girls and am drowning in bad pizza so thank you! Annie x.

  4. OOh...now I'm jealous Annie! Skiing! Lucky you! I cannot for the life of me stay upright on skis, but I love the hot chocolate after tobogganing bit. 
    And at least you will burn off the calories from the bad pizza! Virginia x

  5. Nadine Petschauer28/7/11 6:41 PM

    Wow! Always enjoy hearing about good service. Love the photos: mmmmmmmmmm looks yum. :)

  6. As Elaine said to Jerry quite a lot out of seinfeld

    "get out of here"!

    That all looks more than amazing and love your description of everything

    thank you a lovely post of gastronomical delights


  7. This looks like a gorgeous spot for dinner but it's the little touches that make all the difference. The strawberry marshmallow and the nougat? That alone would be worth it!


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