Nestled at the end of Mountain Gate Shopping Centre is the contemporary-style restaurant, Montania – a café, bar and restaurant that serves classic Italian food with a Yarra Valley twist. Outside, Montania appears laidback with an assortment of potted plants and café-style menu chalkboards but the interior is sophisticated, with modern patterned walls, bright pendant lights and gleaming timber paired with matching dark furniture. Once inside, there is a warm greeting from an expectant waiter that matches the classy décor and elegant atmosphere.
The cheesy garlic bread was a crunchy starter to the main – King Reef Barramundi with caponata, eggplant puree, chat potatoes and bottarga. Not only does it sound impressive, but it is even better when brought to the table. The fragrant vegetables were tucked neatly under the fish with the puree swirled on the side. More impressive was the crispy fish skin placed vertically on top, standing upright. The presentation matched the taste, especially the freshness of the King Reef Barramundi and seasoned flavour of the side vegetables.
The dessert ordered later was a sweet way to end the meal – red velvet churros with a chocolate nougat crumble, cherry and vanilla ice cream, and Belgian chocolate ganache poured on top. The combination of chocolate, cherry and vanilla with red velvet complemented each other unexpectedly well.
Overall from its food, customer service, ambience and décor, Montania deserves its 2019 Australian Achiever Awards in Excellence in Customer Service and 2020 Travellers’ Choice award. It is highly recommended!