I am feeling a bit nervous. When a foodie feels a bit nervous about her restaurant selection it’s never a good sign. The name “foodie” comes with a certain expectation and even though I haven’t tried this restaurant before there is still an expectation that it should be good. The pressure came from myself of course. First of all my best friends came down from Brisbane to organise my baby shower and I wanted to take them somewhere nice to eat. Secondly, hubby took one look at the menu and declared that nothing tickled his fancy so he’s not coming (plus he had a man-flu and is feeling fragile) and thirdly, it’s 7pm and the restaurant is empty… on a Friday night. I AM nervous. Welcome to Northern Light.
102 Smith St Collingwood
03 9416 0698
We were greeted by a really friendly manager who put us at the back of the restaurant where the comfy seats for the preggars lady :) And a very attentive waitress came to help us navigate through the menu. We decided on several small dishes, shared plates and sides, leaving a bit of room for dessert. By the time we finished ordering the dining room started to fill and I was a bit relieved. Maybe Melbourne people are eating later and later? Or maybe I am just being old and fuddly and eating earlier😛
Monkylicious ordered this yuzu sake and I felt slightly left out because of the pregnancy so I asked our waitress whether they have mocktail. She said yes then walked away. I was really confused cos I thought she would ask me what flavours I like and make up something. It turns out I needn’t worry – I got given the most AMAZING mocktail ever and the girls were jealous. HA! I can’t remember what it’s made of but when the manager came up to make sure my mocktail and everything is fine he told me it’s made of pomegrante and something else. I wish I remember but let’s just say, TRUST THE BARTENDER!
Our first dish promptly arrived and it’s the eel and rice croquette ($5 each). It was delicious. I love eel but even if you are not a fan it doesn’t taste fishy at all and it’s definitely worth a try. I stayed away from the mayo but eyed on it with jealousy when Froggy and Monky dipped happily into it. First dish was a thumbs up and I was relieved.
The girls had this prawn crackers $5 each again with pickled prawn and seaweed mayo. Even though I don’t eat prawns I felt a tinge of jealousy when they happily munched on the prawn cracker. They certainly gave this a tick of approval as well.
Golden Egg is next $9 and mine was well done whilst the girls ones were oozing with yolk porn. Even though mine was well done it was delicious- it certainly helped with a huge serving of furikake, which is a mixed Japanese spice of different sorts, and at Northern Light it’s with dried seaweed, toasted sesame and dried fish powder I think. Delicious.
This certainly wasn’t that photogenic but what it lacks in food porn it certainly made up in yumgasmic-ness. Wild mushrooms, Korean green rice, WA truffle, comte $32 was amazing. The rice has this chewy barley sort of texture, the truffles and wild mushroom gave its earthy fragrance and it was delightful in every bite.
The Korean fried rice $15 doesn’t have a huge wok hey (fiery breath of the wok), more like a mixed rice than anything yet it was delicious nonetheless. Our friendly waiter did question whether we wanted another rice dish but this certainly hits the spot as well.
We were extremely full by then but how could we resist dessert when everything was so good? So we ordered the broken icecream sandwich $15 and the coconut lychee icecream, puffed rice and red bean $9 to share.
I reckon whilst the dessert was interesting, it wasn’t as fantastic as the savoury items. The broken icecream sandwich was nicely done with shards of biscuity dark chocolate and hidden vanilla icecream. It was nice cos it wasn’t too sweet.
There is also no complaints with the lychee and coconut icecream also, which compliments the red bean puree, once again they are not overly sweet. It’s just that after the amazing savouries this just slightly lacks the wow factor.
That’s OK though, I don’t feel nervous about taking people to Northern Light anymore – in fact, I would certainly rank it up on the highly recommended eateries on Smith St, Collingwood. Check it out! 8.5/10
Photos courtesy of Monkylicious cos I was too lazy to bring my camera😛