Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ludlow Formation

Building 3, 6 Riverside Quay
Southbank, VIC, 3006

This is a tough one for me to write up. In general my reviews to date have all been rather favourable and there is a reason for that. I research and generally choose to dine out at venues that have a high probability of giving me the food & dining experience that I want.

The Ludlow Formation (TLF) is a bit of an anomaly, located on the banks of the Yarra I have tried to give TLF the benefit of the doubt. The name is odd, location is good, but the view is largely obscured by a foot bridge and the fitout is a bit odd, but not odd by accident, but odd by design and it just doesn't feel right.

I could overlook this and overlook easily if the food was on the money and sadly after three visits I simply can't.

Steak Sandwich & Fries

Bookending my trips to TLF was the steak sandwich, when I first visited TLF I was told confidently that the "signature" dish they were building in the bar was their steak sandwich.

My first visit I was greeted with a nice thin piece of steak served medium rare on Turkish bread with tomato & lettuce. It was quite enjoyable, except it was served with limp fries even Ronald the clown would not serve. This is barely acceptable at a $5.95 happy meal, let alone a $17 "signature" dish.

L: Crispy Cumin Calamari, Almond & Skordalia
R: Chicken meatballs in tomato sugo, fresh coriander

My next visit to TLF was in the grown up section where the tables are better spaced and a lot more comfortable. The occasion was again lunch and the table agreed that a few gather & graze (tapas) plates to begin were the way to go.

We ordered some chicken meatballs & calamari to begin with. The meatballs were great, nice, juicy with a rich sauce. Calamari was not so good, it was not crispy and I found it quite odd that the skordalia was found at the bottom of the plate not on the side or somewhere you could dip. What a shame.

300gm Rib eye, hand cut chips, dressed leaves, sauce bernaise

The main was similar to everything experienced to date at TLF, bittersweet. A piece of well presented steak was served, but to my disappointment the medium rare steak I requested was served medium well. Sadly the the same mistake was repeated across all three plates on the table and would normally this would have been a send back job if it were not for the time constraints. The meat was of high quality and the charring made it quite tasty but the overcooking made us all agree - what a shame!

The final roll of the dice came not long after and it was a return to the bar for another steak sandwich. After the first experience we went straight to the fries. To my delight they were nice and crispy, sadly the let down this time was the steak sandwich.

Unlike the first trip to TLF for a steak sandwich, this one came out with some similarities, medium rare, good quality meat but for some reason the steak only covered about 40-50% of the Turkish bread - what a shame. Maybe a walk to Earl Canteen is in order.

Well after three meals at TLF, I can not say that I can recommend this place for its food. For a beer yes, for a low risk tapas, perhaps. TLF has the looks but needs to work harder.

The Ludlow Formation - 9/20
The Ludlow Formation on Urbanspoon


  1. How on earth can you give this review a score of 9/10?

    From your description of 3 visits it sounds more like a 5!

  2. My apologies, it was supposed to be a 9/20. I have updated the review. 9/10 would make it better than Melbourne's best and this is no where near it.
    Thanks for the pickup!


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