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Copper Pot

Posted in Melbourne

Last updated on September 16, 2023

The Copper Pot had been on our list of places to visit for a while – there was a special truffle set menu in the window when we wandered through Seddon previously. We had somehow procrastinated on dining there though – until we got wind of the news that they would actually be closing at the end of the month after feeding people for many years.

We had booked in for a weekday dinner, anticipating that the weekends would be full of patrons wanting to dine there one last time. The eatery is located on the main shopping strip of Seddon, which was pretty sleepy on a weeknight. There was plenty of activity beyond the large glass windows though – most of the tables were full when we walked through the door.

copper pot seddon outside
The restaurant from the outside (taken later, at the close of the evening).

We were promptly greeted at the entrance, and shown to a table. This was already set, with dish, cutlery, and a neatly folded napkin and printed menu.

copper pot seddon table
The place settings at the table.

The menu is European, spanning a number of locales rather than one region. There is the option of a Foodie’s Road Trip Across Europe, which gets you a chef’s selection of dishes. When we visited, that got you four dishes for $95. We decided on ordering a la carte, so as to be able to try a larger variety.

copper pot seddon menu
The menu in more detail.

The interior is probably best described as modern classic. It is a roomy space with high ceilings, with marble and wood-topped tables in round and square shapes spaced far enough apart that it doesn’t feel crowded even when filled to capacity. A large, eye-catching mural of a peloton of cyclists takes up one wall, and criss-crossing LED lights are suspended above.

copper pot seddon mural
The mural spanning one wall.

Lively classics from the likes of Ace of Base and the Village People played over the speakers, dispelling any sense that this was a straight-laced, stuffy establishment. There was plenty of patron chatter as well. It was a convivial atmosphere, rather than too high-brow, which is probably what they were going for, despite the head chef’s very pedigreed culinary background.

copper pot seddon inside
Another look at the interior.

In order of menu listing rather than presentation to the table:

House-made flatbread, Duck and pork schmaltz. We had asked what schmalz was, never having encountered it before, and staff explained that it was rendered duck and pork fat. It was certainly softer at room temperature than butter, with the added interest fragments of meat and herbs. The flatbread reminded us of the flatbread we had had at Supernormal, fluffy on the inside, and crisp on the outside, with a good chew.

copper pot seddon flatbread
The quenelle of Schmaltz in the foreground, and flatbread in the background.
copper pot seddon flatbread
The flatbread in focus.

XL Hervey Bay prawn, oyster sauce, garlic butter. We ordered just one prawn to share, as we only wanted a taste, and figured that we had ordered many other items already. They kindly divided the prawn up to make it easier for us. It was nicely cooked and flavourful, carrying smoky notes and a balance of savouriness and natural sweetness.

copper pot seddon prawn
The large prawn in a pool of garlic butter, considerately split.
copper pot seddon prawn
Another angle on the prawn.

Lasagne croquettes, aioli. These were like a twist on arancini. They were meaty, cheesy, and had a good level of saltiness. They would have been good lasagnes before being turned into croquettes, rather than just being done as a token item for filling. There was good crunch to the crumb, and overall it was a very moreish dish. One could almost do with just a plate full of these..

copper pot seddon lasagne croquettes
The Lasagne croquettes, and a swirl of aioli.
copper pot seddon lasagne croquettes
The croquettes from another angle to show their thickness.
copper pot seddon lasagne croquettes
And a cross section.

Sea snails “as they should be”. The chef presented this dish to us at the table, and explained that they were done with garlic, butter, and chilli, as he thought they should be. This was a classic combination, that to use the known phrase, “let the ingredients speak for themselves”. The sea snails, unlike the land snails used for escargot dishes, had a subtle oceanic tang. They were easy to remove from their shells, and were served bathed in a generous amount of sauce.

copper pot seddon sea snails
The sea snails in their shells.
copper pot seddon sea snails
The snails closer up, to show their fillings better.

Fremantle octopus, cherry tomato, caper and dill compote. The octopus was well cooked, retaining spring. Smoky flavours from the grill carried through. The cherry tomatoes and capers added brightness, without being overly acidic.

copper pot seddon octopus
The Octopus dish – not as photogenic as the others, but still good.
copper pot seddon octopus
The dish closer up.

Salted ling brandade, parsley, pickled red onion, herb crumb. This was another dish we had to ask staff about when we saw it on the menu. Essentially, it is like a fish puree, mixed with potatoes. It was an interesting texture, soft, with some crunch from the crumb sprinkled over it. There was sweetness from the onion and a measured heat from the chilli.

copper pot seddon brandade
A flatlay of the Salted ling brandade.
copper pot seddon brandade
And a slightly closer view of it.

Squid ink rice, local calamari, nduja salami, parsley. Staff again kindly divided it as we were sharing the main, so we had two separate portions, each on our own dish. This was very much like the black risotto dishes we had in Croatia. In fact, it was better than many we had through our travels. It was thick, rich, and had umami depth. The squid was well cooked, with good spring, and a fiery punch from the nduja.

copper pot seddon black rice
The Black rice dish, looking dramatic on the white plate.
copper pot seddon black rice
A closer look at the dish.

Ricotta, almond, and chocolate pudding, banana butterscotch. This was freshly made to order, and served still warm. It was light, and the butterscotch topping was not too sweet. It was a lovely dessert that didn’t feel too heavy.

copper pot seddon pudding
The Almond and chocolate pudding, topped with ricotta and banana butterscotch.
copper pot seddon pudding
A closer up look at the pudding, and drips of butterscotch.

Deb’s creme caramel, orange cumquat, brandy snap. This was expertly done, smooth and just the right consistency. The caramel had been taken just far enough so that it had that added depth, and almost hint of bitterness. Again, the dessert as a whole was not too sweet. The brandy snap had a solid crunch.

copper pot seddon creme caramel
The Creme caramel with orange cumquat and brandy snap.
copper pot seddon creme caramel
Another angle on the dish.

The Copper Pot had a considered hospitality. Each dish was explained to us as it was brought to the table. Plates were changed between our courses. We appreciated the attention to detail of things like splitting dishes for us to make it easier to share, without us asking.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at the Copper Pot, and did wish we had gone there to try other dishes sooner. They clearly put effort in to both the food and the service. The cuisine is also more interesting than the standard fare you tend to find at other European restaurants. It punches well above its weight for a neighbourhood diner. It is a shame that they will be closing their doors, and those who haven’t been there before should take the opportunity to go there while they can. Those who have been there before are probably already booking in..

Food: 3.5/4
Setting: 1/2
Service: 2/2
Total: 6.5/8

Price point: If you ate everything we ate, it would come to $177 for 2 people. You can also do the Foodie’s Road Trip Across Europe for $95.

Value: Pretty good, particularly in comparison to other European restaurants.

Address: 105 Victoria St, Seddon
Phone: 03 8590 3505
Website: Copper Pot

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