I love it when the name of a restaurant hints at what it specialises in, and Milk the Cow is an excellent example of that. Yup, you guessed it, it’s cheese, a lot of cheese, a cabinet filled with cheese.
Some people might hold the idea of wine and cheese to be a mature adult only activity, and that may be true for some, however I am neither mature nor an adult (where do you draw the line) but it is a pairing that I am quite fond of. Given how decadent it is, my friend and I saw it as the perfect place for some celebration.
After placing our order, I asked the waitress to help me select a wine that would pair well with the food. She recommended the Riesling, stating that it is a wine that will go with various types of cheese. I enjoyed the dry and crisp nature of the wine, and it did indeed taste even better when paired with the cheese.
We foregone the flight options for drinks of our own choosing, and therefore picked the 3 Cheese Cheesemonger’s Choice. There are over 180 types of cheese sitting in the cabinet of Milk the Cow, and this cheeseboard is constantly changing depending on the cheese that is currently ripe.
The soft cheese came in the form of La Tur, belonging to the brie family, it was extremely creamy and rich, almost buttery in its flavour. If you are not a fan of blue cheese, the Gorgonzola Bonta della Bonta may be a good one to start off with, it was a lot lighter than most blue cheeses that I’ve tried, the quince and the Shiraz and Onion Jam ($7.00) helped to balance out the flavour even further. The most unique cheese of the trio had to be the BellaVitano Balsamic, the hard cheese was nutty and sweet, and the balsamic rind made it even more interesting. My friend enjoyed this cheese so much that she bought some to take home with her.
Milk the Cow offered an option to select four items and form a Farmers Board for $30; in addition to the Shiraz and Onion Jam, we had the Serrano ($8.00), Prosciutto ($8.00) and Smoked Salmon Pate ($12.00). The serrano and prosciutto were both delicious with the right amount of the fattiness. The smoked salmon pate was creamy with a much more delicate flavour. Although tasty in their own right, the farmers board was not as impressive as the cheese board, only because I feel that these selections were more accessible.
It was time for a top up of the drinks, and this time I knew I wanted to end the night on a Prosecco, and given that this was the only option on the drinks list, it’s what I went with. This was another dry wine, a sparkling one at that. The crisp notes of apple and pear were what I tasted at first, before transforming into a more complex nutty flavour.
Cheese fondue is probably what I was most excited to try on the night, and after much debate, we settled on the Kaas Mit Wein Zu Kochen, aka the one no one can say.
The fondue was made with a mixture of Gruyere, Appenzeller, Comte and Emmenthal. A strong flavour is expected from that list of cheese already, and indeed, this was not one for the faint-hearted. The consistency was somewhat thicker than I expected, in the sense that the cheese in the fondue pot kind of all moved together.
Dip the cubed bread into the cheese, and pray that you will be able to get it out of that cheese, and then chew through what is possibly one of the best things in the world, melted cheese that is buttery, dense, and oh-so-cheesy. Every bite is as sinful as it is delicious, and even though we were filled to the brim, we managed to smash through the whole thing.
Milk the Cow is a place that I never knew I needed, but now I can’t live without it. The combination of wine and cheese is so tentalising, add the relaxing ambience and professional yet friendly service to the mix, it is a place that I know I will frequent, even if it is just for a cheese and wine flight before or after dinner (don’t judge me). One of the waiters also gave us a complimentary round of drinks which was much appreciated.
If you are wanting to visit, make sure you arrive early to avoid a long wait, alternatively leave your name and walk around the neighbourhood, there is plenty to explore; we had to wait for around an hour on the Friday night. If you are going in a group of six or more, it might save you some trouble to just go ahead and book a table.
And no, I didn’t end up having any whacky dreams that night, another plus hey.
How to get here:
Milk the Cow is located on Lygon Street, catch tram #1 or #6 and get off at Lygon/Elgin Street, and Milk the Cow is right around the corner.