I booked Virginia Plain and received a phone call from Matt in the week that they'd changed names and had a bit of a refurb but the booking was safe and the kitchen staff hadn't changed. Nice of him to call which resolved any potential confusion on the night.
So Virginia Plain was underrated and more like a restaurant with a bar. Mercy is more like a a bar with a restaurant. It still feels airy and spacious which is a good thing but has a bit more Melbourne grit to it.
The welcome was friendly if not a bit frantic as drinks and ordering took a bit of time and we were a little overlooked with the general busyness of 8pm on a Saturday night. Nevertheless every time a member of the team did serve us, it was done enthusiastically and warmly.
We dallied over cocktails, took our time to decide on food and eventually in our own time place our order which was received passionately by the maitre d' who helped us with quantity and what to try.
- Scallops with black pudding stuffed pigs trotters on mash
- MFQ - Mercy Fried Quail
The MFQ was nice enough but not the most outstanding quail I've had. A touch overcooked so a little dry in parts.
- Crispy onion rings and spicy mayo
- Greenvale farm pulled pork and crackling slider
The pulled pork slider had a great Chinese char-suiness to it and I liked the meaty pulled pork and the sweet brioche but I missed any crackling which was a shame as the added texture and general tastiness of crackling could have made this little slider phenomenal. So as it stands Spice Temple still is the winner of the best crispy pork slider.
Can't help but think they're copying Cumulus and got to say the lemon curd Cumulus version comes out on top.
However I love that this is a bagful of mini Mads and that we can just make our way through these fluffy pillows of buttery, sugary goodness. Deliciously light, fresh out of the oven and fragrant of beautiful sponge we enjoyed every single one until we were stuffed and could not eat another thing!
Overall Mercy Bar was the best place for our little tete a tete because it was fun with a touch of Melbourne hipster but at the same time, we could take our time, graze, drink, chat at audible volumes and enjoy each other's company. To me, Mercy is like Virginia let loose, on holiday, freestyling and I get that about it. Mercy is very honest, doesn't pretend to be something she isn't and having met her once, I like her and I think it'll be fun to see her again.