Captain Melville – Melbourne’s Oldest Pub

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For one of my regular dinner catch-ups with A, I picked Captain Melville. I had read about this place and was keen to check it out for my self. Captain Melville is located in one of Melbourne’s oldest pubs (back from 1853) and was originally called Mac’s Hotel. Located on Franklin Street and what used to house the former Miss Libertine, the team of Paul Scanlan, Alan Sam and Roshan Nijar have created this new “bushranger” vibe pub restaurant. The name iteslf, Captain Melville is named after Francis McCallum – a legendary bushranger himself.

Captain Melville has been refitted by Breathe Architects together with the National Trust in order to keep this heritage listed building in tact. As you walk into the large wooden doors (wood is massive theme at this venue) there is a casual front bar area and banquette style seating. As you walk towards the back there is a large communal dining hall which is decorated with steel tent structures and olive trees (and the original bluestone brick) to create a modern take on the Gold Rush era. I loved the rustic feel to the place and the quotes that are placed around the venue. It really does feel like back in the day.

Captain Melville offers a communal dining experience complete with share plates, steaks, snacks and pub food with a menu designed by chef Shayne McCallum. To start off with the ingredients sourced from sustainable Victorian farms and producers in the regions.

I had looked at the menu online before coming to the restaurant so I knew what I wanted for my main. As I was there with A, we decided to get two share dishes to start off with and went with the Salt & Pepper Squid and the Quinoa Salad. The Salt & Pepper Squid is one of the best that I have ever had. The squid was fresh and perfectly seasoned, and the batter had a delicious crunch to it. To top it off the Black Garlic Aioli was absolutely delicious. It worked so well with the battered squid. This is a definite must try (my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it..yes it was that good!) The Quinoa Salad with Beetroot, White Zucchini, Pomegranate, Shanklish, Honey Yoghurt was another stand out dish. The combination of the shanklish and honey yoghurt and the pop of juiciness and tang from the pomegranate was delicious. The addition of the beetroot further exemplified the dish.

For my main I ordered the Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi, Heirloom Tomatoes, Dried Olives and Parmesan and A ordered the James Squire Golden Ale Battered Flake, Salad, Hand Cut Chips. My Gnocchi came out beautifully presented and was quite a colourful dish – set amongst the background of a black plate, the heirloom tomatoes and Parmesan lit up the plate. The Gnocchi was soft and perfectly made and the flavours worked well together, albeit I could have used with a bit more salt and pepper. A didn’t really rate her Fish and Chips and thought the Hand Cut Chips could have tasted better and been a bit more crunchy. The serving size however was quite generous.

Next up was dessert! The Australian theme is quite evident through the menu from the Australian classic – Lamington as well as using Anzac biscuits in the Chocolate Mousse Dish. A ordered the Chocolate Mousse, Anzac Biscuit, Chocolate Sponge, Meringue and I ordered the Frozen Lamington  – Coconut Parfait, Chocolate, Raspberry. Between these two dishes the Lamington was the clear winner. The Lamington was served frozen and teamed with chocolate and raspberry – it was delicious and creamy and somewhat reminded me of an ice cream cake. The Chocolate Mousse was rich and smooth and the meringue tied this dish together, however as a whole although beautifully presented the flavours were a bit of a let down.

Overall, Captain Melville is a fantastic place to check out. They are known for their cocktails and drinks as well and I want to come back and see what they can do in the form of mocktails. There are also other items on the menu that I do want to try out like Wild Mushroom share dish and the Soft Shell Crab roll.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu –A selection of single dishes, shared dishes, larger dishes, a selection of steaks and desserts – Check the menu out at http://www.captainmelville.com.au/menu/
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Comfortable. There is plenty of room for a big function or even after work drinks
Standout Dish: Salt & Pepper Squid, Black Garlic Aioli
Service: Fantastic, attentive and super friendly
Online Booking: No, but you can contact them to make bookings
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.captainmelville.com.au/
34 Franklin Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9663 6855

Opening Hours:
Kitchen                                                                            Bar
Monday-Wednesday: 11am – 11pm                         Monday to Tuesday: 11am – 12am
Thursday: 11am – 12am                                                Wednesday: 11am – 1am
Friday: 11am – 2am                                                        Thursday: 11am – 2am
Saturday: 12pm – 2am                                                  Friday: 11am – 3am
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm                                                     Saturday: 12pm – 3am
Sunday: 12apm – 12am

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Grigons & Orr – Cornerstore Fun

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Grigons & Orr
Baked Eggs Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberries and Strawberries

Grigons & Orr is not your typical style of cafe – it just doesn’t serve great food but provides you with an experience. It’s reminiscent of the corner store you used to visit as a kid and a country milk bar / old school style supermarket all rolled into one.  Grigons & Orr corner store is the brilliant idea of Kellie Grigons and Margo Orr.

The feel of the cornerstore cafe is retro chic and to add to the full effect of the cornerstore, there are shelves (which are made out of shipping crates) of Nutella, various shampoos and toilet papar, flour, even Spam! and things you would normally find in a cornerstore that are behind the counter. On the other wall is crates that surround the fridges which house the milk and drinks. Its little touches like this that all add to the experience. To add to the effect are laminex tables with soft old school chairs which are very comfortable. The counter is stacked with cupcakes, scones and other baked goodies as well as old school style lollies.

There are many great little touches to this place – from the box of crocheted blankets that the people sitting at pavement tables can use to wrap themselves up in them if they get cold, to the ancient magazines that you can read whilst you wait for a table – but my favourite is the bottled water which comes with strawberries. ( They also have lemon, mint, cucumber, fresh herbs in the mix as well). I have never seen strawberries infused in a water bottle and it added a pleasant flavour to the water (I am not usually a fan of the flavoured bottled water that you can buy, but this home made one is pretty damn good!).

I started off by ordering a Chai Latte and in keeping with the old style theme was a cute coffee cup with a decorative spoons. The coffee (which I had later) is quite good as well – very creamy and fragrant.  Now onto the food – where can I start with the food! The menu is massive and there are so so so many things to select from that you will need a good ten minutes to decide what you want. The menu ranges from scrambled eggs to baked eggs to corn fritters to french toast with a twist and ricotta pancakes. There is also a milkshake menu as well as a “Cake-shake” which is the option to choose a cake off the counter to be mixed into a milkshake – all just for $9.50! This  would remind anyone of their childhoods, where you would pick different things and decide to mix them together. I know I used to mix different types of sodas together to see what kind of mix I could get.

I ordered the Shakshouka – Israeli eggs baked in spicy Napoli sauce served with yoghurt & buttery toast and G ordered the Ricotta Pancakes with Barbados Cream and Berry Compote. The eggs were delicious but I have to admit not one of my favourite baked egg dishes. The eggs were cooked to perfection and were just the right amount of runniness, but the Napoli sauce was a bit too overwhelming, however the addition of the yoghurt helped to cut this flavour down. The pancakes were piled high and the dish was huge! The serving sizes here at Grigons & Orr are certainly generous! The pancakes were beautifully made and weren’t doughy at all and the Barbados cream was to die for!

There are many interesting dishes on the menu such as Elvis! and SPAM! and something that I want to come back and try is the Warm Chilli Cous Cous dish. This place is a fantastic place to visit not just for good food but if you want a trip down memory lane and for a nostalgic experience.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Can be found at http://www.grigonsorr.com.au/menu.htm
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Retro Chic and has a funky vibe!
Standout Dish: Ricotta Pancakes with Barbados Cream and Berry Compote
Service: Friendly and Happy
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.grigonsorr.com.au/index.htm
445 Queensberry St, North Melbourne
Tel No: 0487 608 489 / 9663 5192

Opening Hours:
Closed Mondays
Tuesday to Sunday: 7am to 5pm

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