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
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/
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:
34 Franklin Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9663 6855
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