34 Franklin St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 9663-6855
In December last year, I was invited to a bloggers' dinner at Captain Melville, a new pub-and-eating house with a mission to provide accessible yet well-crafted pub food. It was a fun evening full of cocktails, wine, and an eclectic range of tasty eats! I enjoyed it so much that I visited again in March for a casual dinner catch-up with some friends - this post will cover both visits.
First: the bloggers' dinner. Cameras and smartphones at the ready!
|Mini hot dog, hand model (Cara)|
Whilst I loved the sharply sour Macedon Gang Punch, with its foamy egg white topping, I wasn't quite as enamoured of the Sudden Death (not pictured): a curdled milk and rum drink, served in a shot glass. It was a bit adventurous for me. Agnes, however, loved them, so I happily gave her mine!
We were also given a range of snacky little items (called "singles" on the menu).
Highlights for me were the refreshing poached chicken on betel leaf, and the crackly pork belly slider. I loved the fluffy soft white buns (like: Bread Top buns!), which were just lightly toasted, and the combo of tender pork meat and crackling.
|Quinoa salad, asparagus, broad beans, yellow beets, shanklish, honey yogurt - $16.00|
Even though quinoa salad is something I make reasonably often at home, I felt that the addition of shanklish, white asparagus, baby beets, and the fiendishly difficult-to-prepare broad beans turned this into something special. This was delicious, and I'd happily pay sixteen dollars for a full-sized plate of that salad! (The plate above was, I believe, made slightly smaller than the usual serve as part of the tasting menu).
|Pumpkin gnocchi, baby vegetables, red sorrel, Yarra Valley goats chevre - $25.00|
|Bannockburn free range chicken parmigiana, coleslaw, handcut chips - $25|
|Salted caramel banana split, honeycomb - $15|
Dessert was immensely popular on our table - I thought of it as a banana split on steroids! There was a blackened banana, honeycomb shards, cake crumbs, and chocolate and vanilla ice-creams, drizzled with salted caramel sauce and garnished with crisp sesame wafers. Yes, I was rather full, but bravely soldiered on through - it was that delicious!
It was early March when I revisited (my, how time flies!) for a Monday-night catch-up. I'd really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at the bloggers' dinner, and thought that the wide-ranging menu would mean that we'd all be able to find something to enjoy.
At the bloggers' night they'd made quite a big deal of the fact that Captain Melville was a Macedon Bushranger, but I must admit it kinda went over my head (I'm pretty useless with geography!) However, it all fell into place when I was perusing the cocktail list with my friend Wes who happens to live in that area - they have cocktails like the Macedon Gang Punch, Beechworth Gunpowder and the Clunes Rose Gold, just to name a few. "Omigod! These places are all near where you live! They're real!" Hahaha. I'd have loved to try some more cocktails, but it was a Monday night, so I contented myself with a nice cider.
I was tossing up between a single meal or trying a few singles, and in the end the singles won. I wasn't famished, and variety is always a bonus!
|Western Plains Pork Belly Slider, warm sesame bun, baby cos, crackle - $6.50|
|Togarashi soft-shell crab slider, wasabi mayo, shiso, pickled radish - $6.50|
|Pulled Pork Taquito, charred pineapple, avocado, tomato salsa, queso fresco - $6.50|
|Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi, heirloom tomatoes, olive, parmesan - $23.00|
No such complaints though, with Sandra's wagyu burger. As per usual, she requested this with "no lettuce, no salad, no vegetables", and it was a pretty solid burger!
|Captain's burger - Sher Wagyu, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, soft bun, hand cut chips - $21.00|
And finally, dessert:
|Chocolate Mousse, Anzac biscuit, chocolate sponge, meringue - $16.50|
The presentation of the chocolate mousse was similar to the banana split - two quenelles of chocolate mousse, irregular pieces of chocolate sponge and Anzac biscuits, garnished with shards of meringue - I tried not to steal too much of this from Wes, but had to try "for blogging purposes", you do understand. I did love the crunchy pieces of Anzac biscuit, but if I had to choose, I'd definitely go the banana split next time - it was definitely the superior dessert!
It was good to see that Captain Melville was just as enjoyable on a normal, non-blog event night. The service was efficient, whilst still being relaxed and friendly. The dining area behind the bar, with its high ceilings and abundance of natural light, was a pleasant spot to while away a few hours whilst enjoying good company and good food.
Sarah attended the Bloggers' dinner at Captain Melville as a guest, and visited on a separate occasion as a paying customer.