“We like to challenge ourselves by sourcing as much produce from our shire, the Nillumbik, as possible, which means we never use things like tropical fruits or French cheeses. As well, every element of our restaurant has been locally sourced or handmade, often from repurposed eucalyptus, and everyone involved in the build was a friend from the area.”
Flame-grilled freshwater mussels and fennel custard; radicchio with mushrooms, and cheese; and chicken with quince, and cabbage.
The recycled décor is pure farmhouse dining. The menu is a day-to-day proposition. And the ethos is totally DIY, from the crusty sourdough to the kumquat jam.
At the semi-rural end of the suburban train line, this tiny fifteen-seater is staking a claim on truly exciting dining. Diners choose a six or nine-course tasting menu and let chef Zoe Birch guide them through the daily parade, the vast majority of it organic and sourced from small producers in the surrounding Nillumbik Shire.
The wood fire is the engine room, where freshwater mussels are hung for a week to slowly dry and cure before being grated over grilled mussels and fennel custard, and honey-rubbed chicken breast is roasted and served with house-made seeded mustard and spaghetti squash. What an antidote to a corporatised culinary world.
“True testament to the tiny-mighty model.”
–Gemima Cody, goodfood.com.au