Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of Captain Melville.
Who was Captain Melville? Well, he was was a thief, a gentleman, and a bushranger. In addition, Captain Melville is the name of a recently opened restaurant in Franklin Street that serves restaurant quality pub food.
The non-bushranger Captain Melville is located in a beautiful heritage building that is Melbourne’s oldest pub. The building looks completely out of place on Franklin Street now, surrounded by apartment blocks and office buildings. Inside, the fit out is really well done – particularly the bright and airy dining room at the back that’s decorated with steel metal frames representing tents – a subtle link to the Gold Rush era.
The meal started with a small bite – masterstock chicken, coconut, chilli and lime on a betel leaf. This was really well done and quite delicious.
We continued the meal with slow cooked lamb shoulder in brik pastry with smoked yoghurt ($6.50). The pastry was very thin and crunchy, and inside the lamb was tender and savoury, offset by a little dab of a sweet, spicy sauce.
Next was a creamy and quite tangy quinoa salad with asparagus, broad beans, yellow beets, shanklish, and honey yoghurt ($16). This was quite nice, though I did get a rather woody piece of asparagus in mine.
We then sampled some mini pork hot dogs and mini pork burgers ($6.50 each).
The hot dogs were in a sweet fluffy bun, and topped with a bit of mustard and tomato sauce. The burgers had slightly toasted buns and my piece of pork had a bit of crackling – yay.
And the last savoury item was a small serve of their chicken parma, made with Bannockburn free-range chicken, and served with coleslaw and hand cut chips ($25 for a regular sized serve).
Dessert was an excellent salted caramel banana split with honeycomb ($15).
In addition to food, we also sampled some drinks. Captain Melville do several old fashioned style cocktails, one of which is a slow cooked rum and milk drink called Sudden Death.
This is made in house. The first step is to curdle milk with lemon juice. It’s strained, then rum is added, and the entire thing is frozen for a couple of days. It’s then filtered, which results in a creamy and alcoholic little drink.
It’s a bit of a strange drink and not everyone enjoyed this, but I did – which meant several of these were pushed my way. Whoohoo.
And we also tried the cocktail Macedon Gang Punch, which is made using rum, lemon juice, agave, egg white, port and bitters.
I enjoyed dinner at Captain Melville and it’s nice to see pub classics done well. And if the description of the curdled milk drink hasn’t turned you off, definitely give that a try!
For more on Captain Melville, check out Gourmet Chick’s recap of the night.
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34 Franklin Street
Phone: (03) 9663 6895