Monday, November 4, 2013

Captain Melville

You know that you're extraordinarily late with blogging when a restaurant has refreshed its menu since you last visited. Between relocating to the USA, and a quick trip back to Melbourne, this little gem of a review got lost in the swamp of photos on my camera.

No matter, because it's finally seeing the light of day. If my memory hasn't completely failed me, I actually went to Captain Melville with work colleagues to celebrate them getting rid of me. The pub/bar/restaurant is open at almost all hours with comfortable booth seating in front, and relaxed shaded seating out the back.

Seeing as Melbourne had decided to play nice with its weather, we were happy to sit out the back. We ordered a few share plates to start things off.

Some requisite hand-cut chips to share:

Dobsons hand cut chips
I prefer my chips/wedges much, much crisper but these were passable.  

Crispy fried chicken ribs, Sriracha mayo
Crispy slices of chicken with a slightly spicy mayonnaise meant that there was little risk of this going wrong. Almost everyone on the table thoroughly enjoyed this dish, with the exception of the vegetarians of course.

Mixed Leaf Salad
Some light greens make for a balanced meal, although weren't particularly interesting in their own right.

We were glad we ordered the appetisers as the mains took quite a while to arrive. Trying to get 12 dishes out at the same time is an effort but rumbling bellies didn't seem to get the message. More appetisers should have been ordered but hindsight doesn't quite work at the right time. 

Varying tastes at the table meant there was a pretty good variety of mains ordered. The time elapsed since the consumption of these meals means that my recollection of what we actually ate may be off. I'll start with the easiest first:

Grass fed Gippsland Black Angus
While the taste of the steak was spot on, I found my medium-rare order ended up being much closer to well-done than I would have liked. There was only the tiniest sliver of red right in the center of the meat. I was slightly disappointed, and had an urge to go to a proper steakhouse afterwards to set things right (of course that didn't happen, even on a good day two steaks are slightly too much for me).

Captain’s burger – Wagyu, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, pickles, soft bun
The Captain's burger was impressive and definitely satisfied burger cravings. A fail-safe comfort/hangover option. 

Herb & ricotta gnocchi
On the lighter end of the scale was the herb and ricotta gnocchi. Beautifully presented, it was unfortunately however the only option for the vegetarians at the table. I'm not vegetarian but would prefer more options on the menu for my gastronomically-restricted counterparts. Not that a rouge Captain would approve though I'd imagine.

Bannockburn free-range chicken parmagiana
The typical Aussie pub-food, the chicken parma, made an appearance and was a sizable meal. Good quality, tender chicken doused in cheese - there's little chance of going wrong with this.

James squire golden ale battered market fish
The fish and chips were a little on the small side but were at least nicely battered without being too oily.

Beef Pie
With a beef pie on the menu, you know that the restaurant is very Australian-centric. Questionable presentation of the mashed potato aside, the pie itself was flaky and golden with generous chunks of meat inside. A definite, and thankful, step-up from your standard footy-pies.

Some still had room left for dessert, and the heavenly aromas as they were brought to the table made everyone else wish they'd ordered a serve.

Simple, sweet ways to end the meal.

Apple pie

Salted caramel banana split

Chocolate mousse
Overall, we had an enjoyable time at Captain Melville apart from the somewhat inevitable kinks that come with dining in a large party. The food was mostly simple but of a high quality, and the service was friendly. Prices were perhaps slightly higher than expected, but this is a quality restaurant, not just one tucked into the back of a pub. Come here to relax and enjoy the humour of this little establishment, hidden away from the city-bustle. 

Captain Melville
34 Franklin St, Melbourne
7 days till late

Captain Melville on Urbanspoon