Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
19. Nov, 2012
You may remember Miss Libertine. It was a uni bar where you could get cheap drinks, dance and if you were born after 1993 you might have felt a little left out.
Well Miss Libertine’s has has a makeover, a sex change even, and has emerged as Captain Melville, with a new fit-out and menu.
Housed in a National-trust protected bluestone that’s been a watering hole since 1853, Captain Melville continues the boozy tradition and adds a gold-rush bent.
Captain Melville the man was a bushranger and scoundrel who robbed from the rich – not to feed the poor but to squander his booty in gambling dens and whore houses. Sort of like a St. Kilda football player. The new venue pays homage to the good Captain’s world by lacing the menu with turns of phrase taken from the era and built into the design.
In the front things have been tidied up, while out back the covered beer garden is a rollicking sort of place, where wire frames have been erected to mirror gold prospector tents and hessian sacks adds a prospecting feel.
The Captain’s menu is serving a fancy version of pub grub, with dishes like the Bannockburn free-range chicken parmigiana, coleslaw, hand cut chips ($25) and Melville burger, Sher Wagyu, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, soft bun, with hand cut chips ($21).
I tried the seared scallop, white asparagus purée, jamon crumbs ($6) which was a tasty take on surf and turf. The tuna tartare, avocado purée, potato crisps ($20) was a refreshing alternative to trio of dips. Less successful was the salt & pepper squid, black garlic aioli ($16) which was under-seasoned and limp.
The beers and wine list features many Victorian brands, with many drops sourced from the gold prospecting region. And the Captain’s cocktail menu is an elegant brown leather volume containing elixirs with names like Nuggety Gully and Beechworth Gunpowder.
Captain Melville is a fun sort of place, and the back beer garden is one of the better ones going in the CBD. Worth a visit at the city warms up, plus you don’t have to be under 25 to fit on anymore.
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