"Live for the day, and let tomorrow take care of itself" — words spoken by the bushranger Captain Melville himself. We love this, a perfect excuse to overindulge in good food and a beverage or two. Captain Melville, the venue named in honour of the great bushranger, is a place to do just this, where relaxed pub food is taken to the next level and a solid drinks menu makes you want to have that second tipple.
Remember the live music venue Miss Libertine? A little dark, loud, and could make you lose time? Well, she is no longer. This is where Captain Melville has taken root. The same team from the Miss Libertine days has shaken things up with a light, open, and modern interior, fit for the grown-up food and drink they are dishing up.
The food here is tasty, upfront, and honest. Start with a mini bratwurst dog with sauerkraut and German mustard ($6.50) or an oozy, rich taleggio croquette with tomato and fennel chutney ($4). If in the mood for sharing, don't go past the salt and pepper squid with black garlic aioli ($16). Generous pieces of squid pack a real hit of flavour. The quinoa salad with asparagus, broad beans, yellow beets, shanklish, and honey yoghurt ($16) is a beautiful accompaniment. If you're looking for a meal in itself or not up for sharing, go for the Bannockburn free range chicken parmigiana with coleslaw and hand-cut chips ($23) or perhaps one of the five steaks on offer.
Captain Melville isn't shy when it comes to the drinks list. They are here to play. The focus here truly is 'drink local'. The wine and beer lists are almost all Australian, with a couple of international guests thrown in there. Even the spirits stay local where they can, with 666 Vodka, West Winds Gin, and Tromba Tequila all making an appearance.
Speaking of spirits, Captain Melville is fond of a cocktail or two. Sore head? Try the Clunes Rose Gold ($17). Described as "the ultimate hangover cure", it is a mix of bourbon, Bartender rose syrup, fresh lemon juice, cream, white cacao, egg white, and fizzy pink grapefruit juice. Perhaps in the market for something with a little more kick? Try the "hard as coffin nails" Macedon Gang punch ($16) — Cruzan rum, lemon juice, bartender agave, egg white, port, and Booker's Fire Bitters.
Cheers to living for today.