The Windsor restaurant has gone back to its roots, serving up stacks of seafood and Mediterranean eats.
September 30, 2023
Named after the god of the sea, it's no surprise to see Neptune champion all things seafood on its short yet solid menu.
But the Windsor restaurant, run by hospo stalwarts Nic Coulter (Young Hearts) and Michael Parker (San Telmo, Pastuso), didn't always have this seafood focus. A more general mix of Mediterranean eats was served up here until 2023 when Neptune had a little revamp.
Now, you'll struggle to find a dish on the menu that wasn't plucked from the sea or a river. Things kick off with a selection of shelled creatures — think oysters, scallops, mussels and pippies — and a few cold and raw options. The Fairy Bread toast is a particularly fun one. House-made focaccia is covered in lashings of garlic butter and salmon roe to create a fishy twist on a childhood favourite.
You've also got a few options from the grill — this is where you'll find chicken and steak — plus a small selection of mains. Our favourite here has to be the spanner crab spaghetti that's been on the Neptune menu for quite a few years. Regulars wouldn't let the chefs stop serving this one.
But if you hate making decisions when dining, the Neptune team has joined so many other Melbourne restaurants by creating some fairly reasonably priced set menus. Pick the $90 seafood set menu and prepare to feast on fresh oysters, scallops, salmon tataki (very lightly seared salmon), a whole grilled fish, that much-loved crab pasta, potato salad and a cheeky seasonal dessert.
Make sure you get on the wines while you're here, too. Neptune is known for being a bit of a wine bar. Either ask the team to pair your meal with a few drops or head over to the large wine fridges to pick a bottle yourself. There's a strong focus on European vinos, but plenty of Aussie winemakers also feature on the extensive wine list.
Many also hit up Neptune for wine, cocktails and snacks — sitting out by the street in the sun. You can easily make it into a little aperitivo spot for lunch or after work. The Mediterranean vibes lend very well to this kind of drinking and dining experience.
Top images: Steve Murray, Sarah Pannell and Jo Rittey
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