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Farmer's Daughters

This CBD spot pays culinary homage to all things Gippsland.
By Libby Curran
August 14, 2023
By Libby Curran
August 14, 2023

The much-hyped 80 Collins Street dining precinct might be a good 320 kilometres away from Gippsland. But, even so, resident Farmer's Daughters is dedicated almost entirely to celebrating and showcasing the region's finest produce and ingredients. The three-level restaurant is the work of acclaimed chef Alejandro Saravia (Pastuso) — not only a longtime champion of the area, but the Official Food & Beverage Ambassador for Gippsland.

With this homage to all things Gippsland, Saravia is out to take guests on a full-blown exploration of his favourite Victorian region, minus the four-hour road trip. On the first floor, you're greeted by a gourmet deli, food store and eatery, turning out share-friendly fare like handmade mozzarella paired with macadamia and black garlic and Amber Creek confit pork belly matched with pepperberry and roasted quince. Available to go, there's a strong curation of pantry items and food products, heroing both Gippsland and other renowned Victorian regions.

One storey above, the Farmer's Daughters restaurant plates up a more formal celebration of provenance, complete with an open kitchen fuelled by charcoal and wood. A sophisticated space by Agents of Architecture's Luke Hickman marries a nature-inspired colour palette of gentle greens and greys with tabletops made from reclaimed Gippsland timber. But it's the custom-made campfire kitchen at the dining room's heart that will really transport you, nodding to nights spent out bush beneath the stars.

Expect a seasonal set menu (from $125, with matching wines available), featuring plates like baked Baw Baw alpine trout with mountain pepper cream, or Yarragon rabbit elevated with preserved carrot. It's backed by a Gippsland-focused drinks list, showcasing drops from the likes of William Downie, Patrick Sullivan and Loch Brewery & Distillery, alongside other wines sourced from across Australia and Europe.

Farmer's Daughters Rooftop, by Dan Castano for City of Melbourne

Finally, there's the venue's crowning glory: the rooftop bar, where you can unwind against a backdrop of native mountain pepper trees and potted herbs. Up here, you'll find a botanical-driven cocktail list featuring the exclusive Farmer's Daughters Gippsland vermouth in many iterations, along with wines by the glass and a range of beer that includes multiple pours from Orbost's Sailor's Grave Brewing.

Images: Arianna Leggier.

Updated August, 2023.

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