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Farmer's Daughters

This CBD spot pays culinary homage to all things Gippsland.
By Libby Curran
April 21, 2021
By Libby Curran
April 21, 2021

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), who is 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 wood-roasted beef cheek with mashed swede ($29) and cured fish from Baw Baw's Alpine Trout Farm matched with mountain pepper cream ($17). Available to go, there's a strong curation of pantry items and food products, heroing both Gippsland and other renowned Victorian regions.

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

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 — a high-tech piece of kit that'll allow Saravia to flex his impressive cooking skills.

Expect a sprawling, seasonal menu (from $75, with matching wines available), 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.

Finally, there's the venue's crowning glory: the rooftop bar, where you can unwind against a backdrop of native mountain pepper trees and a lush herb garden. 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, a range of tap brews and the new Farmer's Daughters and Stomping Ground collaboration beer, Stringer's Creek Pilsner.

Images: Food by Thom Rigney

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