This CBD spot pays culinary homage to all things Gippsland.
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.
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