Captain Melville was a suggestion from a friend who is a fellow eating enthusiast, and what makes him even cooler, is his capacity to indulge my ability to over-order and over-eat. So, we ordered a lot of food this sitting.
Captain Melville is placed on the old Miss Libertine’s site, and as I’ve heard, is a far cry from its old personality. Walking in via the back space, you’re greeted with a chic outdoor beer-garden style courtyard with wooden chairs and an area which could double as a casual birthday celebration, or a corporate flog.
Inside is slightly more pub-style, but with sleek black bar spaces and artful fluorescent lighting. It’s quite intimate without being sleezy. And the food menu: so many varied dishes to choose from without being ridiculous and over the top.
We started with a drink. For my drink I chose the Hailstorm Julep ($17.0), if not solely due to the fact it claimed to be “life changing.” Golden grapefruit infused vodka, pineapple & almond syrup, mint, splash ginger beer.
Saganaki Cheese – mustard fruits, pomegranate dressing ($7.5) came next. A small slice of thin but oil-packed cheese which didn’t drip nor fall apart, but wow it was flavour packed. The saganaki was also cut through with the sweet fruits and sour pomegranate dressing which I’ve never seen done before; it was incredible.
Already on a roll, we decided to carb load: Chipotle buttered Kipflter potatoes with kale ($15.0). The potatoes were slightly dry, but it combined well with the added saltiness of the kale. It could have done with some aioli though.
We added on a Croquette – corn and smoked mozzarella with spicy tomato jam ($6.5) cos YOLO. It beautiful, creamy and cheesy, with all aspects done very well. Covered in a crispy coating on the outside and soft on the inside, all of which went great with the tomato pasta-style sauce.
For the first main we ordered the Rotolo: ricotta, mushrooms, mushroom cream and roasted chestnuts ($23.0). Though not your most beautiful of dishes, the chestnuts were a nice surprise to my sceptical stomach. It was very much your warm winter dish, with a beautiful creamy mushroom sauce. For someone who had no clue what a Rotolo was, it pleasantly surprised.
The Western Plains Pork Belly Bun – warm sesame bun, baby cos, crackle ($7.5) was in reality, a slice of pork belly in a bun. The pork belly was tasty and not overcooked, but nothing spectacular.
Togarashi Soft Shell Crab Roll – wasabi mayo, shiso, pickled radish ($8.5) came up next and was a lot better received than its brethren. The soft shell crab was fried to a crunchy finish and stuck in a much nicer brioche bun. There was also a lot more sauce and wasabi mayo, which made it a good contender in the soft shell crab burger realm.
Captain’s Burger: wagyu, bacon, cheese, Yarra Valley egg, pickles, soft bun, French fries ($22.0). What they didn’t tell you was this burger is a double patty burger. YES. It was a nice sloppy burger, easy to eat, with a very heavy taste which was filling in your stomach. When left with four pieces to finish, I chose the soft shell crab, pork bun and the rotolo.
Finally, dessert arrived. The Fried Hot Apple Pie served with vanilla ice-cream ($14.0) was the dessert my stomach immediately gravitated towards. That pastry. Light. Flaky. Pastry. Nice sweet apples served piping hot inside that light, flaky pastry. It reminded me of a more refined maccas apple pie, without the mass production and preservatives. It tasted even better with the vanilla bean ice-cream and sugared toffee crunch. I loved it. A simple but effective dessert. I am such a big fan of apple pie and this feels like it’s rocketing to the top.
TL;DR A nice sophisticated gastro-pub that you should check out, even if it’s just for the apple pie!