Charcoal Lane is a social enterprise by Mission Australia that provides mentoring and support to young, vulnerable Australians – many of whom are Aboriginal. Following a curriculum of hospitality skills devised by Executive Chef Greg Hampton, the trainees receive guidance aimed at enforcing independence and long-term confidence. Together with Hampton, the diverse group prepares contemporary Australian meals which champion native ingredients. Highlights from the menu include macadamia and wattleseed crusted wallaby, roasted emu fillet with quandong and witlof, paperbark-wrapped seasonal vegetables and the lemon myrtle tiramisu.
Charcoal Lane, 136 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC, Australia, +61 3 9418 3400
Soon after my Roo tattoo… Chargrilled Kangaroo for lunch, with roasted sweet taters, kale, and red wine jus. Very good. Roo is more similar to beef than I expected, in flavor & texture. Grilled med rare, lightly seasoned, to let the natural flavors come through. Went very well with the sweet taters & jus was a nice finish touch. #grill #grilled #chargrilled #kangaroo #australia #australian #melbournefood #melbournefoodie #melbourneeats #foodporn #foodie #foodforfoodies #foodgasm #foodstagram #foodlover #foodgram
Boarded by the Yarra River, Altair in Warrandyte is a contemporary restaurant that serves long lunches and intimate dinners in addition to their hearty weekend breakfast. The refined menu, complemented by their wine selection, includes confit abalone with taro, toasted seaweed, ginseng, and kangaroo tail consommé; beef tartare with Warrigal green, wattleseed, native fruits, macadamia, and Kakadu plum; and preserved river trout with saltbush kimchi, sunchoke, roe, and fermented pepper.
Altair, 152 Yarra Street Warrandyte VIC, Australia, +61 3 9844 5548
Gypsey and Musquito
The legend of two bushrangers – Musquito, an Aboriginal, and his British mate Gypsey, who fought for Indigenous rights in Van Diemen’s Land – lives on in Bridge Road where Kirrily Stewart and local chef Anna Ingle have created a café which celebrates native produce. Tuck into a bushranger brunch at the homely café fit with flea market furniture and timber countertops. On the menu, you’ll find a native-inspired granola with wattleseed and bush berries and a selection of sausages including crocodile, emu, camel and wallaby. There is also a selection of Daintree leaf teas to finish off your meal.
Gypsey and Musquito, 382 Bridge Road Richmond VIC, Australia, +61 3 9939 9314
Often named as one of the best restaurants in Australia, complete with multiple accolades and the honour of three hats, Ben Shewry’s Attica delivers evocative cuisine with an eco-friendly conscience. Inspired by the diverse landscape of the Taranaki region of New Zealand as well as native Australia, Shewry’s menu echoes the earthiness of volcanos, the purity of rivers, the unpredictable ocean, and the bush. Sample salted red kangaroo and bunya bunya, emu’s egg, wallaby blood pikelet and wattleseed bread, and for dessert, try Gazza’s Vegemite pie.
Attica, 74 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea VIC, Australia, +61 3 9530 0111
Vue de Monde
The name may be French, but Shannon Bennett’s menu at Vue de Monde incorporates native produce into a fine-dining experience, accentuating local ingredients traditionally used by the Indigenous. The ever-changing menu has featured black lip abalone with hen’s egg yolk and fumet blanc; poached barramundi with turnip dashi; Davidson plum with flowers and herbs; roo on charcoal with beets; and emu and wallaby jerky. Vue de Monde encompasses classical European cuisine while referencing native ingredients and does so sustainably.