Captain Melville

34 Franklin St, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 24th May 2014

How many times have we passed by the bluestone walls of Melbourne's oldest pub, looked at lunching customers sitting outside and say "one day we've got to try eating here." Captain Melville is known for modern pub food with produce sourced from the region.  Menu is based on shared dishes, snacks, steaks and burgers, and of course their spin on pub grub.  

Today was the day, and living literally a stone's throw away, MerlinFan and I headed down here for an early dinner.

I'm usually uncertain at these venues that are part pub, part restaurant, whether we seat ourselves first, or whether we just order at the counter then find seats.  Now, there was only a bartender behind the front bar when we arrived to a rather empty pub, and he just made no eye contact, continued going about what he was doing.  We waited a few moments, took a menu from the bar and perused it, and I had to finally ask him if we ordered here first.  First impressions are important and I can say I've had better.

Food took over half an hour to arrive, but thankfully, it was worth the wait.

MerlinFan had the Captain's Burger.

Captain's Burger $21
The buns were lusciously buttery, soft yet crisp at the corners, went perfectly with the juicy, meaty Wagyu beef.  Topped off with bacon, gloriously melted cheese, Yarra Valley fried egg, pickles and a side of shoestring fries, it left little to be desired.  An excellent burger that MerlinFan shovelled down in a heartbeat.

I went for the Gamekeeper's Black Angus with hand cut chips and salad.  It came with a choice of Madeira jus, garlic butter, horseradish, or mustard (American, hot English, dijon or seeded).

Gamekeeper's Black Angus $28

The 250g grass fed rump had a robust meaty flavour and wonderful char-ry corners.  I had mine done medium - my default as always, which I later regretted.  My steak was more like medium well and being a thick rump steak, the outer thinner areas unfortunately got sacrificed - they were pretty much pushing well done.  My neighbour probably had his medium rare, for his had an enviable blush of pink and looked wonderfully tender.  The Madeira jus was rich and on the sweet side, which I added liberally to my steak.  The hand cut chips were nice and crunchy, a good accompaniment to the meat.

Overall, food was delicious but service was mediocre if not non-existent, which seems to be the majority opinion on Urbanspoon.  I only realised later that there were more seats out back, which seemed to be the actual dining area - we had actually seated ourselves in the bar area, where other patrons were dining too.  Would have been nice if someone had bothered to explain for people who have never been here before.

Captain Melville on Urbanspoon

<a href=""><img alt="Captain Melville on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>


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