Nestled beneath the Ovolo Hotel in the ‘Paris-end’ of the city, Amphlett House recently received a facelift and is now far more than a standard hotel bar.
Alongside the dark, refined and considered interiors comes a refreshed menu and wine list, perfect for a pre-theatre feed. My plus one and I were invited along to experience the launch of their new Spring menu and sample a few of the offerings for ourselves.
Melbourne is well known as having four seasons in a day, so it’s a brave move to craft an entire menu around one in particular. On the night we attended it was unusually wet and cold, so it was a comfort to enter the casual and intimate dining space.
Amphlett House is a collaboration between the hospitality group’s director Ian Curley and Head Chef Zachary Shearer who you may know from his time at The Lincoln or French Saloon.
The refreshed menu reflects a love of classic dishes that comfort, with contemporary techniques that champion local producers and ingredients.
We began the night with one of their signature dishes, freshly baked Yorkshire buns with crème fraîche, chives and caviar which was paired nicely with a glass of bubbles.
Between courses Head Chef Zachary Shearer explained to our table how growing up in Tasmania he always appreciated the connection people had to their locally sourced produce.
This mentality carries through to his kitchen where everything is made in-house wherever possible, including churning their own butter, creating charcuterie and terrines from scratch and smoking mussels. His fisherman fathers love of seafood is another aspect that is easy to see expressed on the menu.
Up next we tried the charred asparagus with spring onion, tahini dressing and pickled garlic shoots alongside a perfectly cooked grilled calamari stuffed with breadcrumbs, dried fruits, pine nuts, capers and fennel.
The calamari was one of the highlights of the night and paired perfectly with a light and moreish Yal Yal Road Pinot Noir from Mornington.
The dry aged porterhouse with crunchy potatoes and a light watercress salad rounded out the night for the carnivore of the group, and everyone loved the house gnocchi with nettle pesto and zucchini.
While the front bar will remain casual, the rear dining space is inviting and refined, perfect for a pre or post-theatre wine and meal.
Amphlett House is perfect for small groups looking to experience a delicious meal, no matter the season.
– The Plus Ones
Amphlett House is located at 19-25 Little Bourke St, Melbourne. Check out their latest events, or book a group table here.
The venue is partially accessible.