Charcoal Lane

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Charcoal Lane.
A program delivered in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Charcoal Lane boasts a restaurant setting which was designed to acknowledge Aboriginal community connections to the site and area.
The name Charcoal Lane, documented in an Archie Roach song, has significance as a local meeting place in Aboriginal community folklore. For the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, the name is extremely important, as it links back to the beginnings of the health service itself. At the request of the Koorie community, Mission Australia named its social enterprise restaurant Charcoal Lane in 2009.
Through Charcoal Lane, Mission Australia seeks to tackle labour force exclusion for Aboriginal and other at risk young people by offering supported pathways (traineeships and apprenticeships) in a vibrant and culturally relevant hospitality environment. The goal is to progress young people’s employability within the commercial restaurant so that over time they can make a successful transition to open employment.
Charcoal Lane serves up a contemporary menu which is seasonally driven and draws on the best of native Australian food which passionately tell the story of native ingredients whilst paying respect to Australian culture, land and environment. 
Chefs tasting plate featuring Indigenous flavours of Australia

We loved the carefully considered pairing of flavour combinations that made the experience both interesting and very enjoyable. 
Wild harrisa spiced wallaby loin - Aspen skordallia, quinoa, pumpkin and pomegranate salad 

The Wild harrisa spiced wallaby loin was a dish of complex but well balanced flavours.  The wallaby was perfectly cooked with delicious flavours that were further enhanced by the subtle sweetness of the spiced pumpkin puree.  The fruity acidity of pomegranate and the restrained savouriness of skordallia introduced further layers of complexity.  
Paperbark smoked salmon-seared Scallops, baby bok choy, Yabbie bisque sauce, red centre lime caviar

The smoked salmon carried a rich depth of flavour - its subtle smokiness allowing the underlying taste of the salmon to be enjoyed.  The scallops were beautifully seared and the Yabbie bisque sauce added a lovely finishing touch.
Native spiced blackened emu fillet- Baba ghanoush, broccolini wild tamarind and coastal succulents

The emu fillet was very tender - a superbly executed dish highlighted by the quality of the meat and the excellence of its preparation. The accompaniments to the steak were similarly well-executed – baba ghanoush was perfectly seasoned, and the wild tamarind provided a thoroughly enjoyable freshness. 
Strawberry gum panna cotta- Davidson plum coulis and peppermint gum Ganache

The panna cotta was silky smooth - just barely holding its shape, it was quivering on the plate. We enjoyed the playful strawberry gum flavour and the tartness of the plum coulis which balanced the sweetness of the panna cotta.
Wattleseed chocolate marquise Riberry compote and Nougat semifreddo

The Wattleseed chocolate marquise was a decadent end to our meal. It was a dessert that would have delighted any chocolate lover.
Charcoal Lane presents delicious native Australian-inspired food with a menu that proudly showcases the incredible array of fruits, vegetables and herbs Australia has to offer. More importantly, it provides a truly wonderful experience where you are able to take part in an enterprise that seeks to provide Aboriginal and other at risk young people a truly life-changing experience. 

Location: 136 Gertrude St  Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9418 3400
Cuisine: Native Australian

Charcoal Lane on Urbanspoon

Upcoming events: Gastronomique | Piper Street Food Co | Melb Wine Awards | Spins & Spritz | Project Botanicals | Peter Gilmore’s App | Heartattack and Vine

Over 25 of Victoria’s finest chefs will unite under one roof for Gastronomique, Anglicare Victoria’s gala food and wine charity night which supports vulnerable children to create a unique evening of food and wine.
The chefs will be donating their time, produce and expertise to cook for over 500 people at the Peninsula, Central Pier, Docklands on November 12.
Chefs taking part include: Adam D’Sylva from Coda and Tonka, Scott Pickett from Estelle, Joe Grbac from Saint Crispin, Gabriele Olivieri from Bottega, Oliver Gould from Stokehouse, Perry Schagen from The Graham, Colin Wood from Cumulus Inc, Tony Twitchett from Taxi Kitchen, Olimpia Bortolotto and Daniel Kranjcic from Cecconi’s Flinders Lane, Barry Davis from Montalto, Mathew Macartney from Eleonore’s at Chateau Yering, Nicky Riemer from Union Dining, Ludo Baulacky from Oscar W’s, Daniel Wilson from Huxtable, Stuart Bell from Ten Minutes by Tractor, Geoff Lindsay from Dandelion, Sonia Anthony from Masons of Bendigo, Andy Harmer from The Point, Matt Germanchis and Emma Bottos from Pei Modern, Brad Simpson from The Smith, Matt Dempsey from Gladioli and Donovan Cooke from The Atlantic Restaurant. 
Gastonomique is a special event where Victorian chefs unite for Victorian children. It is an unmissable night for people who love food, wine and want to support the State’s most vulnerable children.

Gastonomique is Anglicare Victoria’s major annual fundraising event and one of Australia’s biggest charity nights. Previously known as Dinner with the Angels, the gala evening includes signature dishes, fine wine and entertainment. 
What: Gastronomique
Date: Wednesday 12 November 2014
Time: 6:30pm – 11.45pm
Venue: Peninsula, Central Pier, 161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Melbourne
Costs: $300.00 AUD per person
Public enquiries:
Phone: (03) 9412 6157

Piper Street Food Co. has expanded
Kyneton’s award winning charcuterie Piper St Food Co recently announced it’s brand new expansion.

After nearly 4 years of creating an award winning range of pates, terrines, rillettes, pies and sausages for top restaurants, delis, food stores and caterers, Damian & Bryanna Sandercock are officially launching their 7 day a week café, sourdough bakery, picnic shop and cooking school.
Their award winning range of charcuterie will take pride of place alongside:
  • our purpose built cooking school – featuring a brand new AGA!
  • a range of traditional sourdough breads
  •  a 7 day a week café
  • new kitchens including a temperature controlled butcher’s kitchen and a baker’s kitchen
For more information visit

Melb Wine Awards - Uncorked Friday 24th Oct
Melbourne wine enthusiasts will have their chance to taste their way through the best wines in Australia at the RMWA Uncorked.

Uncorked is the only event where the public can taste medal-winning wines from the 2014 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) in one place, just one week after the winners are revealed.

Winning wines from regional Victorian wine shows will also be on offer.

The RMWA, conducted by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), promotes excellence in winemaking and recognises outstanding achievement in the pursuit of quality. The rigorous judging process is conducted by a panel of local and international judges, sommeliers, writers, buyers, retailers and media. With more than 3,000 entries, winning an award at the RMWA establishes a wine as one of the very best – making for an easy consumer guide in wine selection.

Entry includes unlimited tastings and a take home Riedel wine glass as well as the most recent edition of James Halliday’s Wine Companion magazine.

Participants will enjoy discovering the best wines in the country accompanied by live music and delicious street food, delivering a Friday night drinking and dining experience like no other.

Taste your way through Australia’s best wines by varietal, journeying through the spectrum, from Australia’s best Chardonnay and Riesling right through to Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and everything in between.

Well regarded sommelier, wine writer and RMWA Committee Member Matt Skinner says, “For the last 130 years the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards have showcased the diversity and excellence of Australian wines. Uncorked allows the public to taste what our judges have had the privilege of tasting and awarding and celebrate all of the winners in one fantastic public event.”

Regional wine shows taking part in this year’s Uncorked event include Geelong, Heathcote, Gippsland, Rutherglen and the Victorian Wine Shows.

What: RMWA Uncorked
When: Friday, October 24th 6pm-10pm
Where: Collins Place, 4/45 Collins Street Melbourne
Cost: $50
Buy tickets:


Spins & Spritz Launch Party @ Royal Saxon

The warmer months are coming up fast and Saxon Sundays are back...
The guys at the Saxon will buy your first Spritz for the season if fedoras and sunshine aren't enough reason!

Read more about Royal Saxon here

Bombay Sapphire’s Project Botanicals
Project Botanicals is a celebration of Australia’s continued love affair with gin, presented by Bombay Sapphire.
Project Botanicals is a distinctly different pop-up bar, which launched on November 19, 2014. Inspired by the world of gin botanicals, Bombay Sapphire Brand Ambassador, Sean Forsyth and Chef Gary Mehigan have crafted a unique bar and dining experience for Melburnians, pairing botanically led cocktails to gastronomy.
The menu at Project Botanicals will feature 10 botanically inspired Bombay Sapphire cocktails with 10 matching tapas style dishes.
  • Open for three weeks only from 19 November through until 6 December
  • Sittings available from 6pm-1am Wednesday to Saturday evenings 
  • Held at the newly established warehouse location of 64 Sutton Street, North Melbourne
  • Tickets are $35 per person (plus booking fee) and include two cocktails and two  matched dishes.
Visit for further details and to purchase tickets.

Peter Gilmore’s new App for iPad now available in the App Store

Peter Gilmore’s new App for iPad is now available in the App Store.

The app is a rich digital extension to his new book, Organum and explores the stories behind 8 handpicked dishes through Peter's network of producers and unique ingredients, from concept to finished plate. Told through stunning layers of interactive visuals and audio.

The project is a joint venture between digital agency Pollen, award-winning creative director Reuben Crossman, photographer Brett Stevens and Peter Gilmore of Quay Restaurant.

Learn more about the app here

Heartattack and Vine launches
Gastrology recently attended the launch of Heartattack and Vine, the new restaurant venture from the team behind Wide Open Road and A Minor Place (Hootan Heyderi and Jono Hill) and two of their long-term employees (Nathen Doyle and Emily Bitto) . 

Unlike their cafés, Heartattack and Vine will be an all day operation – from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week – and will offer a contemporary take on the Venetian cicchetti bar. Think a light breakfast with excellent espresso; a quick, hearty lunch of traditional Roman street food (porchetta straight out of the oven served on a warm ciabatta roll); and long, relaxed evenings over aperitifs, good wine and cicchetti, the Italian-style bar food traditionally served in Venice, made fresh from local ingredients daily. 

Heartattack and Vine on Urbanspoon

Generation Moustache Marches Into Town for 2013

Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on guys around the globe every November, in a united movement to support men's health. Committing their top lip for 30 hairy days, Mo Bros effectively become walking talking billboards and through their Mo growing efforts, raise vital funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
Movember will mark its eleventh year in 2013. What started as a simple idea to spark change, forged among mates whilst having a beer at a pub one sunny afternoon in Melbourne, has since grown to become the world's largest men's health movement. 

Movember’s not just for men. The women of Movember are known as Mo Sistas. They play a vital role in the success of Movember by supporting and encouraging the men in their life to get involved. Mo Sistas also get involved by signing up at, and participate by raising funds and awareness themselves. Essentially, Mo Sistas do everything that Mo Bros do, without a Mo. More than 1.1 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participated across 21 countries in 2012, raising AUD $141.5 million to support world-class men’s health programs!

Gen Mo...

2013 is introducing the concept of Generation Moustache, or Gen Mo, which stands for one thing; 
change. Members of Gen Mo are modern revolutionaries; they have a voice and they have something to say. The Mo Bros and Mo Sistas of Gen Mo don’t just accept responsibility, they welcome it. 

The road less traveled will be their path and, united under one flag, they will not stop until they are heard. Pledging their allegiance to the Mo, spreading positive health messages and empowering men with information and tools to take action for a healthier, better life.

To join the Gen Mo movement, visit the re-launched Movember website

Upcoming Event: Garage Sale Block Party

Melbourne's premier selection of 'new school' food and beverage vendors will join forces on Saturday 26th October to raise awareness for orphaned or abandoned children as part of the 2013 Garage Sale Trail in Stuart Street, Melbourne CBD.

In collaboration with the Mirabel Foundation, a range of Melbourne's best and upcoming food and retail vendors including Wonderbao, Roll'd, Hero Subs, Gong Cha Tea and the Beer Gypsies, will bust their stuff all day Saturday 26th October from 10am-4pm.

The day will be made complete with live art installations by Melbourne's Street Art Collective and Melbourne's top DJs will be spinning old and new school hip hop to keep the day popping.

Location: 1 Stewart Street, Melbourne 3000
Contact details: 0421 128 914 or
When: Saturday 26 October 2013 from 10am to 4pm
Price: A gold coin donation on entry with all funds raised going to the Mirabel Foundation.

Event: Claremont Tonic opens its doors to raise funds for Think Pink

Claremont Tonic will open its doors tomorrow (30th April 2013) to hand out complimentary dishes to raise funds for Melbourne based charity Think Pink and showcase its new lunchtime offering.
From 12:00pm to 2:00pm commuters, local workers, residents and the like will have the chance to check out the fresh new dishes, designed by recently appointed chef Sean Judd, including his roasted pumpkin miso ramen, barramundi green curry and grilled chicken rice bowl. 
Claremont Tonic is handing the power the the people, asking them what they believe the dishes are worth once the meal has been savoured, with their donations based on the level of enjoyment.
All proceeds from the Open Day will go to Melbourne based charity Think Pink.

Claremont Tonic on Urbanspoon