With a footnote about each kind of produce being carefully selected from various farms, there’s also a mention that chef, Alric Hansen, collects herbs on morning dog walks around his property. Quaint enough – you know I love that stuff.
The Crimean, on the corner of Peel and Queensberry Streets in North Melbourne, is a venture between Melissa Macfarlane, Frank Moylan, and Lazlo Evenhuis. Together, Macfarlane and Moylan had previously established the Farmers Arms in Daylesford and the Royal George in Kyneton. During their time at the Farmers Arms, the pair were instrumental in establishing Daylesford Macedon Produce, a food-centric collaboration and network of producers, growers, providores, suppliers, and restaurateurs promoting their regions’ offerings. These guys are thus no strangers to sourcing produce at its origins, and it’s through this particular Eastern Euro, Black Sea-inspired theme, that they proffer some of Australia’s best regional produce.
It’s still pretty rare to come across this kind of upfront information restaurants. For me, that openness rates highly, as I’m increasingly mindful and hence choosy about what I eat, particularly meat. Finding quality and affordable dining with a conscience can be a bit tricky, which is really why I wanted to share this place with you all. It’s great to see establishments this genuine about the way they source meat, selecting from small and manageable, high quality farms. The Waechter Dux ducks come from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, where they roam vineyards and fruit orchards and snack on Barossa-grown grains. The Gippsland Moondarra Wagyu is used to create a sensationally in-house cured pastrami. The Berkshire pork comes from Strathfieldsaye near Bendigo, and Glenloth provide the corn fed, truly free-range, roaming chickens from the Mallee region of North Eastern Victoria. Vegies come from the rich soils of Kyneton, north-west of Melbourne. Each of these producers place great emphasis on sustainable, responsible farming practices and providing the best care for animals.
Having since visited The Crimean a few times, I’ve had a chance to sample a good portion of the menu, but I’m not here to write some kind of review if it all. (Yet, I still have to say that the beef & pork pelmeni with sour cream, paprika butter and horseradish are just ridiculously addictive, and thankfully you can get them both at the bar and in the restaurant.) There’s plenty in the way of vego options too, and some visually spectacular salads and starters, as you can see here. The bar menu holds some local brews from Hargreaves Hill, Bridge Road and 3 Ravens, alongside the more foreign and extensive assortment of brews, spirits and wines. I’ll be grabbing a Beton after work some day soon; this Becherovka and tonic beverage is far more refreshing than its concrete namesake lets on!
The interior is also awesomely decked out, so go check it. And say hi to Frank for me.
The Crimean Restaurant & Bar, Tuesday – Sunday. Lunch: Fri – Sun.
P.S. We’ll be announcing our next giveaway on Friday. In the meantime, be sure to hear about it by signing up to our newsletter. x