Shake off winter and celebrate the abundance of the season at some of Castlemaine’s best (and newest) eateries.
Theatre Royal Castlemaine
Head chef Sarah Curwen-Walker describes Spring food as fresh and colourful. “Everything is lighter, brighter and more fragrant.”
A Spring menu must is the pan fried gnocchi with fresh spring vegetables like broad beans, peas, asparagus and the spectacular romanesco cauliflower and served with fresh horseradish, mint, mascarpone and garnished with beautiful pink and purple pea blossoms.
Freshness is key at this time of year so Sarah suggests making the most of our wonderful farmers markets and buying ingredients straight from the source.
Visit this Spring for pizza and wine specials, new films and exciting live music. Follow them on Instagram @bistrolola @theatreroyalcastlemaine on Facebook @theatreroyalcastlemaine or call 03 5472 1196.
Bress Wine, Cider & Produce
Founder and Head Wine and Cider Maker, Adam Marks, describes Spring food as fresh and life affirming.
Broad beans are a favourite ingredient. Delicious raw, lightly blanched or cooked in the pod and a perfect match for another Spring staple, the Bress Kitchen overnight wood fire roasted 2 tooth lamb shoulder, which is served on a bed of broad beans sautéed in the lamb jus.
“I love lamb and with all the fresh grass about Spring lamb, and particularly 2-tooth lamb, has great flavour,” says Adam.
Join Adam for lunch on the last weekend of each month from October, starting with their fabulous spit roasted pork.
Each day the enticing display cabinet at Fig is filled with mouth watering, freshly baked cakes and pastries, platters laden with salads of seasonal vegetables and grains, and savoury delights.
Fresh is everything and the influences are broad, reflective of modern eating. Julia Bandelli, who co-owns the business with her mother Victoria Falconer, says as the season changes their menu moves away from roasted dishes to lighter foods like salads and raw foods.
The edame tartine, a charred sourdough base topped with vibrant green Japanese peas and drizzled with fresh olive oil screams Spring and raw or lightly pickled vegetable like zucchini and cauliflower deliver great flavour and texture.
“With the start of Spring comes the promise of delicious things like tomatoes, basil and stone fruit,” says Julia. “That’s the great thing about seasonal eating.”
Togs Place & Mulberrys Delicatessen
Known for great coffee and homemade food Togs Place is a family-friendly café with a roof top deck that’s one of the best spots in town on a sunny Spring morning.
The menu changes daily and in Spring it’s out with casseroles and in with dishes like pasta prima vera, light Spring minestrone soup and zingy Vietnamese chicken salad.
Next door is Mulberrys Delicatessen, stocking Australian and European cheeses, meats, house made products like chutneys and biscuits and eclectic gifts.
Manager Cas Davey’s pick for Spring is local soft goat cheese from small producers like Holy Goat in Sutton Grange.
“The goats have just kidded so the milk is abundant, sweet and light and this makes for a really delicious cheese,” she says. “Try pairing it with our smoked Harris Gravlax and New Zealand Oat Crackers for your next Spring party.”
Spring has brought a new American-inspired family-friendly eatery to Castlemaine. Cadillac Shack is the vision of Castlemaine locals, Graeme and Gilda Ayerst, who have transformed the Mostyn Street premises into a 100-seat diner.
Featuring burgers, ribs, fries, salads, sundaes, shakes and a range of freak-shakes (extreme milk shakes) as well as a more extensive international menu. The range of burgers on the menu was voted the best in Melbourne by The Age Good Food Guide 2014/15.
“One of our business partners runs a very successful restaurant in outer Melbourne and their award-winning burger range has been included on our menu,” says Graeme.
We can’t wait to try.