What can you do to amuse yourself on a rare day off work on a Monday (in this case the day between the weekend and the Melbourne Cup horses running in circles thing? Go somewhere nice for lunch of course, and with limited options for enticing places that open on Mondays, the bistro at the newly refurbished Builders Arms seemed the place to be.
The girlfriend and I started with some of the entrees: whipped cod roe, olive toasts with anchovies and crudité with smoked curd and pomegranate molasses (further below). These were all pleasing, but the mains were better: we shared the fish pie with smoked trout and prawns and the snapper with black rice and cuttlefish (below). Both are outstanding.
The fitout seems spacious and comfortable and my only criticism is of the wine list, which by the glass has more imported wines than local ones, which made choosing difficult because, as a locaholic, I prefer to drink local wine. The Jamsheed riesling was therefore the best choice, and it’s a fantastic wine.
The room was nearly full with gen X locals and an older, curiously unfashionable contingent that I was confused by until the girlfriend whispered to me ‘look at all the horse people’. Then I understood. They were in town for the horses running circles thing and wanted to go somewhere good for lunch. So they did have some taste I suppose. I’d far prefer to spend money on a good lunch than gambling.