Our Captain's Log

Now that November has come to an end, the silly season is upon us! Captain Melville had a jam packed month, being involved in many events.

November brought us The Age Good Food Month which ran for the entire month.We participated in a few events such as 'Bar Hop' where for $20 you get a Tanqueray gin inspired cocktail matched with a bar snack from our kitchen.

The bar whipped up a gin inspired cocktail called 'Yoshiaki' with Taqueray gin, elderflower liquor, agave syrup, lemongrass tea and aloe vera juice. The crew in the kitchen liked the lemongrass tea aspect of the cocktail and decided to run with our Bannockburn chicken, coconut, shallot, chilli, kaffir lime on a betel leaf.

The second event we were apart of was ''Good Pub Grub'. When I heard that they wanted pubs to do a Cooper's beer inspired dish, I was very excited, especially since Cooper's is my go to beer of choice! For $25 you get a Cooper's inspired main course dish with a pot of Original Pale Ale (the green one). In the kitchen we decided to use a lot of beer in the cooking process, and came up with sticky lamb ribs with sweetcorn, blackbeans, chipotle and Cooper's dressing. I've included the recipe here:

Cooper's Pale Ale Slow Cooked Sticky Lamb Ribs

with corn, black beans and chipotle and beer dressing

Serves 2

2 x set of lamb ribs
2 x 375ml bottles of Cooper's Pale Ale
1 tsp cooking oil
2 x corn (grilled and cut of the cob)
100g black beans (soaked overnight and cooked till tender)
1/4 bunch of picked coriander
3 x sliced spring onions

Dry Rub

2 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground clove

Chipotle and Beer Dressing

1 tsp chipotle sauce
1 tbsp Cooper's Pale Ale
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 x lemon juiced
100ml olive oil

Tomato Glaze

1 x can pureed tomatoes
1/2 of dry rub mix
50g brown sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp malt vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chipotle sauce


  • Mix all ingredients for the dry rub (saving a tbsp for the tomato glaze)
  • Take the lamb ribs and cut them in half. Rub the Dry Rub all over the meat and place the ribs into a container. Pour all but a splash of Coopers Pale Ale on the ribs and marinate overnight. Take the ribs out of the Cooper's beer marinade, place into cryovac bags with a small ladel of the beer marinade. Cook overnight (10 hours) in a combi oven on steam, at 90c
  • To make the tomato glaze, take all the ingredients, place them into a small saucepan on low heat and reduce slowly till thickened. Set aside when done.
  • To make the Chipotle Beer Dressing, whisk the chipotle, beer and dijon mustard together, add the lemon juice and whisk in the olive oil.
  • To plate this dish, reheat the Cryovac bagged lamb ribs in a boiling pot of water for 4 minutes until the meat is warmed through.
  • Take the ribs out of the bag (discarding the liquid) and place into a deep fryer.
  • Fry for 2 minutes, remove the ribs from the deep fryer and place them on an oven tray. With a pastry brush, coat the ribs with the tomato glaze.
  • Heat a drying pan, add oil and fry off the corn and black beans. Add the coriander, spring onions and take the pan off the heat.
  • Re-whisk the Chipotle Beer Dressing and add enough to coat the corn and black bean mix. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Put the glazed ribs into a hot oven at 200 degrees Celsius until the ribs are hot and the glaze is baked on.
  • Place 2 halved ribs on a plate with a large spoon of dressed corn and black beans. Serve with a Coopers Pale Ale!

Another event that we were a part of was PORKSTAR, which was held as a part of Ham Week from November 10th to 16th.We were asked to create a burger with no beef patty that used Australian ham instead. The team in the kitchen come up with a grilled Aussie smoked ham and bacon burger, with seeded mustard, pickle relish, beer onions, and Monterey Jack cheese. You can check out the Porkstar website to see ours and many of the other hamburgers!

Also, from now till Dec 15th, we are hosting 'Lunch Club' . Along with Sunday Style magazine (The Herald Sun) and Sparkling Apple Juice Appletiser, we are offering three of our most popular small dishes together on one plate for lunch! Western plains pork belly slider, Togarashi soft shell crab with wasabi mayo, and our Mini chicken parmie roll all served together with an Appletiser sparkling apple juice - for just $25.

If that isn't enough, we have started doing $12 counter meals on Monday to Thursday 11:30 to 3pm. We realised that a lot of people in the city are short on time, so we decided to do quick, simple and cheap meals in the front bar for people that have to go back to work quickly... Think, chicken caesar, cheeseburger, fish & chips and parmie roll with chips and salad.

Last but not least, we have opened a cocktail bar upstairs at Captain Melville called Loch and Key, and it's open Wednesday to Sunday from 5pm till very late. I got a chance to trial one of the brand new cocktails - The Vasa Oasis with Tromba tequild, pineapple, coconut reduction, lime and angostura bitters. It was delicious and perfect for the summer to come!

We have a lot more coming up in December and in the new year - stay tuned!

Shayne McCallum
Head Chef