Discreetly chic... Bacash.
Discreetly chic... Bacash. Photo: Supplied

175 Domain Road South Yarra, Victoria 3141

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Opening hours Mon-Fri noon-3pm, Mon-Sat 6pm-10pm
Features Accepts bookings, Business lunch, Licensed, Long lunch, Outdoor seating, Private dining, Romance-first date, Views, Gluten-free options, Vegetarian friendly, Wheelchair access, Events
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Michael Bacash
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9866 3566

There’s something fishy going on in this elegant dining room looking across to the Botanic Gardens, and it’s got a lot to do with the King Neptune of chefs, owner Michael Bacash, a pioneering crusader for better seafood. These days it’s the good burghers of the Domain precinct who have this as their extended kitchen, and they come for the discreetly chic surrounds, the prestige wine list, and the professional service. When it comes to the menu, you can go simple (fish of the day, green salad, fries), sophisticated (garfish-and-prawn nori rolls quickly crisped in the deep fryer) or sumptuous (benchmark spaghetti marinara slippery with extra-virgin olive oil and chock-full of prawns, scallops, calamari and mussels). The menu is delightfully varied: plump scallops beneath crisp, maple-sweetened pancetta; snapper prinked with sumac and tahini. Down the deep end of dinner, desserts excel. Souffle is a signature, but chocolate mousse with salted caramel is a challenger worth angling for.

And … The fishmonger on the wall is painted by Allan Wolf-Tasker, co-owner of Daylesford’s Lake House.

Vibe A (very) South Yarra stalwart.
Best bit Sparkling fresh seafood.
Worst bit The rear dining area lacks the panache of the front.