Just Open: Fig, Castlemaine

Sweet potato and macadamia nut fritters, with coriander dipping sauce.
Sweet potato and macadamia nut fritters, with coriander dipping sauce. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Just before Vicky Falconer opened Fig cafe with daughter Julia Bandelli she gave a warning. "I said to Julia, 'You do know I run a business like I'm having a dinner party every night, don't you?'"

Julia was well aware of her mother's passion for food and feeding people well.

"Mum is an amazing cook," she says. "I used to go to primary school in Frankston with schnitzel Mum had bought from the Jewish butcher in Caulfield, while the other kids were having peanut butter sandwiches."

Inside Fig cafe in Castlemaine.
Inside Fig cafe in Castlemaine. Photo: Chris Hopkins

The duo has created Fig, a charming French provincial-style cafe in Castlemaine, which opened a couple of weeks ago.

Their menu highlights beautifully paired seasonal flavours, perhaps smoked salmon on char-grilled rye with fennel and dill, a ham hock and chicken terrine with cornichons and sourdough toasts, or sweet potato, mustard greens and macadamia nut fritters with coriander dipping sauce.

Those with a sweet tooth will have to make some hard decisions while lingering in front of the brimming glass cabinet.

Fig Cafe owners Vicky Falconer (seated) and Julia Bandelli.
Fig Cafe owners Vicky Falconer (seated) and Julia Bandelli. Photo: Chris Hopkins

"Nothing gives you a better buzz than someone sticking their head in the kitchen and saying, 'Your food was fabulous'," says Vicky.

And judging from the locals' response to Fig, that buzz is here to stay.

Open Wed-Sat 8.30am-4pm.

31 Templeton Street, Castlemaine, 03 5472 5311, figcastlemaine.com.au