3460 Frankston-Flinders Road
Merricks VIC 3916
+61 3 5989 8088
Whenever I’m visiting my folks in Melbourne, I like to set aside a day to do a trip out of the city with my friends Aaron and Cathy. Sometimes we’ll hit the Yarra Valley wineries and other times, we’ll head west and end up in Bendigo, Ballarat or Daylesford. The last time we did a day trip, we ended up down the Mornington Peninsula to check out some markets and do a coastal walk.
For lunch, we stopped at Merricks General Wine Store. Although I’d heard so many things about this place (and it’s always getting write-ups in various food guides and what not), I’d actually never been so I was curious to see if it was really that good. The venue itself began life as a general store in the 1920s before becoming a cellar store and bistro for Baillieu and Elgee Park wines – and not to mention, a popular foodie destination.
Although Merricks is open all year ago, I recommend coming during the cool autumn months. They’ll crank up the fireplace so the dining room is nice and cosy. Plus, nothing beats enjoying a charcuterie board filled with the region’s freshest produce and a glass of local wine (read: expect to find lots of Pinot Noir on the menu). French inspired, the menu is full of seasonal dishes all designed to share. Of course, you can order one-plate dishes too if you dislike sharing plates or if you’re here on your own.
Aaron insisted on ordering a burger. Out of all the dishes on the menu that day, the burger was the one that least caught my eye – and quite frankly, I think $28 is steep for a burger and fries. Granted, it came with an Angus grass fed beef patty and we all know that that ain’t cheap. Everything else (caramelised onion, tomato, cheese, lettuce, pickles, mustard and mayo) was fairly pedestrian. That said, Aaron said it was nice – but in the same way manner one would describe a cheaper-but-delicious burger from any decent Melbourne burger restaurant.
The grilled king prawns were Cathy’s suggestion – and we’re glad it made its way to our table. The prawns were cooked in a lovely garlicky tomato sauce that had a hint of spice. Ramping up the protein quota for the dish were some olives, chickpeas and chorizo; all played a significant role in adding some lovely flavour to the dish.
The charcuterie platter was my idea and in hindsight, the board was definitely enough to feed the three of us – especially when I added some yummy salted cod croquettes with aioli ($10) to the mix. The board comprised cold cuts such as Prosciutto Di Parma and salami along with some pickles, olives and crispy bread. My favourite bits, however, were the duck liver parfait with toasted brioche as well as the house made country terrine with local pickled mushrooms. Add a glass or two of Pinot if you’re not the designated driver and you have yourself a lovely meal.
There is no doubt I’ll stop by at Merricks General Wine Store the next time I do a Mornington Peninsula road trip. I’d like to see what sorts of delicious things would appear on the charcuterie platter on my next visit – and perhaps see if I can convince my dining buddies to enjoy a cheese platter with me.