It was just a few weeks ago that Jason Jones (Prix Fixe, The Stables of Como, Friends of Mine, Porgie & Mr Jones) and Joseph Abboud (Rumi, The Moor’s Head) bumped into each other on the main drag of Hepburn Springs. Jones had just taken over the lease of a cafe and asked Abboud to join him on the venture.
“My first reaction was, No, I’ve got too much on already…my wife will kill me and my kids will hate me,” Abboud laughs. Fast forward three weeks and the two are ready to open their 40-seater, all-day Middle Eastern-style cafe in regional Victoria’s spa country. “Jason is very good at making things happen,” Abboud smiles.
With an existing wood-fire oven left over from previous tenants, Abboud is coordinating the menu with the Turkish-styled pizza that is his Moor’s Head signature. He says there will also be adaptations of dishes from Rumi such as chicken wings with toum (Lebanese garlic paste), baked barramundi with carrot and tahini puree and breakfast dishes such as shakshuka with eggplant from the Moor’s Head South menu.
With three venues back in Melbourne and a new brewery set to open early in 2015 in Reservoir, Abboud says he’ll be at Moor Please regularly, but explains there is “a very capable crew there to take care of the day-to-day.” This team includes head chef Gerard Phelan (ex-Lakehouse and The Atlantic) and venue manager Tristan Fraser (ex-The Argus, Peppers and Cumulus Inc.).
Moor Please is Jones and Abboud’s first regional venture. Jones, who is originally from Gippsland, has bought a property in the area, and says that he and his partner have been going up to the Daylesford/Hepburn Springs area for years and have fallen in love with it.
79 Hepburn Road, Hepburn Springs
(03) 5348 2221
Thurs to Mon 8am-10pm
Note: Moor Please will now be opening on Thursday November 6, not Thursday October 30.