Nearly two years after news broke that Pastuso chef Alejandro Saravia was opening a three-storey paddock-to-plate diner at 80 Collins – a multimillion-dollar development of a heritage-listed CBD building – we finally have an opening date.
Farmer’s Daughters – an ode to the community behind Gippsland’s rich food and beverage scene, for which Saravia is an official ambassador – is opening on January 28.
“I like to give back to the community. It’s what Farmer’s Daughters is about as well. It’s not just to take, but to work together as a community to embrace beautiful Gippsland and the people,” he told Broadsheet in 2019.
Up until now, Farmer’s Daughters has existed in the form of pop-ups and special events centred around the paddock-to-plate concept. At 80 Collins, the ground floor will host a more casual dining experience as well as a gourmet deli and retail pantry stocked with regional produce. Expect dishes such as poached Baw Baw alpine trout and rolls with house-made beef-cheek pastrami.
Upstairs in the restaurant proper, a more formal dining experience will showcase the diversity of the region’s landscape and agriculture, with an open kitchen fuelled by charcoal and wood. And the rooftop is meant to be an oasis in the city, with signature cocktails using a bespoke vermouth with Gippsland botanicals by Maidenii and an expertly curated list of beers, including a collaboration with Stomping Ground. Diners will be surrounded by native Mountain Pepper trees and herb gardens.
Saravia and head chef David Boyle (ex-Pastuso) have designed the expansive menu to work with only fresh, seasonal produce that’s supplied directly from the growers.
When it opens, Farmer’s Daughters will join opulent cocktail bar Nick and Nora’s as one of 80 Collins’s flagship venues. Society – the ambitious new venture from Chris Lucas, Martin Benn and Vicki Wild – is scheduled to open in late March 2021.
Farmer’s Daughters is opening at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne on January 28.
Additional reporting by Nick Buckley