Chef Matt Germanchis (ex-Pei Modern, Movida) and his partner, front-of-house star Gemma Gange (Pei Modern, Stokehouse, Jacques Reymond) were looking for a relaxed project outside of Melbourne. They landed at the Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club in early 2016, which explains why retired kayaks rest in the rafters and the walls are still lined with old photographs of club members and the beach below.
The duo named its restaurant after notorious bushranger Andrew “Captain Moonlite” Scott. Before he was hanged in 1880, Scott broke out of jail in Ballarat, taking four other inmates with him. He was also said to be romantically involved with his gang’s second-in-command, James Nesbitt.
Germanchis’s fresh, simple menu doesn’t reflect that history. It’s more coastal Mediterranean, with grilled saganaki and figs; cheese and biscuits; and tzatziki with pita bread all on the starters menu. For mains, there’s snapper fillet, slow-roasted lamb and fish and chips. The loose Greek theme is looser still at dessert, where the stars are salted-caramel doughnuts and chocolate sorbet with fresh passionfruit.
The succinct wine and beer lists are more faithful to the bushranger’s legacy – every label is sourced from Victoria, apart from Corona. But this is the beach, after all – something you won’t soon forget as you take in the expansive views of Anglesea beach from the Mediterranean-style deck, complete with a staircase that leads directly onto the shore.
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