This old building on Bell Street has had a few lives. It opened as a bank in the 1800s and since then, it’s been an antique shop, a brewhouse and a residence. These days, it’s the home of Heartswood – one of Yarra Glen’s best dining experiences.
It’s owned by Matt Binney and his partner Bianca Leach. Binney worked as head chef at the acclaimed, now-closed, Merricote.
Heartswood was initially a breakfast-only affair. The Son in Law eggs served with pork belly and roti, and the fried chicken and waffles are unlikely to leave the menu. All of the classic brunch dishes are also available. Coffee is by Dukes Coffee Roasters.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Binney and Leach introduced a dinner service on Fridays and Saturdays. It proved so popular that when lockdowns ended, the pair decided to make it permanent.
The nightime menu is globe-trotting and changeable: empanadas, tapas, steaks and banchan (Korean side dishes) all co-exist happily. It’s a lot of cuisines, but it’s all executed to a high standard.
Wines come mainly from local producers, with a few international players on the list for good measure. A simple fitout shows off the building’s heritage bones, hardwood floors and its centrepiece fireplace. It’s refined, relaxed and inviting.