This Week in Food: Victoria’s only rum distillery opens its doors + Kate tries a restaurant Ross has been raving about

By Kate Stevenson


How’s this for a first? Victoria’s only rum distillery has opened in an industrial estate in Dromana. JimmyRum is the brainchild of head distiller and owner James McPhearson, who distilled his first bottle of rum 18 months ago after an extensive “research” trip that saw him visit seventy distilleries around the world in 3 months. The venue features a great bar, where they are serving up rum takes on the classics – like an Espresso Rumtini, Rum Old Fashioned or Daiquiri. Plus, on Saturdays there’ll be a rotating roster of food trucks and live music to fill the venue, plus a simple standing menu of toasties and local charcuterie.


Hawker 88 is back at the Queen Vic Market, that’s their Asian night market series which will run on Wednesday nights for six weeks, with changing weekly themes. Look out for 9th October when they go all Filipino with a Borocay theme … I’m hoping lechon and boodle fights are on the menu! It’s on Wednesday nights from 18 Sept until 23 Oct, entry is free and you can buy your food and drinks.


Social Enterprise Scarf this week started their final residency for 2019, taking over Garden State Hotel in the CBD each Tuesday night until November 26. With the support of experienced hospitality mentors, and head chef Jeremy Sutphin, young Scarf trainees will run the front of house, offering a two-course set menu at $45 per head. Impressively, Garden State Hotel has employed six Scarf graduates over the past three years.


Seaside fave Sebastian is planning a seafood feast in collaboration with Red Coral Seafood. Chef Leigh Robbins will take advantage of ethically-sourced produce to put up four courses of pintxos, small plates, large plates and dessert for $90 per person (extra for matched drinks). It’s all happening the evening of Tuesday 22nd October.


I finally got in to eat at Saxe Kitchen this week, after rave reviews from Ross. He’s right. From fun moderns snacks, to rich French dishes, it’s a menu that you could easily work your way through, and the service there is second to none. We adored the potato flatbreads with pancetta and green tomato; the kedgeree fritters; and the Coq au Vin was to die for. And Ross warned me I should not leave without trying the mushroom croquettes with comte and jam – what a revelation!