Lunch Fri-Sun noon-3pm;
Dinner Mon-Thu 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sun 5.30pm-10pm
"Come in for good times." The flagstone out front doesn't lie: three years on, The Town Mouse remains the toast of Melbourne, an assuming space of tiled walls and timbered courtyard where the standard of service, food and wine always delights. The fun starts with just-baked sourdough, the crust chewy and lightly charred, with lovage butter, and profiteroles spiked with goat's cheese and honey from hives behind the back fence. Plates are small but perfectly formed: cold-smoked kingfish in sourdough miso; beef tartare tumbled with saltbush; a tomato salad laced with pungent basils and fennel breadcrumbs. Perceptive staff are full bottle on wines - tell them what style you fancy and they'll rattle off the (often natural, organic and bio) options. The enduring success of Dave Verheul's menu is that it's on-trend but never trite. One lick of the goat's milk ice-cream topped with salted lavender caramel will silence any doubters.
Photography: Eve Wilson.
tasting menu $65