Lunch Mon-Fri noon-5pm
No longer just an add-on to the cellar door, Vasse Felix's upstairs restaurant is now a bona-fide attraction in its own right. The dining room's makeover by gun Melbourne designers Hecker Guthrie suggested the pioneering winery was stepping up its food offering: the introduction of a five-course, $85 tasting menu confirms the hunch. While the mini dégustation includes highlights from the carte - the savoury thrills of cured emu in a macadamia and parsnip soup, for instance - its exclusives make the tasting menu a compelling package. Seared triangles of meaty kingfish adorned with house wagyu pancetta and shaved cured egg yolk has flavour to spare; weightless goat's milk crisps atop passionfruit curd and a cookie-crumb rubble polls well for technique and taste. This is polished, contemporary cooking and a perfect accompaniment to the equally progressive handiwork of winemaker Virginia Willcock. Service, pleasingly, is back to its relaxed yet refined best.
tasting menu $85