Charcoal Lane is the result of a partnership between Mission Australia and the Victorian Aboriginal Health service and has been described as the indigenous version of Jamie Oliver's Fifteen©®™
The aim of Charcoal Lane is, in their own words, "to provide the opportunity for Aboriginal and disadvantaged young people to transform their lives through traineeships and apprenticeships". A highly worthwhile objective I'm sure you'd agree.
The restaurant itself is lovely - clean lines, uncluttered, light and airy with simple yet modern furnishings. The building does date from 1854 but it has adapted well to its renovation. There's also quite a large outside eating area.
Lovely warm bread rolls have an appealing crispness to their crust while the interior remain soft and fluffy.
It has a wow factor and looks and tastes a treat. The rectangle in the center is beetroot jelly and to its left is beetroot ice cream. The salmon is tender and moist and well flavoured.
Very tender octopus which speaks for itself.
This came to the table a little too close to medium but it was still pretty tender and well flavoured - the quality of the meat was evident.
The kangaroo was cooked perfectly, moist & tender.
It's a blood orange cake topped with shortbread biscuit and a very good vanilla ice cream.
Light and refreshing with a great combination of flavours. The cannelloni is made from raspberry jelly and it encases a raspberry mousse - to the side is a superb fruit salad of strawberry and native mint with caramelised rosella flowers
At the moment, Charcoal Lane is still without a liquor license but please don't let that deter you from going - once you taste the food the lack of alcohol shouldn't matter.
136 Gertrude Street
Phone: 03 9418 3400
Lunch: Daily from 12pm to 3pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm to 11pm