A restaurant, a pub, a bearer of grilled calamari stuffed with breadcrumbs and dried fruit, Amphlett House is the high-low dame of upper Little Bourke Street. Opened in late 2022, a recent stroke of good recruiting means dinner at Amphlett is now cooked by chef Zac Shearer, whose food you might know from The Lincoln and French Saloon, and overseen by French Saloon co-owner, Ian Curley, Amphlett's culinary consultant.

From Yorkshire pudding topped with caviar to a classic dry-aged porterhouse, here’s what to order when you arrive, according to Mr Shearer.

How about a drink?
The Limoncello Spritz is a personal favourite; it reminds me of hot European summers. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with anything from our new wine list; we have some great Australian producers on there.

Name the dish that captures the essence of what you’re cooking at Amphlett House.
My favourite is the locally sourced grilled calamari stuffed with breadcrumbs, dried fruits, pine nuts, capers and fennel. Having dishes like these on the menu at Amphlett House has allowed me to introduce some of my Tasmanian upbringing. Growing up, my father was a deep-sea fisherman, so my love of seafood stemmed from that. Tasmania is also great at showcasing local produce and vegetables, and this is what I am focusing on at Amphlett House.

My second would be the mini Yorkshire puddings that are served with caviar. These are new additions to the menu and capture what Amphlett House is all about: simple, refined food sourced locally.

What’s your favourite part of the venue?
This has to be the front window fitted with lounges and armchairs overlooking Little Bourke Street. It’s the ideal afternoon spot to sit with a drink and a bar snack and watch the passing parade.

What would you recommend for someone who’s popping in for something smallish?
My go-to bar snack is the duck parfait eclair served with Cumberland jelly and hazelnut. This has a lovely, elegant vibe, whilst remaining simple and tasty.

And what if we’re at Amphlett House to go big. How would you go large with a gang?
We would begin with a round of caviar and mini Yorkshire puddings, followed by canapés to snack on whilst the drinks are flowing. We would follow this with items from the grill such as the dry-aged porterhouse steak or the grilled calamari which are both crowd favourites and great for sharing.

How about those of us who don’t eat animals? What’s good?
I have three top picks for this. I personally love the corn ribs with za’atar butter and lime. These are packed with flavour, and easy to eat with your hands. The portion size is also generous, making it the perfect choice for sharing or even eating solo.

I would also recommend the house-made gnocchi with nettle pesto, spring greens, smoked walnuts and gremolata. The combination of soft and pillowy gnocchi paired with fresh nettle pesto creates a well-balanced dish, ideal for the warmer weather.

Lastly, the charred asparagus and spring onion dish with tahini dressing and pickled garlic shoots is a great accompaniment to any main.

And to close?
You can’t go past the crème brûlée with pistachio biscotti; the combination of velvety brûlée and crunchy, nutty biscotti is a harmonious way to finish your meal.

Amphlett House, 19 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, open 3pm-11pm Tue-Thu, noon-11pm Fri, 3pm-11pm Sat, (03) 8692 0780, amphletthouse.com.au, @amphletthouse