One of Castlemaine’s brightest new lights, Bar Midland offers a set menu of exclusively Victorian produce sourced from small farmers practising organics and bio-dynamics. This is supplemented, says co-owner Loudon Cooper, by producer from the market garden tended by co-owner Alexander Marano at his home in Chewton. Zero-waste techniques are the name of the game in the bar and the kitchen both, with a view towards a more sustainable offering. “No need to order,” says Cooper. “Just sit down, get a drink and have a bit of trust.”
How about a drink?
Our drinks list reflects the same ethos our food menu does – strictly Victorian with a focus on good farming practises. Our wines by the glass will surely have something for everyone – whether it’s a natty skin-contact blanc or a refined old-vine pinot. Our cocktails are where we can really express our ethos through drink, though: Victorian spirits blended with flavours of foraged herbs and fruits. To attempt to waste as little as possible you will see produce used in multiple ways in one drink. Take our Feijoa Cocktail – a blend of fresh feijoa juice, lactofermented feijoa and a spirit infused with the skins of the fruit.
I’m here for a good time not a long time.
Come and have a glass of wine and a snack from the à la carte menu in our bar, The Radio Room. Our full drinks list is available plus a rotating menu of canapés, pasta and dessert.
What if we like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
At Bar Midland we have a focus on vegetables – we serve meat and seafood occasionally, but we always have alternatives to offer a full vegetarian, vegan and even gluten-free menus.
Got anything light and fresh?
With a menu that’s 90 per cent plant-based, you’ll get to the end of seven courses feeling satiated but not weighed down.
Which dish best captures the Midland vibe?
Our final savoury course is the perfect example of our idea – three or four dishes all to be shared amongst the table, all plant based. You’ll see charred romanesco cauliflower, glazed carrots, and vol au vents filled with creamed spigarello and an intense allium stock.
Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for us?
To accompany our seven-course set menu we love leading you through our drinks pairing. You’ll start with a seasonal cocktail – currently a Collins of mandarin spirit, kombucha reduction and a blend of lime, lemon and grapefruit. Then we’ll move on to an array of wines, beers and ciders from Victoria; these can be wild and funky, classic and refined, often serving two wines to one course to give multiple ideas of wine pairing. The home stretch can see some vermouths, late-harvest rieslings and even some dryer sherry-style fortified.
And to close?
Once you’ve made your way to the end of the menu we think the best way to finish is with a little amaro from Beechworth Bitters Co by Michael Ryan – the apéritifs and digestifs are some of the best the world over and are being made right here in Victoria.
For those keen for a break from the booze, we have a range of teas made from local foraged herbs, flowers and waste products, like a tea made from the pulp of juiced plums.
Bar Midland is currently open Friday and Saturday evenings and Saturday lunches offering a set menu of seven courses for $110 per person. The Radio Room is open for drinks, snacks and small plates Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm. Shop 1/2 Templeton St, Castlemaine. Reservations are currently open through to the end of August, barmidland.com/book, instagram.com/bar_midland