Highline | The Verdict

By Pip Jarvis
5th May 2015

You probably think we get spoilt at The Urban List, constantly invited to sample the menus at Melbourne’s best restaurants. Not to rub it in… but you’d be correct. So much so that some of us have become pretty discerning, nay, hard to impress.

Which is why you should get excited about one of our fave newbies on the Melbourne dining scene, Highline Restaurant at The Railway Hotel. We don’t recommend just anything and this one’s good. Real good. We were actually kind of blown away…

We dropped by on a recent Friday to find a chic, culinary oasis tucked away on the top floor of The Railway Hotel in Windsor. A soothing, calm space of pale timber, greys and driftwood accents, you feel far removed from the end-of-week revelers on the pub’s large deck.

Aesthetics and ambience aside, Highline offers some of the most exciting food we’ve tried in this year. We’re calling it, Listers— this just may be the most under-the-radar, affordable fine dining experience in Melbourne!

If you’re a picky eater, there is an a la carte menu that’s sure to please. But really, you’d be mad not to go for the Chef’s Selection option, coming in at a very reasonable $65 per person. The ultimate farm to plate experience, Highline uses the very best of seasonal produce sourced from local growers and The Railway’s own farm, Oak Valley, overlooking the Goulburn Valley. From this bounty, Highline Chef, Simon Tarlington (23-year-old ex-Quay wunderkind) is creating some seriously impressive dishes.

After tucking into farmhouse snacks including salami and a delicious take on oysters Kilpatrick (even for oyster haters like me!), and a delicate, soupy prawn and bean dish, things got really exciting. Appearing on the menu as “variety of tomatoes, fresh curd, strawberry-olive”, this dish might not sound like much, but this was quite possibly the Highline highlight for me.

A decent-sized heirloom tomato is stuffed with goat’s curd and cherry tomatoes, sitting on a mouth-watering olive crumb, finished with strawberry vinegar. The textures, the ooze of the curd, the sweet tomatoes and savoury crumb—this bad boy’s a sensory experience not to miss. Simple and sensational. (And totally Insta-worthy).

Another standout was the Oak Valley lamb, peas, late harvest orange and thyme jam. If you like lamb, you’ll drool over this innovative dish, which includes an impressive selection of lamb-y cuts and components, including lamb bacon. Yup, it’s a thing, and it’s darn delicious.

We rounded the meal out with Oak Valley beef with veggies and native pepper berry sauce, and the decadent Choc Mandarin Obsession for dessert.

If you haven’t already, Listers, it’s time you experienced the high life at Highline at The Railway Hotel. It won’t disappoint.

Image Credits: Simon Shiff for The Urban List

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