South Yarra’s Domain Road has slowly been undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in the past few years and this has been cemented with the arrival of Gilson shortly before Christmas.
From the impressively creative team behind Mammoth and Touchwood cafes, comes their latest venture; a bistro restaurant. Finding home where Café Domain resided for the past 25 years, the venue has been completely gutted before being fitted with a luxe, interior that gives off a very cool calm and collected vibe.
Gilson is a venue of many talents, dishing up breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as being the perfect spot for after work drinks (that’s just boasting, isn’t it?!) We can’t quite work out what origin the menu has—there are touches of Italian, French and modern Australian, so it doesn’t really matter.
Interestingly, the menu is segregated into menu A, B, and C, according to the time of day, but really this is just a fancy way of presenting your stock standard three meals a day.
Breakfast is a hearty affair with plenty of eggy options, as well as the now-customary lighter options such as chia pudding and granola as well as banana pancakes. We’re suckers for something with a pinch of spice so the baked eggs are our go-to. Gilson’s version comes with cavolo nero, ricotta salata, dukkah. No 11am hunger pangs here.
Gilson is at pains to stress that they’re a restaurant that does breakfast, not the other way around. So you can buckle up and expect a damn fine brekky.
On the lunch front—which kicks off at noon—you’re more than spoiled for choice. Whether you’re a plain ol’ sandwich kinda guy, or you’re treating yourself to a loooong lunch there are plenty of options. If you make a dash straight for the larger plates as we did (of course we did) then we’d recommend the gnocchi. Served with zucchini flowers, squash, cherry tomatoes, and ricotta it’s quite a filling vegetarian meal. One should always have dessert at lunch don’t you know, so leave room for the wood fired peaches with whipped ricotta and amaretto.
Head along in the evening and you’ll be met with the same menu as lunch (but with a different letter at the top). But don’t be disheartened, both the oysters and the beef tartare are excellent, so offer up a good starting option. For a hearty finale to the day, we’d encourage you to try the grass fed sirloin.
If Melbourne weather is being kind, we recommend that you nab a seat outside. It can get quite noisy inside and you might as well make the most of the view of the Botanical Gardens.
Head along soon and cheers with a summer spritzer—we’re not quite sure how it’s different from an Aperol spritz, but it sure was delicious.
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Image credit: Michelle Jarni