CONTACT

Ph: (03) 5622 2952

15 Palmerston Street
Warragul, 3820 VIC
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closed

Opening Hours

SUN 5:00pm - 11:00pm
MON 5:00pm - 11:00pm
TUE 5:00pm - 11:00pm
WED 5:00pm - 11:00pm
THU 12:00pm - 11:00pm
FRI 12:00pm - 11:00pm
SAT 12:00pm - 11:00pm

The Details

Cuisine
  • European
  • Modern Australian
Serving
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Dessert
In the mood for
  • Beer
  • Cocktails
  • Wine

The outside of a restaurant with the lights on inside.

Bringing Michelin-starred experience and European-style dining to Warragul is Messmates. The new bistro and wine bar in the Gippsland town is a joint venture from Jess and Chris Odrowaz alongside and chefs Michael Clarke and Jodie Odrowaz.

"We would joke at family Christmas or dinners, imagine if we opened something together," laughs Jess.

Designed as an extension of their dining room, this quartet brings a diverse range of culinary expertise to the table—with Jess and Chris at the front of house, both with deep roots in the local community through their former Warragul venue, Main Street Cafe.  

Meanwhile, Michael and Jodie oversee everything in the kitchen, together they draw from their combined experience at renowned restaurants like Vue de Monde, Iki-jime, Lume, Falco Bakery and more.

The local familial operation is bringing their shared love of wining and dining to their community "we love hosting at home and having friends and family over for dinner, opening bottles of wine, sharing a meal, making a mess, we wanted to give the Warragul community what we love," says Jess. 

A six-month renovation saw the bones of the previous cafe removed, making way for an elegant yet accessible space with floor-to-ceiling windows accented by white-washed brick walls, a 35-seat restaurant with 15 seats based around the six-metre terrazzo-topped bar. 

Designed in-house by Jess, she focused on crafting a fluid and comfortable environment where people can float in for a glass of wine and a snack at the bar or dine in with the chef's set menu. 

"During the day it's super light and airy, at night it's a totally different vibe, it's really warm we turn down the lights, we close long linen shears—it gets really moody, we want people to feel like they could be anywhere." 

The menu centres around local produce and the makers and artisans of Gippsland. both Jodie and Michael have developed dishes that span from small to substantial with simple-style combinations from hand-crafted pasta tossed with artichoke in a brown butter and sage sauce to creamy polenta and wild garlic with Amber Creek pork and peppercorn sauce. 

"We don't to make it too complicated for the guests, we want them to come in and feel comfortable," says Michael

To start is the Focaccia which is baked in-house, set deep with cast iron pots and baked at high heat—resulting in a delicately caramelised darkened crust which is then served alongside cheese from the nearby micro-dairy farm Butterfly Factory

"We wanted to make it provincial, what's Warragul's version of how this would be served in France."

Dessert rotates with the whims of the chefs and what's in season—some nights call for a thick-set tiramisu while others result in a stunning mandarin and olive oil cake served with ultra creamy hung yogurt.

The wine list is 100 bottles strong which showcases the team's favourites from the surrounding Gippsland as well as top imports. Behind the bar, there's a beer tap with rotating ales from Birra Moretti to Sailors Grave, cocktails courtesy of Orlando Marzo's Loro, a selection of Amaro (digestivo) and even limoncello from Tommy's Booze

Messmates Dining is open now, head over here to book in

Image credit: Kinship By Kirsty (supplied)