There seems to be something happening down the Mornington Peninsula...More and more venues are popping up. And not your typical country pub-style venues either. We’re talking cutting edge dining and banging cocktails that wouldn’t miss a step in Port Melbourne.
The latest? Zigis at The Flinders Hotel. It’s a chic coastal bar, with a seafood menu designed by multi award-winning chef Michael Cole (Head chef of Georgie Bass Café and Cooking School).
This place is a definite step up from your standard hotel dining room. The drinks list was hand-picked from local breweries and vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula. The bar was crafted by artisans, from timbers that used to stand in the old Flinders Pier. The guys from The Plant Society even designed the interior foliage layout.
“When designing the menu, I focused heavily on seafood variety and bite-size dishes that are fresh and delicious, on-trend and exciting. With a few beach aprés classics,” says Cole. “Zigis’ menu revolves primarily around our fishmongers’ freshest offerings, caught locally when available, as well as other seasonal produce.”
So what the hell are ‘beach aprés classics’? Think abalone and lemongrass meatballs, served in the shell. Fresh-shucked oysters with a fragrant Eucalyptus mignonette. Kingfish pastrami with mustard ice-cream (yep, really). Basically anything that goes well with a cold glass of Rosé. There’s a happy hour too—from 3pm to 5pm—where you can $2 oysters and BBQ beef skewers, plus Aperol Spritz for a cheeky $12.
The drinks menu likewise stays close to home. Paringa Estate Pinot Gris, Chardy from Elgee Park on the Peninsula, Pinot Noir from Crittenden. Even a local Foxey’s Hangout Sparkling (if you don’t want to shell out for the Veuve).
The best way to do Zigis? Depends on the weather. If it’s a nice day, set yourself up outside—there’s live acoustic sessions out here on weekends. In winter, the best seats are the ones by the giant open fireplace, slurping oysters and drinking pinot and generally having a ball.
Well played, Flinders. Well played, indeed.
Image credit: Zigis