top of page

Melbourne's Gimlet Restaurant: the hottest seat in town

Gimlet, the restaurant, first opened in 2019 by the celebrated Andrew McConnell, who also gave us Cumulus Inc. and Cutler and Co.

Located in the historic Cavendish House on Flinders Lane, the city was abuzz with excitement for its debut. It was the hottest seat in town and anyone who called themselves a foodie was scrambling for a reservation, myself included.

white background with a drawing of Cavendish House with the text open lunch and dinner written below the drawing

Why is Gimlet Restaurant in Melbourne is the hottest seat in town?

Was it the high ceilings, grand arches and elegant columns that created a sense of grandeur and sophistication?

Or was it their cocktail menu, featuring the restaurant’s namesake Gimlet?

Was it the refined and elegant atmosphere provided by the service staff that diners enjoyed?

 It was all of the above plus the one dish that was all over social media, like we’d never seen a lobster dish before - more on that later.

Gimlet’s menu is modern Australian, which is just a fancy way of saying, a little bit of everything. Having said that, this menu is primarily European, borrowing heavily from French and Italian cuisine.

For those looking to indulge, they offer a caviar service with a fine selection and varying grades, including Siberian and Beluga, which can be paired with Champagne and sparkling wine. The house caviar starts from $180 for 30g and increases depending on quantity and quality.

Gnocco Fritto with Bresaola and Parmesan on a white plate and doily
Gnocco Fritto with Bresaola and Parmesan

The ladies and I ordered the Gnocco Fritto with bresaola and parmesan.

Gnocco Fritto is a little pocket of fried dough that packs a punch in the flavour department. So delicious that every time I see gnocco fritto on the menu in any restaurant, I have to have it, secretly hoping to relive the burst of flavours from that one bite at Gimlet.

Roast duck fillets in an orange sauce accompanied with vegetables
Duck a l’orange

Their version of a duck a l’orange was smoky and sweet. It was a while ago when I ordered this and the menus seasonal.

At the time of writing they have a roast chicken with vadouvan, almond and curry leaves that I have no doubt would be as juicy and succulent as the duck. A wonderful dish to share but on it’s own, it might’ve been a little rich.

Rock Lobster in Saffron Rice with Rouille
Rock Lobster in Saffron Rice with Rouille

The half southern rock lobster, wood roasted in saffron rice with rouille, a spicy saffron mayonnaise.

It came to the table with much fanfare, my ladies and I gasped as it hit the table, the aroma from the saffron hitting us instantly. The whole dish was attractive, the bright orange shell of the half lobster nestled atop bright, yellow saffron rice.

After we all took our photos and videos, the waiter de-shelled the lobster at the table and neatly placed it back on the rice, ready to be served. This is the kind of silver service we don’t expect anymore, which makes it special and exclusive.

We were eating like Queens; it was simply indulgent and thoroughly satisfying.

Creamy risotto with shaved truffles
Risotto a Limone

The dish that almost stole the show from the rock lobster saffron rice was the Risotto a Limone.

 A creamy, lemony risotto that would’ve slowly melted onto the plate, served with pine mushrooms and truffle.

This dish came highly recommended and I can see why. This one is not to be shared, although pairing this with the smoky duck was perfection. Sadly, this one is also no longer on the menu at the time of writing but this dish is a shining example of the quality that is to be expected on any given visit.

Chocolate Cake with Cream
Chocolate Cake with Cream

A simple but well executed dessert. After the indulgent entrees and main, this was the perfect finish. Nothing fancy or dramatic like some dessert these days; it's just a chocolate cake that makes you take a deep breath and roll your eyes to the back of your head after the first spoonful. This should be on the menu permanently.

Whether it's a long ladies lunch, a seductive date night or just to treat yourself, this is a fine-dining experience not to be missed.

I can envision returning solo, perching myself at the bar with a dry martini, a good book and ordering the lobster saffron rice, eating it slowly, savouring every mouthful.

Gimlet is open 7 days a week from 12 noon until late. Supper is served on Friday and Saturdays from 10pm until 1am. For their current menu and reservations visit their website.







bottom of page