There.. down there.. the door.
This isn’t your teenager’s Ringwood. Eastland has been completely transformed in a way that will gobsmack you if you’ve yet to see it and remember the old Eastland.. down the ramp, past the top hat busker, into the increasingly empty and tattered shopping center. No more! And to go with the soaring spaces and designer everything there are some excellent places to eat.
The Cellar Door features Yarra Valley cheeses, made in house salumi, an excellent wine selection, beers on tap you have not tried before and multiple spaces. Upstairs is a rooftop bar which I have yet to sit in as my first visit it was closed because of “wind”, my second visit it was 40C and they had no shade cloth and my third visit it was raining. They still seem to be feeling their way with their varying rooms you can do this but not that in. There’s a dining room to order the large meals, but not the tasting plates, and you can’t order the large meals in the area you order the tasting plates and yet these spaces are right next to each other with no seeming difference other than that the dining room is quite ugly and looks like a 1985 hotel buffet. The first time we went we were told you couldn’t order anything from downstairs brought to the roof but apparently that has changed? It is frustrating to navigate seemingly arbitrary rules like this, especially as you are walking past things you want to order without knowing too many steps in one direction means you can’t!
But forget all that. Other than the dining room the whole thing is lovely with a farmhouse bistro feel.
The first three times I went we got a 3 cheese tasting plate for around 16 to 18 dollars and a small salumi plate for similar and we were very happy. The last time we went the small salumi plate had disappeared and been replaced with a 30 dollar only one and the cheese plates were not listed at all. We were assured the latter was a mishap and the menus weren’t finalized and we were able to order as we remembered. I do hope that they return the smaller meat plate as an option, I would rather spend twice as much on cheese with the meats as a side than the other way around.
You can pick the cheeses if you wish, which of course we did.
First visits cheese tasting plate:
Second visits cheese tasting plate:
The buffalo milk blue is fab!
Third visits cheese tasting plate:
Cheese size remains similar but the accompaniments are sparser, particularly after the wow factor of the first visit.
And onto the meats.. these platters were I believe between 16 and 18 dollars.
First visits meat tasting plate:
This was very impressive with both terrines and the duck quite interesting.
Second visits meat tasting plate:
Very similar, but with smaller duck and without the ham.
Third visits meat tasting platter:
It’s great to have different things served but this was markedly smaller than the other tasting plates, with no ham and only one terrine. It was the “small” one that no longer exists on the menu. In addition to getting that we got the large 30 dollar meat tasting plate which is on the menu.
The 30 dollar meat tasting plate:
meh, there are some extra bits but when compared to what we got with the small plate for our first and second visits this feels like a disappointment and almost double the cost.
The salamis that they make themselves were very impressive, there’s a mushroom one, a fennel one.. and of course some chillie. Everything you see you can buy to take home and I have bought quite a lot of the salami because it’s so good! Hopefully next time I’ll take a photo of it before inhaling it.
Staff are friendly and like doing the whole tour thing where they want you to appreciate the Yarra Valley produce. The menu could do with more variety but it’s found its own style with pork loins and hocks and other things I probably won’t order but which will be nice in Melbourne’s winter.
And finally I recommend the Sangiovese which is not sweet but bright, green noted and perfect on a quiet afternoon with good company and tasting plates.