The Highline at the Railway Hotel, Windsor

Taking an old favourite of the city fringe suburb of Windsor, gutting some of its biggest bits and rejigging them into what is an obvious – as soon as you walk in the door – fine restaurant, is no easy feat.

That’s what they’ve done and so much more at the Railway Hotel in Melbourne’s Windsor. With a 24 hour bottle shop underneath it, the only one in the immediate few kilometres, sweeping views of the funkiness below that is Chapel Street and far reaching views into Melbourne’s city skyline, it’s in a prime location to host its new restaurant addition, the Highline.

With Head Chef Simon Tarlington at the helm, bringing his skills from global cooking experiences with some of the world’s leading chefs, the Highline is an intimate, temperately lit, comfortable laid-out eatery that demands a relaxed atmosphere within the confines of something that should be far more stuck up than it is.

It’s a new venture for the hotel; for years a favourite to the locale’s bustling gay community and a tempting weekend hangout, the venue has been transformed to offer more of what people want.

They play on the ways of ‘paddock to plate’, utilising the privately owned farm affiliated with the restaurant about 140ks from Melbourne. It’s there that the Highline’s vegetables are grown and meat is harvested, bringing the best of Australian and Victorian fare to the eight plates that diners are treated to with each specially crafted menu.

The Railway Hotel Windsor Highline restaurant

Tarlington calls on his great skills in turning something fresh into a meal of out-of-this-world delicious proportions.

In an eight course meal, Tarlington shows what the Highline’s kitchen is capable of while he is at the helm: from a small charcuterie plate of sorts with chorizo crumb on braised onion and pork belly with dehydrated oyster as the heroes, you know your taste buds are primed and ready for the gastronomic onslaught that ensues.

The Railway Hotel Windsor Highline restaurant

A tomato stuffed tomato follows, centred with fresh curd and drizzled with olive oil, it’s a fresh, light, cleansing dish in a notoriously difficult-to-eat-out-of bowl. Nonetheless, delicious and with a noteable high of a health kick right before the third course of a meat none so many are used to: wallaby.

Railway Hotel Windsor Highline Restaurant 3

The wallaby is a slow cooked, cured and pulled morsel of the most delicious meat most would contend they’ve ever tried. With rhubard and various cucumbers, the meat is cooked in banana crumbs with unclarified butter and garnished with cucumber and watermelon fragments, all flavours of which at face value are quite strange to consider together but explode perfectly on the pallette.

Railway Hotel Windsor Highline Restaurant 10

Punctuated lovingly with seafood, monk fish with seasonal zucchinis, noodles and a spiced fish broth that would rival even the most established and high brow of palatable Chinese restaurants in Melbourne, the next course was served. The fish is cooked so perfectly it simply falls apart, made easier by the bath of spiced fish broth surrounding it, all of which match perfectly with the slippery yet delightfully tender noodles and zucchinis that dance around it all.

Railway Hotel Windsor Highline Restaurant 15

Finishing with beef brisket, beef tongue, carrots and onions – all sourced from the Highline’s farm, of course – the meal is enough to leave diners willing to roll out; and that’s without dessert! A chocolate berry obsession of a dessert with chocolate shard, berries and a refreshing coulis to cut through the richness tops off the feast perfectly and finalises all the flavours that are left lingering.

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Overall, outstanding quality ingredients put together in an outstanding manner that only the likes of head chef Simon Tarlington can do with his own locally sourced produce. Highly recommended.

Railway Hotel Windsor Highline Restaurant 1

See what’s on at the Highline at their website (WWW).




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