On Tuesday evening, I was invited along to the launch of Melbourne’s newest premium culinary hub, Eastridge Entertainment Precinct (EEP).
As a girl who resides in the Eastern burbs, it was awesome to head to a true culinary event only 15 minutes from home. The cruisey drive, heading North along Maroondah Highway landed me in the leafy suburb of Chirnside Park, where the precinct is home to three gorgeous new venues – The Bosses Boots Café, The Precinct Bar at Eastridge, and Carne Grill.
The launch kicked off with pre-dinner cocktails at The Precinct Bar, a warm, modern space filled with plush leather couches, a large hardwood topped bar and views of the near-by lagoon. The mixologists sure knew how to put on a great cocktail making display – I’m talking frozen steam and the most incredible drink colours. It was simply a wonderful start to the evening… But the feast of all feasts was still yet to come!
Amongst a crowd of around 150 family, friends and media, we were all invited to head next door to Carne Grill, to kick off the official dinner proceedings. Welcomed by a perfectly mood-lit room of long tables, adorned in the most magnificent Eucalyptus centrepieces, the dining area was a-buzz with the sounds of the open kitchen, the friendly service staff (going above and beyond to ensure everyone had a drink in hand), and the guests in awe of what was a truly beautiful all-round space.
Host Brodie Harper formally welcomed us along to the launch and spoke to all the guests about how EEP is perfectly positioned at the gateway of the Yarra Valley, and I couldn’t agree more! Catering to us locals who like to indulge in travel to and from the region, Brodie spoke to Steve Kepper (EEP co-founder) about how the precinct fills two distinct gaps in the market.
Firstly, how the precinct was designed with the intention that it would become the culinary gateway between Melbourne and the Yarra Valley; a relaxed meeting point for those travelling to the vineyard region, cyclist groups and motorists in particular, or a post-winery wind down.
And secondly, how important it was for the founders to create a new community hub and haven for local residents, a classy but approachable offering with high quality food, coffee, and drinks, showcasing the best Yarra Valley produce – everyday of the week. Without locals having to travel into the CBD to get a great meal, no matter what the time of day.
It’s easy to see why Carne Grill is described as the jewel in the precinct crown. They perfectly combine a stylish dining setting with a true feasting style menu – which focuses on the finest local pork, beef, lamb, poultry and seafood selection. And boy-oh-boy were we served up one hell of a feast… THE FOOD SPREAD WAS A FOODIE’S ULTIMATE SQUAD GOAL!
The night was all about capturing their ultimate ‘shared meal’ environment and it was definitely a winner in my books.
Fear not, if sharing isn’t really your cup of tea. There are dishes special catered to your needs, like the pasture fed dry aged rib eye, whole crayfish, or delicious pasta dishes, served with a side or 2 of course! LOL.
You all know that I’m a lover of a good wine and what really impressed me was that the wine list is almost all Australian soured, with a third of the varietals from the neighbouring Yarra Valley region.
In the feast department, the food came thick and evenly scattered over two hours, aligning the Eucalypt centre of the long tables with a glorious selection for everyone to… well… feast on. I loaded my plate with oysters, eye fillet steak, Moreton Bay bugs, potato cut-fries, salad and other fresh veggies including broccolini and baby carrots.
Accompanied by an extensive assortment of other amazing fresh meats, produce and seafood (did I mention the 1.5kg Tomahawk T-bone steak 😳😳) the night was full of great food, great wine and great company.
Be sure to round up your girl boss friends. Your family. Your fellow Melbourne Foodies. And head to Carne Grill at the new Eastridge Entertainment Precinct for an amazing night of food!
Eastridge Entertainment Precinct
1 East Ridge Drive
Chirnside Park VIC 3116