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Friday 3 November 2017

Comfort food in a comfortable setting: Frank and Connie's

There is no shortage of good eating out options in Daylesford/Hepburn Springs. There's the iconic Lake House, as good as it ever was, along with Kazuki's, Mercato and Sault. 

If you are looking for somewhere with a talented young chef and a swagger of individual style then check out Frank & Connie's Kitchen, where chef Caliopi Buck is making a name for herself with dishes that are both innovative and tasty.

Buck has some industry runs on the board, having worked at Vat 107 in Margaret River and Hellenic Republic in Melbourne, as well as an eight-month stint in Edinburgh, Scotland, studying pastry cheffing. 

She's turned the building that used to house Moor Please into a warm, welcoming space where the menu (much of it written on a blackboard) comprises tiny plates, little plates, other plates and sweet plates. 

For snacking while you decide; fennel and chilli salami, maybe, or some onion rings or broccoli vinaigrette.  

Smaller plates may include Chinese-style duck leg taco with pickled cucumber and slaw, field mushrooms con queso, spring onion with crispy crumbs or (a favourite of the regulars) cauliflower, seeds and nuts, currants and coriander.

Prawns in an aromatic crab broth were a delicious taste of Asia. 

Main options may include juicy, fatty ribs with chimmichurri sauce, or, with a nod to chef's Greek heritage, grilled Pork Belly, skordalia, tzatziki and baby carrots. Duck fat potatoes as a side dish are de rigueur

I very much liked the colourful use of idiosyncratic plates, but the wine list is a little limited with some odd choices. Work needed here but overall this is a delightful spot to spend an evening with warm, friendly bistro-style service and food to match. Highly recommended. 

For those who were wondering, the restaurant is named after Buck’s grandparents.

Frank and Connie's, 97 Main Road, Hepburn Springs, Victoria 3461. (03) 5348 1156. 

# The writer was a guest of Daylesford Macedon Tourism 


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