Mediterranean Keilor




Rose Creek Estate open day, 2 Craig St, East Keilor. Phone: 9337 5471

At 2 Craig St, East Keilor, there’s a large, two-storey but otherwise unremarkable suburban home.

There’s also 300 olive trees surrounding a vineyard and much more besides.

Including, but in no way restricted to, a fabulous garden, all sorts of fruit trees and a superb chook family.

The whole set-up is so magnificent, we’re surprised we haven’t heard about it before – or the annual open days.

Then again, it’s situated in a suburb that seems part of the west but through which we travel only on occasion but rarely (never) have a reason to stop.

Regardless, we so enjoy our visit that even if it’s a long time until we return – perhaps for the next available open day – we feel a good deal better about the world just knowing this place is where it is and as it is.


When we arrive, there seems to be a couple of hundred folks enjoying the day, with as many coming and going as we take it all in.

Indoors, there are wine and oilve oil tastings going on, and a long table replete with samples of olives, cheese and simple bruschetta of bread, parsley and oilve oil.

Before Bennie gets carried away by gorging himself on fare that is, after all, meant to be considered of the sample variety, we seek out more serious tucker.


I’d been informed somewhere along the way that pizza is often the Rose Creek open-day go.

No pizza today – instead, there’s good-looking sausages being given the heat treatment over coals and served in bread rolls with leaves and brushed with a thyme branch dipped in herby oilive oil.

Yes please!

We’re a little taken aback at the asking price of $10 – the two apiece we have been contemplating could set us back $40.

But the proof is in the eating, and on that count we have no complaints at all, and one serve each is plenty.

The bread is fresh and wonderful, the snags even better.


They’re made, I’m told, to order by a butcher to the estate’s specifications and using its pepper sauce and semillon. They’re rustically stuffed with gorgeously meaty, high-quality pork the like of which we never see in our usual pork sausages at home, regardless of where we source them.

From there, and before we score a very fine cafe latte and a hot chocolate, it’s a case of us city boys ambling all over, and up and down, sucking up what seems to us like a miraculous Mediterranean vibe in the midst of Melbourne suburbia.

Check out the Rose Creek website here.











Seddon Wine Store


Seddon Wine Store, 2/101 Victoria St, Seddon. Phone: 9687 4817

There’s competition facing Seddon Wine Store within spitting distance – one a big wine and beer and spirits emporium right across the road, the other a smaller bottle store more like your local pub, just up the way in Charles St.

Nevertheless, it’s made a handy go of it by specialising for the wine set.

Which is probably why we’ve never tried the place out – Bennie is as much a wine buff as his dad is.

Besides, we’d long ascertained that what food there was on hand was of a lightweight variety.

But today that seems just right, as my lunch companion, Lady Rice, is no more hungry than I am but we’re both up for some vino and engaging conversation.

The Seddon Wine Store food list – see below – was actually introduced some time after the store opened.

It reads like something between tapas and antipasto.

As neither of us are ravenous, we go for the grazing plate ($18).

The olives are the hit – few in number, big in flavour.

The terrine, too, is good, especially wrapped the fine bread and a dab of mildish but tasty mustard.

The pancetta (or maybe it’s prosciuitto?) seems rather flavourless to me, as do the marinated mushrooms, which look like enoki, but are darker and bigger.

The hard Italian cheese – that’s as good an explanation as I afterwards get – is good with the little dab of quince paste.

All this is OK, but the conversation is better.

We talk about the Lady’s new blog, my slightly older one and our respective journeys.

The contrast, in a Melbourne context, could hardly be greater, but oddly enough we’ve ended up in spaces and places that are recognisably of the same planet and city.

Our light and snacky lunch suits us fine.

But while it may be unfair, it hardly bares comparison with the fresher, zingier, superb, significantly larger and only slightly more expensive antipasto spreads the Consider The Sauce boys regularly enjoy at Barkley Johnson.

And while there may be ways of chowing down with more specific items on the food list here, I suspect treating the place as a tapas bar could get rather pricey.

It’s prudent, I surmise, to think of it as a place that does some eats for drinkers rather than as a place that does drinks for eaters.

Seddon Wine Store on Urbanspoon


Barkley Johnson


11 Anderson St, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 6663

Perhaps it’s a sign that we’re putting down significant roots – that we have vivid recall of previous incarnations of premises inhabited by flash new businesses.

Certainly, both Bennie and I spent a goodly amount of time having our heads shorn – and, in my case, face shaved – in the old-school barber shop that previously filled 11 Anderson St.

After a long innings, he closed up shop quite a while ago.

He was part of what is a disappearing breed, often of Mediterranean or European extraction and usually cheap as chips. Well, compared to, ahem, hairdressers anyway.

We love them. We “collect” them. We may even start a blog on them in due course.

Anyway, being the nosy locals we are, we followed with interest the subsequent renovation. We had some idea what to expect, with Keith from Heather Dell telling us early in the piece that a wine bar of some sort was on the way.

And so it is. There’s wine, but not a whole lot of it. There’s deli produce and high-quality pastas, anchovies and other grocery items, but not a whole lot of them, either. There’s wholemeal baguettes for lunch at about the $7-8 mark, but virtually nothing else ‘cept antipasto options. There’s only toast for breakfast, very good coffee and less than a handful of sweeties such as baklava.

So what exactly is Barkley Johnson, and where does it figure to fit in the busy neighbourhood of Anderson and Ballarat streets?

The lovely staff tell me they’ve got to do the best and most they can with the space available.

I ask why I would make an extra stop for their deli items when I could cover them while at IGA across the road – or the new place being fitted out as we converse.

They reply in terms of quality, price and personal service.

I reckon they have a point, especially on the service angle.

As we sit at stools at the front window, with the early spring sunshine streaming in, Bennie and I feel like we’ve found a new favourite place in Yarraville to hang for a while and watch the world go by.

Despite space limitations, Barkley Johnson has nice vibe. There’s a smallish courtyard out back, a few more stools just inside the door to it and the handful of stools we’re hogging up front.

Bennie’s been a bit crook, so can’t even be tempted to have a hot chocolate, making do with a light, fluffy yoyo of, we are informed, Greek derivation – hard choccy top, sponge-like halves and creamy centre. It’s yummo and he digs it.

I have a similarly sized-and excellent coconut macaron with almond slivers.

Both sweeties and thoroughly superb coffee set back $8.

The previous week I’d had one of the filled baguette portions – ham, cheese, pickles. It was good, but the lovely wholemeal bread was of such robust flavour that the other ingredients struggled to make themselves known.

Nevertheless, on the basis of two very fine coffees, some sweeties an a couple of visits, we feel at home here.

Becoming regulars seems to likely to be both pleasurable and profitable.

Barkley Johnson on Urbanspoon