What to order at Anchor Restaurant

Published on 27 June 2022

Photo: Vincotto-glazed eggplant with bourghul, prune and herb stuffing (image courtesy of Anchor Restaurant).

Finer casual dining by the sea? Sounds like heaven to us. Or at least Elwood.  

Opened in November 2021, Rosalin Virnik’s Anchor Restaurant has turned more than a few heads in its first few months with a minimum-fuss, maximum-delicious approach to fine-dining, save for a couple of gorgeously ornate desserts. 

There are good things happening by the bay; here’s what to order when you make landfall at Anchor, according to Virnik.

How about a drink?
Laurent-Perrier Champagne is a fabulous indulgence to kick off with. If you prefer a mixed drink, try a Hold The Rope, one of our signature cocktails: a balanced blend of rum, crème de pêche, apple and lime juices.

I’m here for a good time not a long time.
All of the dishes on our Tide Over menu are appropriate for a quick bite. The coquilles St Jacques are a consistent crowd pleaser: Australian scallops served on the shell with a Champagne sauce and beetroot vinaigrette. The Paul Louis French sparkling or the Flametree Embers chardonnay are both great complements.

Got anything light and fresh?
A selection of dishes from our Tide Over menu is also ideal for a light meal. The citrus-cured fish and grilled king prawns would be my recommendations, and perhaps the mushroom medley and leaf salad from our Alongside selection. 

What if I like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
We have several vegetarian and vegan dishes on each section of our menu. Highlights include the pan-fried Dreaming Goat halloumi with green olives; eggplant baked with burghul, prune and herb stuffing, glazed with spiced vincotto; and the slow-roasted jewelled pumpkin served with Anchor tahini.

Which dish best captures the Anchor vibe?
The Anchor lamb shoulder. It’s so tender and delicious because we use organic Saltbush Dorper lamb from Flinders Island. We marinate it with a freshly made blend of olive oil, herbs and spices and cook it very slowly for a very long time. 

It’s complemented by a smooth, housemade baba ghanoush and marinated chickpeas. The dish is colourful and tasty and captures what we're all about: plenty of thought and effort going into getting it to taste just right, but with minimal fuss.

And to close?
Up until recently, I wouldn’t have hesitated to suggest the baklava dessert. It is a baklava but not as you know it. We’ve refined this Middle Eastern street food favourite into pastry shaped like a nest, with lush lemon and honey syrup, crunchy baked nuts and a scoop of fresh lavender ice-cream. 

But now we've created a unique eggplant chocolate pudding, which means choosing dessert is much harder. This pudding is served hot with a dollop of organic cream and it has taken pole position in our dessert ladder this winter. 

And then there’s our tiramisu, which is particularly delicious, layered with our housemade cream cheese made from organic local milk, and cream and lemon juice from our own garden.

Anchor Restaurant, 133 Ormond Rd, Elwood, (03) 9531 4900, anchorelwood.com.au, @theanchorelwood


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