Vegetarians, look away now - the time-honoured tradition of the Sunday roast is alive and well in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. What started in England centuries ago as a meal after church has stood the test of time and is now enjoyed by families around the world. Local eateries are jumping on board with sumptuous spreads perfect for lazy, long lunches.
Enjoy a Sunday roast at one of the Dandenong Ranges’ oldest restaurants - Coonara Springs in Olinda. Established in 1893 and recently refurbished (including its original Aga stove), the seven-acre property has stunning views of the Yarra Valley. The Sunday Harvest Roast - with a winter soup starter, roast main and a signature dessert - is held in the intimate music room. The three-course lunch is $65 for adults and $25 for children. For more details, phone (03) 9751 1686 or go to their website here.
Stones of the Yarra Valley
Family is the focus of Sunday lunch in The Barn at Stones of the Yarra Valley. The “La Famiglia” feasting menu, led by executive chef Hugh Davison, features whole roasted meats and an array of sharing dishes. For $75 per person, feast on three shared entrees – including free-range pig with a salad of apples, celery, mustard and sage crumb – plus two shared mains –including Sher wagyu rump, semolina gnocchi, parsnip and smoked aioli – and two sides. Continue the indulgence with petit fours – just try to resist the mascarpone cheesecake with coffee and cacao. For more details, go to their website or phone (03) 8727 3000.
SkyHigh Mt Dandenong
You won’t leave this Sunday lunch hungry. SkyHigh’s offering includes entrees of a bowl of soup or Caesar salad, and a traditional main of roast pork or medium rare roast beef served with roast potatoes and pumpkin, garden peas and a Yorkshire pudding with gravy. Vegetarians can also be catered for, and seafood can be ordered for an extra cost in advance. The dessert buffet – with chocolate fondue with marshmallows and fruit, plus other desserts, cheese and biscuits and freshly brewed coffee and tea – is an added drawcard. Enjoy the spread in the upstairs function room with amazing views across Melbourne every Sunday, 11.30am-3pm. It costs $39.50 for adults and $20 for children aged 5 to 12. For more details, go to their website or phone (03) 9751 0443.
Healesville Hotel’s Sunday lunch offering is sure to warm you up. Until September, the wood-fired grill is cooking up O’Connor sirloin, with parsnip, fried rosemary & roasted garlic, or opt for the slow-roasted free-range Hazeldene’s chicken, with buttered leeks, parsley sauce and toasted pine nuts. Choose from an entrée of coal-roasted cauliflower and aged gruyere soup, or a salad of Stone & Crow galactic cow’s milk cheese, Buxton black truffle, witlof and almonds. Then tempt your taste buds with dessert - quince and almond pudding or pear and cinnamon pannacotta. The cost is $52 for two courses and $62 for three courses. For more details, phone (03) 5962 4002 or go to their website.
Fergusson Winery’s Sunday roast is not your average dish. The signature prime-aged Charolais beef, cooked on the turning spit, is served on the carvery, with entrees including a charcuterie board or smoked salmon rocket salad, plus desserts, available from the a la carte menu. Two courses are $52 per person, with three courses $62 per person. For more details, phone (03) 5965 2237 or go to their website.