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  • Cape Schanck
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  1. The dining area at Cape restaurant, with turquoise booths flanking the open kitchen.
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. A white ceramic plate with crispy skin duck.
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. A deconstructed ratatouille in a black oval bowl.
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. Three bowls with canapés by Cape Restaurant. Kangaroo jerky, fish balls and crackers with seafood.
    Photograph: Adena Maier
  5. A black bowl filled with gelato that's topped with a honeycomb candy and a white chocolate bee.
    Photograph: Adena Maier
  6. A wooden box filled with chocolates that are painted to look like gemstones.
    Photograph: Adena Maier

Time Out says

This fine-dining establishment inside the RACV Cape Schanck Resort is worth a visit all on its own

When you book a stay at an RACV resort, you're likely not thinking of it as a culinary hotspot. But within the walls of the motoring club's Cape Schanck resort, you'll find Cape, a fine-dining establishment that holds a candle to some of Melbourne's finest eateries. It's an all-round sensory experience, with an open kitchen giving diners front row seats to theatrical cooking and plating and a fit-out that features floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of Bass Strait, native gardens and the club's golf course.

Cape is helmed by French chef Jordan Clavaron, who is a third-generation chef from Fontainebleau, near Paris. Clavaron spent the early years of his career at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Dominique Bouchet and Marcus (by famed British chef Marcus Wareing). As a result, Clavaron's menu tips its hat to European traditions and classic French techniques while also championing the high-quality ingredients of the Peninsula and its surrounds. 

The eight-course tasting menu ($160pp, plus $90pp for the wine pairing) changes seasonally, but on the whole, you should learn to expect the unexpected. While the menu does list the key ingredients of each dish, it's nearly impossible to predict the presentation.

Saltbush is fried and seasoned for a starter that's like a more delicious and addictive version of salt and vinegar chips, followed by a trio of canapes designed as tiny versions of whole meals; think pomme souffle that tastes exactly like a bite-sized version of fish and chips. For an elevated version of comfort food, pumpkin is the stand-out ingredient in pumpkin broth, pumpkin brioche and pumpkin butter pressed into the shape of a blooming sunflower. 

Smoked venison tartare is hidden beneath a jewel-toned and gold-specked cherry fruit leather – it is almost too beautiful to eat, but when you inevitably bring yourself to the task, it's a perfectly salty, tangy, creamy and tart bite. Instead of the usual savoury and salty roasted duck that's become a mainstay on Melbourne's fine dining menus, you'll try a version with an extra-crunchy maltose shell for a sugary bite that balances out the gamey flavour of the meat.

On top of championing produce from the Peninsula, Clavaron's menu also highlights native bush ingredients with paperbark-cooked Murray cod. Prior to serving that dish, diners are presented with a platter of the smoking bark that's used to give the cod a delicate woody aroma. 

Desserts are as stunning in presentation as the mains, with buttermilk sorbet topped with a smokey coat of liquid nitrogen olive oil and our hard-working honeybees getting a nod in the form of chamomile ice cream topped with bee pollen and an adorable white chocolate bee beneath a crisp honey wafer. 

Cape is open Friday to Monday from 6pm to late. Bookings are essential and can be made through the RACV website

Adena Maier dined as a guest of Cape restaurant. 

Planning a weekend getaway? Check out our guide to the best things to do on the Mornington Peninsula.

Adena Maier
Written by
Adena Maier


RACV Cape Schanck Resort
Trent Jones Drive
Cape Schanck
$160pp tasting menu
Opening hours:
Fri-Mon 6pm-late
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