1. A rind bowl of granita elegantly plated up with purple flowers at O.My.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  2. Garnished plate of seafood pasta at O.My.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  3. Contemporary artwork hanging on a wall at O.My.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  4. One of O.My's artfully plated seasonal dishes.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  5. The Bertoncello brothers preparing food and drink behind the bar at O.My.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  6. Cherry tomato and seafood dish at O.My.
    Photograph: Kristoffer Paulsen
  • Restaurants
  • price 3 of 4
  • Beaconsfield
  • Recommended



5 out of 5 stars

This farm-to-table restaurant may be almost a decade old, but it still stands out as one of the most energising fine dining experiences in Melbourne

Lauren Dinse

Time Out says

This is very much going to sound like a first-world problem, but sometimes you’re simply not in the mood for the laborious mental demands of high-brow degustation dining. Unlike hoeing into a bowl of spag bol at your mum’s house or sharing a pizza with friends, taking the time to critically ponder the creative life’s work of a chef can feel tense and serious. This is why after a 45-minute drive from Melbourne to Beaconsfield, I’m grateful to discover the famous O.My to be a surprisingly relaxing affair. It’s hushed with natural light, as comfortable as a reading room in a library, and boasts no ostentatious distractions or highfalutin tricks up its sleeve. Serenity, at last.

The space is coloured only by splashes of cheeky modern art (there’s a painting of a man inhaling wine so enthusiastically that it’s spilt all over his suit, for example), and the vibrant personality of my sommelier. We chat a little about the local farmers’ market happening nearby, and he playfully takes a look at the blurb of the book I’ve brought with me. The plan is to do the four-course seasonal menu with snacks, sourdough and drink pairings, a shorter experience than the seven-course experience also on offer, but nevertheless not to be rushed. He’s there as a guide to talk me through each dish and make sure I’m taken care of, but promises not to hover too much that I feel encroached. It’s a lovely, breezy way to do service, and I’m started off with a glass of crisp sub-alpine sparkling wine from Holly’s Garden in the Whitlands. Yum.

The farm from where the kitchen sources all of the ingredients is in nearby Cardinia, owned and run by friends of the chefs. Even if you haven’t done your research, it’s immediately clear that there’s a reverence for organic, locally sourced ingredients at O.My. It’s an ethos that’s close to my heart (and I’m sure many others, too), but I’m curious to taste how this connection will lend character to the flavours.

A novel array of snacks arrives at the table all at once. There’s a wreath of fried buttermilk pastry adorned with tiny flowers, garden leaves and horseradish, as pretty as a bracelet. Another little blini-like bite is topped with watermelon radish, Yarra Valley caviar and white anchovy, and there’s also a hardy brassica cup of fresh calamari meat and preserved lemon. The final snack is a bouquet of garden leaves flecked with golden salted egg and turnip, which I’m instructed to bite into like it’s an ice cream cone. It’s a compelling introduction to the kitchen’s prowess.

Each snack vibrates with life, an almost curative quality arguably strengthened by the relationship the chefs nurture with the land and those who tend to it. It’s in the middle of this thought that I notice a whisper of herbalist apothecary about the space that matches the overarching mission; cordials and mysterious liquids in bottles line the walls along with hanging posies of dried herbs, bulbous roots and flowers. It’s almost like I’ve wandered into Hogwarts and ended up in some potions room – we’ve only just begun and I’m already thinking about wizardry. 

For entrees, the first cab off the rank is a combination of pickled Jerusalem artichoke, puree and farm eggs. It’s artichoke, cloaked in artichoke, wearing a dramatic white artichoke cape – satiny smooth with a whisper of vegetal smokiness. You can really taste the freshness of the produce here, which hasn’t been overly adorned or dressed up in too many ingredients. It’s truly a wonderful thing when restaurants can make a single vegetable speak with its myriad of voices, and this is what O.My is doing, curiously without being predictable or passé. A glass of minerally savagnin from Entropy Wines pairs perfectly.

The sunny highway is bright and noisy outside, but seated in this dim and restful dining room, I almost feel as if I’ve just taken a seat at some celebrity’s secret country luncheon. Chatty locals slowly fill up the tables, those who seem like they come here on the reg. They discuss the week’s dishes with an air of confidence, a “what have you cooked up now?” kind of enthusiasm head chef Blayne Bertoncello responds to with equal intimacy. He spends just as much time out in the dining area as he does in the kitchen, hand on hip, keeping a watchful eye over the restaurant’s happenings. It’s as if we’re all in this together; the line between staff and patron is refreshingly faint.

The sourdough bread is housemade daily, served with butter just two hours after it’s been churned, and dusted with a herbaceous garden salt. Gosh, it’s gorgeous, but it’s just bread and butter at the end of the day. Still, I’m agog. The next dish is a steamed garfish coiled up in a pool of broth made from leek oil, lemon gel and all the fish offcuts the kitchen’s gathered throughout the week, scattered with fresh garden leaves. The fish itself is tender and delicious but this broth is something else entirely: the comfort level of a homemade chicken soup taken up a notch with the earthy warmth of steamed turnips. A boutique chardy from Bindi Wines makes for a sexy and sprightly pairing.

The main is an ultra-deep, narrow well of beef ragout, layered with pureed cauliflower, florets, leaves and crinkly snips of kale. It’s made with whole cuts of local Berwick beef, including the neck, and braised in a rich tomato passata. This all sounds familiar enough so far, but what occurs next is a shock. It’s never happened before that food has made me literally feel like weeping, but that’s what this humble beef ragout has achieved. It’s a come-to-Jesus moment, a dish that for the briefest of instants seems to merge my soul with the herbs and vegetables and animal that created it. I look at the chef in disbelief, and he laughs. He probably knows fine well what has just transpired, but I barely know how to even explain it – and that’s my job!

The famous duo of Nord and Sud shiraz varietals from Carlei Wines are jammy accompaniments, and it’s entertaining to discuss their differences with the som. Dessert is a meringue, topped with layers of whole pumpkin that have been daringly torched to the furthest horizons of crisped-up caramelisation. A blob of kei apple gel in the centre weaves a fruity tart thread through the savouriness, and I polish off the plate in a state of dazed elation. But to be honest, I think I’m still thinking about that ragout.

Just when it seems that it’s all over, ephemeral cubes are presented: a beetroot and rhubarb gelee and a milk jam caramel. My wine glass is topped with a drop of Fallen Quinces vermouth from legendary Embla alumni Dave Verhuel, whose passion project now is small-batch saison vermouth production. It’s fabulous.

I can think of no sweeter way to say goodbye, but then after an experience so magical, I really don’t want to.

Feeling thirsty? These are the best wine bars in Melbourne.


70 Princes Hwy
Opening hours:
Lunch Sat & Sun from 12pm; Dinner Thurs & Sun from 6pm
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