The Independent Gembrook

IMG_20160809_192600As soon as you walk into The Independent you are welcomed with a smile.  It is clear to see that this is a well thought out and extremely well appointed restaurant, with the soaring ceiling, white painted brick, industrial accents that speak of the buildings previous life and raw wooden features.  However, with any establishment it does not take long to see if there is a heart that beats beneath its suave and aesthetically pleasing interior.  When it comes to The Independent Gembrook it is easy to see the warmth that courses through its veins.  Family is high on the agenda here.  It is not a special that comes and goes depending on season and whim, but entrenched in the character and life of the restaurant.

The first thing you will notice upon entering the understated frontage of the building is a Bromely and Co painting.  It depicts a father and son, instantly suggesting families are welcome.  In fact the painting is of Robert Gordon and his father.  The Gordon family and Chef Mauro have come together to design a space that is inviting and exciting.  With a focus on modern Argentinian cuisine, it is obvious that a theology of ‘food should be shared’ drives the menu.  If you can, you want to order the Seis Pasos.  This is a six step menu that is designed by the chef and brought to your table for your enjoyment.  What I love about The Independent is the attention to detail and personal touches.  The plateware and menu are both adorned with art work by Mauro’s father- again strengthening the sense of family, while producing the most intriguing crockery to serve your feast onto.  You will be surprised at the generosity of this menu option, the courses are so very tasty and it is a feast for the tastebuds and the soul.

Obviously, being situated in the Yarra Ranges, there is ample wine varieties to accompany your meal.  With a choice of Yarra Valley and Australian wines filling the wine list it is not hard to support the locals while enjoying a drop.  The friendly and professional staff are always happy to help you with your choice, offering up suggestions and recommendations.

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The Independent Gembrook has become a firm favourite here at Yarra Valley Life.  It is hard not to head back on a weekly basis.  With the drive out being just as beautiful as the venue it is a day trip I happily make (Warning: If you are as view obsessed as me, you will need someone else to do the driving.  Make sure you take the scenic route of Healesville Koo Wee Rup Rd).  A family outing to The Independent can be enjoyed by the children also; while you dine they can play – with the courtyard offering a cubby house (complete with kitchen).  After lunch a play at J.A.C Russell Park can be followed by a Puffing Billy ride home. Perfect. 

If you would like to read my letter of appreciation to The Independent Gembrook – click here.

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