It’s not often that you come across a restaurant with a name and game like this one. Enter Doot Doot Doot – the hatted restaurant within the Jackalope Hotel in Merricks North. Named in the same mystical vein as the hotel (a Doot Doot Doot being the leader of a Jackalope pack), this stunning Modern Australian restaurant goes above and beyond much of what the Mornington Peninsula has previously seen.
The owner, Louis Li, built Jackalope on the Willow Creek Estate in 2017. The striking hotel dominates the otherwise quaint, rustic landscape. Forty-six luxury rooms, a 30-metre infinity pool, commissioned artworks, a cellar door, a cocktail bar and of course, Doot Doot Doot, make up the complete offering – and an incredibly luxurious one at that.
The restaurant lies within the hotel’s stunning vineyard-facing domain. Before you even enter the confines of Doot Doot Doot, you will have found yourself in another world. Before anything, your eyes will be drawn by the breathtaking lighting installation, designed by Fabio Ongarato Design and installed by Melbourne chandelier designer, Jan Flook. The twinkling golden work of art has been designed to manipulate 10,000 light bulbs to sparkle in patterns that allude to the bubbling phase of wine fermentation. Under its light, the dark timber floors adopt a shade of gold, and black quilted leather booths, custom made by Zuster, entice you to sit and turn your attention to the menu.
Start with a glass of wine – fetched on demand from the 1,200-strong glass cellar just a few steps away. Willow Creek Wines are well represented with a number of signature vintages as well as rare bottles. Many drops on the menu hail from small Australian, American and European boutique estates.
The relationship between wine and food is held in great esteem, and the knowledgeable staff have a wealth of tips to share when pairing wine with each dish. Executive Head Chef, Guy Stanaway, and Head Chef, Elliott Pinn, have curated a striking five-course menu, which is changed monthly. Owing to the prime location of Doot Doot Doot on the Mornington Peninsula, the offering is seasonally driven and inspired by local producers. Their dishes are also subject to the freshest produce grown in the hotel kitchen garden. Dishes like the Tomato Tartare with goat’s curd, cucumber and verjus will open the show, followed by Quail with heirloom carrot, poached quince and jus gras. Larger dishes include a Roasted Lamb with smoked potatoes, and sweet treats like Poached Blackberries with hazelnut, chevre and coffee.
An after-dinner tipple at the hotel cocktail bar, Flaggerdoot is a must. While it maintains the sleek dark timber theme in Doot Doot Doot, the space takes on a cutting-edge persona. It is the perfect spot to sink into the leather sofas with a nightcap from their 17-page cocktail and spirits menu.
There are few places that offer an experience as unique as Doot Doot Doot. Views over the rolling vineyard, a carefully curated selection of wine and produce, and an unforgettable setting culminate in a bespoke experience that would be inimitable anywhere else in the world.
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