It’s not often you can feel virtuous whilst engorging in a gluttonous affair. Feast of merit, down in Richmond, wears a double hat as a not-for-profit organisation and a delightful wholesome cafe/restaurant (and as of today, 1 March, a rooftop bar).
You wouldn’t know it from the funky interior. It certainly It doesn’t fit the ‘I’m a charity’ stereotype’. The charmingly cute communal dining house with open glass windows, gorgeous natural light, wafting delicious kitchen smells, and cutesy decor has a buzzing atmosphere. The place speaks cool, cruisey and humble with a spin of edge. Surprisingly however, the humility part takes a big cut as you realise 100% of their profits ‘fund YGAP innovative solutions to poverty’.
What could be best described as an Ottolenghi style dinner is split into four sections. ‘Small plates’ include super smoky BBQ eggplant dish, with lemon for acid and pomegranate molasses for sweetness. Perfectly oval bites of falafel have a soft centre and notes of pepper and lime, topped with yogurt and fresh herbs. For ‘vegetables grains and pulses’ the BBQ zucchini arrives both in shavings, raw and chargrilled. Hints of lemon rind shine through chermoula, cracked wheat, and toasted pine nuts. Your ‘Evening Feast’ may be a melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked lamb joint with Harissa, or a whole snapper on its bone with a red ‘chraimeh’, a chilli sauce that may be slightly overbearing but the freshness of aniseed in the fennel cuts the heat.
Reminiscent of Feast of Merit’s restaurant fare, the Rooftop menu will have a vibrant selection of middle- eastern snacks including cured Tasmanian ocean trout with ras el hanout, spiced organic almonds with chickpeas and Merguez sausages with labneh.
On the drinks list you’ll find locally sourced wine and beer, showcasing a variety of Victorian wineries from the Yarra Valley and Grampian regions as well as South Australian favourites, the Clare Valley, King Valley, McLaren and Barossa Valley. Whilst enjoying your pre-dinner, after-work or Sunday session beverages at the black bar, you’ll no doubt notice a unique slice of Richmond’s local history, a section of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, reflecting Feast of Merit’s philosophy of sharing and connecting with their local community.
Feast of Merit
117 Swan street, Richmond
Feast of Merit Rooftop bar is open Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 5pm – late, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3pm – late