Anyone who has eaten at Houndstooth in Fitzroy will be familiar with the style of offering, called ‘austerity measures’, which is available on Monday-Wednesday nights at The Good Table in Castlemaine. It’s a fixed price set menu with 3 choices per course, with 3 courses offered for $30. The serves are modest in size but the quality is good and the value is outstanding, particularly when considering the excellent wines of the list.
From the top down are a selection of images of dishes from the night my friends and I ate there: entree prawns; entree empanadilla (a term meaning small empanadas from Puerto Rica, seemingly misused as this dish was more like a French tart; a main of quinoa salad with eggplant; another main of duck confit with polenta; and (because it was just before Christmas) fruit pudding. The outstanding dish for me was the duck – perfectly cooked and with intense flavour.
Comments on commercial review aggregator sites is ambivalent about The Good Table, with many complaints about serving sizes. I suggest to the contrary that these diners don’t understand the offer they are presented with. You can’t expect huge portions of good quality food for tiny prices.
Something must be compromised to make the equation work and, like at Houndstooth, serving sizes are adequate but no more. This is nothing to complain about. The Good Table may confound some locals but Melbournites should be familiar with, and appreciate, this novel and very enjoyable restaurant in Castlemaine.