November 24, 2020
Shop stories: Explore The Goat House Cafe Bar Restaurant in Elsternwick Village
After many years in the kitchen, chef Ougustus Edirisinghe hung up his apron and took the brave step of opening his own business.
He bought The Goat House Cafe Bar Restaurant in Elsternwick Village four and a half years ago and began a process of changing its identity.
“I wanted to make the shift from a coffee place to a great food spot,” Mr Edirisinghe said.
“The Goat House was more of a place you went for a coffee. We put a focus on the food and good beer and wine, and it is now a place for dining; you come for a great lunch or dinner.”
Location, location, location
The Goat House is located next to Elsternwick train station, which was a big plus for the chef when he was starting his new venture and the building had an attractive, spacious outside space.
“The previous owners had spent a lot of money on a beautiful deck and that is a great attraction,” Mr Edirisinghe said.
“The location for me, near the station, is great. It makes us easily accessible. Then there is the beautiful deck overlooking the park. We just had to add great food and wine to make it the perfect venue.”
Seasonal and international menu
The Goat House is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Or hire a private function area for a celebration.
Fresh, seasonal food is always part of the modern international cuisine served at the Glen Huntly Rd restaurant.
“A few years ago, we added calamari, pork belly and other dishes to broaden the variety. We have an international approach to the menu,” he said.
“Our biggest seller is the share platter. There are 30 different items. I think people like this kind of eating more and more – having a drink, sharing food, eating small amounts of a variety of food.”
Learning new skills
Mr Edirisinghe began his love of food and cooking as a teenager in his native Sri Lanka, starting as a kitchen hand when he was just 16 years old.
He came to Australia 25 years ago and studied at the William Angliss Institute and was chef at Melbourne’s Crown Casino for more than ten years.
“I love to cook,” he said.
“I think it is the joy of someone enjoying your dish that is the great part of cooking.”
Mr Edirisinghe has taken on a management role since buying The Goat House and is relishing the challenge.
“I like running the restaurant, although it was a very steep learning curve. Any chef who thinks ‘I can run a restaurant’ should know it is very different from cooking the meals. There is so much to learn. I have a new set of skills now and I am still learning,” he said.
Mr Edirisinghe said his eatery is buzzing and he loves that families, couples, and large groups all find something they love on the menu.
“Part of it is the big space, you can linger for longer as we don’t need to turn over tables too quickly. And, as well as the great food, we always offer great service. We like to look after our customers.”
Visit the venue
3-6 Elsternwick Place, Elsternwick
Phone: (03) 9523 8299