A match made in heaven: Geelong gets a taste of Melbourne’s best lobster roll
The team behind Melbourne’s favourite lobster roll has arrived in Geelong.
Until the end of January, Austin’s Wines in Sutherlands Creek will host Pinchy’s for a three-month kitchen residency, bringing the brand’s fun and creative food offering to local diners.
Founded by Jeremy Schinck and his wife Samara, the Pinchy’s concept was inspired by their travels to San Sebastian in Spain where they enjoyed long lunches, sunkissed days and free-flowing wine.
“The food and wine culture was exactly what reminded us of holidays and we tried to recapture that and bring it into Melbourne and give people an experience that reminded them of holidays and good times and, generally, coastal memories.
“Everything was really small serves and super tasty and creative, like the Spanish like to do.”
After a series of successful pop-ups, Pinchy’s found a permanent home on Bourke Street in 2019 where it has been delighting diners with its tasty dishes and creative beverage offering ever since.
“Our guests are just happy when they’re there. It has a really good, positive vibe about it,” Schinck said.
“It’s a real global menu. It takes inspiration from not just Europe, but Asia. It’s a real fusion of tasty dishes.”
Although it the team’s first time in Geelong, Schink said the kitchen residency at Austin Wines “just seemed like a really good move for us”.
“Geelong and surrounding areas of Geelong are coastal and that’s just a perfect fit for Pinchy’s,” Schinck said.
“We couldn’t feel any more at home.”
With a focus on casual dining and shareable plates, the menu at Austin’s Wines features several of Pinchy’s most popular dishes, including the brand’s famous lobster roll and its newer spicy KFC sando.
“It’s a play on Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it’s Kentucky fried cod and it’s very much like a Zinger Burger,” Schinck said.
“I thought it was great for kids and it’s great for me as well; I really enjoy it.
“I thought it was a home run for the clientele [in Geelong], it being a bit more family-oriented.”
Menu items designed specifically for Pinchy’s Geelong diners are also on offer, including a wasabi potato salad and smoked ocean trout tacos in soft tortillas.
“It’s smoked ocean trout and then it’s got an adobo and ponu glaze, it’s hit with a torch and then it’s got a kohlrabi slaw, and it’s got a cute little pink pepper taste to it,” Schinck said.
“We’ll probably turn over the menu a little bit each month… so people that return can see something new.”
The menu also accommodates for vegans and vegetarians with dishes including Pinchy’s signature lion’s mane mushroom roll and leek croquettes.
Schinck said more vegan options are planned for the menu, should demand prove strong enough.
“We have a whole library of food.
“Basically, if we do a pescatarian dish, we have a vegan alternative that looks and behaves similarly.”
Austin’s Wines marketing manager Belinda Austin, said the menu’s shareable dishes were “perfect on a sunny day with a glass of wine”, and labelled the spicy KFC sando “a mouthful of seafood joy”.
And it seems Geelong diners already agree.
“The first weekend was huge,” Ms Austin said.
“It’s proven to be such a hit. It’s so popular.”
She recommends diners book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Schinck said the response had been “fantastic” so far.
“We’re super happy about everything.”
“I’m just really glad that people are coming to Austin’s and loving the collaboration between both of us.”
Austin’s Wines is at 870 Steiglitz Road, Sutherlands Creek.
Pinchy’s pop-up restaurant will run from November to January and is open for lunch from Thursday to Sunday between 11am and 5pm.
For bookings, head to austinswines.com.au