The Goods Shed Ballarat - Launch Day
Images © Matt Dunne
This is a story about Ballarat Station's bluestone Goods Shed
and its restoration bringing new life to Ballarat; ensuring it continues to be part of Ballarat's story for generations to come. Built in 1863, this heritage-listed bluestone building is steeped in history. As part of the Labor Government’s $51 million revitalisation of Ballarat’s historic station precinct, this asbestos-riddled goods shed, crumbling from years of water damage, termite infestation, vandalism and deterioration has been turned around by revered building group Pellicano
in partnership with Atlantic Group®
. They have made this heritage icon a major new retail, hospitality and entertainment precinct at the corner of Lydiard Street North and Nolan Street, Ballarat
I was lucky enough to be invited to Launch Day
on Friday 24 November 2023 to experience this new precinct. Travelling the 117kms (approx 1hr 42mins according to Google) the traffic jam was soon forgotten upon entering this beautiful space. And spacious it was, refurbished by leading architecture firm i2C Architects
who worked with the developer Pellicano
, retaining as much character as possible, salvaging artefacts from the previous buildings to re-use. The Goods Shed
now houses -
Operated by Atlantic Group®
, you can now dine, play and stay at this dynamic redevelopment. Once a place to seek one’s fortune and success, Ballarat’s unique spirit lives on in The Goods Shed, and it's ready and waiting for you to discover this world-class destination.
I hope you are one of those who read my previous article
and took advantage of the launch of the Dining Hall and explored all it had to offer. The people of interest I met on the night were -
After a long trip and dinner the first call for the evening, we sat at Nolan's dining spaces out in the open with pristine white exposed piping overhanging from the top giving it a slight industrial look. Konny
came out to the dining area to tell us a little about Nolans' ethos and what was on the menu for the evening. He's passionate about being sustainable, eco friendly and supporting local business. Whole animal butchery means utilising as much of the produce and protein as possible without wastage, and Konny is in the process of going through fermentation, pickling and canning everything themselves, and trying to keep as much money in the local community as possible by utilising fresh local produce. He mentions with a smirk of humour that Boom Time
is essentially their take on a modern Australian Hong Kong street style hawker dumpling noodle bar, and asks us to wrap our heads around that, with a smile.
He mentions you can expect absolutely fantastic handmade dumplings from Moulin Rouge
(Catering) in Melbourne who make fresh handmade dumplings every day! Itinerant Spirits
' specially curated menu consists of menu items from Nolans and Boom Times. However, if you're having a function that needs Nolans for catering, Konny is there to cater to all your needs, and to guide you through the menu.
Having a little chat with Konny, who is half Canadian, half Russian, he has travelled over from Tasmania to Ballarat, having spent the last three years between Hobart and Launceston. He's been in Australia for 11 years, come February 2024. He finds Ballarat a perfect fit as he's not exactly enamoured by big cities which he finds too busy and too condensed as he put it, and "can't really have fun with food if that makes any sense" - he says. As aforementioned, Konny is passionate about whole animal butchery, not into wastage, and sustainability a very big thing for him, along with buying local, supporting local and keeping the money local. He's been in Ballarat for the last 6 months with his 'wolf' as he calls his Alaskan Malamute, Boris.
Let's get down to the business of eating. On the menu for the night 1816 Bakehouse
fresh sourdough bread, served with Inglenook Dairy
cultured butter, and a selection of chef selected snacks which consisted of two varieties and included what looked like a giant mushroom served with soy sauce and scallion oil put together, which was the perfect accompaniment. However, trickery it was, as it turned out to be a gorgeous dumpling in the form of a mushroom. Our Entree was lightly cured Bass Strait scallops with sage burnt butter and cauliflower, and The Mains. a Goldfields saddle of lamb with turnip, Mushroom Connection
mushrooms, broad beans and whipped potato. Dessert was the piece de resistance
- a whipped basque cheesecake, honeycomb and crispy saltbush perfection. Let me just say those scallops were perfect with the burnt sage lending its natural saltiness to the scallops; the same as the crispy saltbush, this time the saltiness enhancing the subtle sweetness of the cheesecake. The saddle of lamb was melt in your mouth tender.
Drinks on offer with our meals was the Blue Pyrenees luna sparkling on arrival, with White wines (Latta Rattlesnake Contact Blanc and Taltarni Dynamic Chardonnay) and Reds (Latta Grenache Presence, and Spinifex Syrah Shiraz) on offer, along with beers from Stone & Wood and Rogers, along with assorted soft drinks. Your regular Nolans dinner menu on any given day from 6pm onwards has snacks of croquettes, garden crudites, Sydney rock oysters and more; along with small plates of scallops, cold smoked Ora king salmon, hand rolled tagliatelle, western plains pork nduja and more. There's also 6 varieties of pizzas, Sides
of vegetables, salads and shoestring fries, and Mains
of Southern Ranges Rump Cap, Salt Baked Celeriac, Market Fish, Panko Crumbed Western Plains Pork and a Goldfields Saddle of Lamb.
For Sweets you can have the wonderful Whipped Basque Cheese cake which is becoming a popular staple, a Daintree Estate 70% chocolate Sabayon Tart with roasted Wattleseed ice cream, Apple Tartin to share and a comprehensive cheese list you can choose from to make up a cheeseboard. If you attended the Grand Opening Weekend
just gone (25-26 Nov 2023), you would have indulged in weekend long specials, family friendly entertainment and more. Nolans had a bottomless brew of free-flowing coffee on them, Boom Time Dumplings a complimentary taster basket guaranteed to blow your mind, and Itinerant Spirits giving you a second bottle of Gallivanter Gin or Vansetter Vodka for a discount of 15% after you've bought the first. Worry not as there's no doubt The Goods Shed
is up and running and ready for upcoming events. There's never been a better reason to visit Ballarat.
Dinner done, it was time to head up to Itinerant Spirits
for a Masterclass, Tastings, and a Tour. We headed up the stairs, the upstairs area looking down on the warm decor of the dining area below, the shiny new distilling equipment visible to the eye at the far end, its copper colours adding its warmth to the room. At our tables was a cheese platter and chocolate truffles. Sorry no pics (I did take them, but there's already an overload of images in the article) - you'll just have to imagine it, and head over and order it for yourselves. Up in the space with us were the Itinerant's Head of Hospitality Zachary Hill, Co-Founder and Director Brad Wilson the 'Brand Man', Craig Ryan the other Co-Founder, and James Fairlie, the Head Distiller in charge of the shiny new kit.
Zachary got on the mic and welcomed us and gave us a little introduction of what was to come. Next up was Craig Ryan who told us the story of how he and Brad (founder of Little Lon Distillery in Melbourne) gave birth to their brainchild Itinerant
which has taken up residence at The Goods Shed, its doors having opened 7 weeks ago. It all started on the steps of another icon, The Espy in St Kilda, over some shared stories of past and future travels, and the enjoyment of whiskey and whiskey making. Three and a half years later, here they are in Ballarat, where they have long family and historical connections to the place. Dilapidation and pigeons living at the Goods Shed aside, they saw potential and took it as a good sign as the guys who worked at The Goods Shed were also 'itinerant' in nature, as they moved from place to place.
We were shown a short promotion film clip of the brand and slipped straight into our masterclass, tasting (the finished product) and sniffing (raw materials) ingredients that went into the making of Itinerant's spirits. We were taught how to really 'sniff' our whiskey to experience all the notes. By this time, James the head distiller had the mic and he told us the best way to try whiskey is to think of it as if you just met somebody, and it was an introduction. Put your nose to the glass, and breathe in from the bottom of the glass, not the top - at a 45 degree angle to get those caramelised notes. From Scotland, James' family was in the whiskey industry, giving him a good background on the subject.
We tried -
We were then offered Itinerant Spirits Signature Cocktail of choice; The Hopeless Wanderer or The Valiant. The First (HW) was heroing the Gallivanter Gin and was a twist on the classic spritz. Refreshing, sweet, tart and bubbly. The Valiant was bold and unwavering and a spin on the sour cocktail. It's Vansetter Vodka mixed with zesty citrus, whites and herbal bitterness that's fresh, a little sweet, a little sour and very addictive. Tastings and sniffing done, we were led to the distillery by James who went through explaining the processes without getting too geeky about the intense mechanics of everything.
It was a warm ending to a wonderful evening spent at The Goods Shed as there were lots of boiling elements in the distillery. We were shown Jacky® Bins, super efficient hopper storage bins that fit 700kgs of malt; and talked through the spinning process that breaks the husk, how starch is converted to sugars, to turn into alcohol etc. I won't bore you with the process as you can Google the process, or better still, head over to Itinerant Spirits for a masterclass and all The Goods Shed has to offer. Itinerant will be offering a full service cocktail bar, cellar door, pizza menu, cheese and charcuterie boards and various share plates from Nolans and Boom Time Dumplings perfectly paired to Itinerant's spirits and bespoke craft spirits masterclasses. Book a bar seat, a seat in the dining area or book a masterclass via their website
. Stay in touch with all that's going on at The Goods Shed via given links above, and get out there soon and get a 'rush' on, to experience 'gold' yet again in Ballarat!
271369 - 2023-11-26 14:04:42