Flinders village welcomed a new restaurant over the summer and it is set to become a gastronomical hot-spot.

Following a successful 2019, winning Australia’s Professional Chef of the Year award and representing Australia in the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, the Bocuse D’or, Michael Cole and his wife Alex, have tirelessly transformed the old Flinders Bakehouse site into an elegant yet warm space, now known as Moke Dining.

The town of Flinders was once known as ‘Mendi-Moke’ and in Australia, the word ‘moke’ also refers to an old horse, or nag. The Coles thought it was a fitting name for the old bakehouse, which now houses their long-held hospitality dream.

The project has been a labour of love for the pair, who rolled up their sleeves and renovated the building themselves, taking on everything from tiling, concreting and painting to the installation of the all-important kitchen.

Beyond the original timber cottage façade, hand-crafted timber tables, peacock blue velvet upholstery, luxurious floral wallpaper and an original stone fire place set the scene for a truly memorable dining experience which will see people returning again and again.

Michael and Alex have created a restaurant which showcases local and community growers and small producers to give people a true taste of the Mornington Peninsula, and in particular, Flinders.  

With a focus on sustainability and minimising food waste, fresh produce is sourced daily and at times hand-picked by the chefs. For this reason the offering changes weekly, sometimes daily, which is fortunate because Moke will quickly become a local haunt.

The set menu is thoughtfully designed to capture the seasons and delivers a dining experience which is innovative and executed with precision, yet completely unpretentious. While the restaurant would be considered fine-dining, it is approachable in every way.

On this occasion, the culinary journey starts with bite-sized appetisers which pack a flavoursome punch. The highlight being the chicken skin cracker, topped with goat’s milk and avocado.

Then, food seems to fill the table, delicious plate by plate. The menu is written with a wonderful simplicity which does not prepare you for the creative and tasty combination of flavours arriving course by course.

The squid ‘carbonara’ has diners and food critics alike, describing it as “sublime” and “utterly, outrageously, good”. If you’re expecting pasta, think again. Finely shaved squid enveloped by a delicate onion puree, cracked pepper, chives and topped with a fresh egg yolk. Delectable.

And so it continues, from seafood to meat dishes and the freshest of vegetables to accompany all courses. The meal is punctuated with two mouth-watering desserts.

The wine list has been curated by the Red Hill Wine Collective and includes wines from the Mornington Peninsula region, as well as around the globe. While it is a relatively small list, it’s expertly designed to complement the menu.

Moke resides in a region which is renowned for its food and wine, with well-established and awarded wineries and restaurants regularly attracting tourists, weekenders and local residents.

Opening a new venture would therefore be a risky undertaking for most, but it seems the risk has well and truly paid off and the buzz that is building about Moke is more than justified.

This hard-working duo has been able to launch a restaurant which feels as though it has been around a long time – in a very good way. Exceptional food and service delivered by friendly and familiar faces in the heart of Flinders.

Don’t waste another moment. Gather friends and family and enjoy all that Moke has to offer – you won’t be disappointed.

Moke Dining is located at 60 Cook St, Flinders. To reserve your table, visit mokedining.com.au

Images courtesy of Moke Dining

Moke's acclaimed Squid Carbonara

Moke's version of beef tartare


Simple yet elegant interior design

Lifestyle & Design

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