The Criterion Clunes

Golden Plate State Awards won in 2021

STATE WINNER Best Chef  Award  – Doug Kerr

FINALIST Best Casual Dining Award

FINALIST Best Customer Service Award 

FINALIST Best Menu of Local Wines, Beers & Ciders

Street Address: 52 Fraser Street Clunes 

  • Category: Restaurant – Casual Dining
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Dining
  • Gluten free and Vegetarian available
  • Head Chef: Doug Kerr
  • FOH Manager: Belinda Seager
  • Cards Accepted: Visa and Mastercard
  • $$
  • Serving Days and Hours:
    • Mondays: 7.30 am to 4.00pm
    • Thursdays to Sundays: 7.30 am to late
    • Tuesdays and Wednesdays CLOSED
  • Street Parking 
  • Covid-Free measures in operation
  • Bookings for Dinner essential (and advisable for lunch)

Judges’ reports for 2021 

‘The Criterion” in the charming Goldfields village of Clunes is an excellent café by day and European bistro-style restaurant at night (this report focuses on the restaurant experience). The food is exceptional, the casual ambience delightful and the customer service terrific. It punches well above its weight on all levels for great dining experiences. The new owners have absolutely nailed it!

Housed in a historic building, its a large, welcoming and quality establishment. The furniture is solid, stylish and comfortable, and lighting, temperature and music playlist are perfect. There’s a variety of seating options with window bar, high table and individual tables, and by day there are alfresco dining areas overlooking Fraser Street. The food and presentation is excellent. The menu offers a range of dishes with  contemporary takes on traditional French cuisine including small plates for sharing and a good range of Gluten-free and Vegetarian. The presentation, styling, texture and flavours of the dishes were impressive. The lamb rump, served as a main and the Chicken Chasseur were brilliantly executed.  Dessert of Chocolate Fondant was a sensational, rich, silky and counter-foiled with the whipped mascarpone, The wine list and cocktails on offer is extensive, the beer list is robust and the coffee (in the hands of Steve the Barista) tasted great. All meals were generous in their size and restored faith in authentic traditional dishes.  All the meals were all reasonably priced (similar to many more humble pubs) and represent excellent value for money.  Highly recommended.

Special strengths

Lovely building and village setting. European style foods and drinks. Variety of seating options. Exceptional customer service, Duck Rillette, Beetroot-cured Salmon, Lamb rump and Chicken Chasseur. Delicious Chocolate Fondant and traditional Apple Crumble. Very good coffee. Moderate prices and great value for money.

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