Nathalie Moussi, along with her brothers Marc and Carlo, grew up with an inside look into the hospitality world. The Moussi family has been building their hospitality empire ever since they arrived in Australia, after immigrating from Lebanon in the 1950s. The siblings’ father John owned a host of venues along McCann and Little Malop streets; it was only natural his children end up opening their own.
Enter restaurant, cafe and bar The Federal, in North Geelong, which opened in early May of 2017. Visually stunning, the original red brick and black trusses across the roof pay homage to the era in which the building was originally constructed. So too do the finer details of the venue. Industrial style chandeliers hark back to its woolen mill history and of course, the opulent era in which it was built. Art deco influences can be found in the herringbone design laser cut panels found all around the main dining area. Vibrant teal upholstery brings a splash of colour and warmth, offset by the deep red of the brick.
As for the food? It’s a touch of Melbourne, a touch of Geelong, a touch of modern Australia and a touch of Lebanese culture, and they’re just about to launch their new winter menu.
Channelling flavours from the Middle East, you’ll find items such as the Shakshuka eggs, the Rosewater Waffles, the Chia Muhlabiyeh Milk pudding, the chickpea fatteh, and the Lamb Sharwama loaded fries, which are all modern takes of the family heritage.
For diners who fancy themselves traditionalists, there will also be staples like smashed avo and the classic eggs benedict, but you’ll be treated to more options that will warm your soul in the midst of a cold winter morning. They’ll be doing five different types, including the traditional, the Atlantic Salmon, the Harissa Lamb, the Beef Brisket and the Pulled Pork. Other breaky options include Warm Quince Porridge and a range of delicious omelettes.
There will also be a range of hearty classics such as the chicken and leek pie, and seafood chowder in a bread roll to see you through lunch, as well as a Lebanese Vegetarian Board and a nutritious burrito bowl.
Sweet tooth’s haven’t been forgotten either. The new menu will see the Forbidden Apple Hotcake, a Turkish Delight Dough Waffle, and Banana Bread French Toast.
The Federal is located at 13-35 Mackey St, North Geelong and is open seven days a week. Visit thefederalgeelong.com.au or phone (03) 5210 8000.