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The Independent Gembrook

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Socially distanced dining tables
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Tables disinfected between guests
  • Single-use or sanitized menus
  • Floors marked for social distancing
Updated 08/07/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Updated 08/07/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
The Independent is a casual restaurant and bar found at Puffing Billy’s last stop- Gembrook. It’s a food hub- with menus designed by Argentinian chef- Mauro Callegari. Produce is sourced as local as possible, for guests to enjoy a seasonal sharing menu. Mauro’s dishes are influenced by his upbringing in Argentina, and passion for Spanish, Italian, Creole and North African flavours.
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Argentinian, South American
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (252)
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All reviews calamari chef's menu beef asado chilli potatoes salad argentinian food anniversary dinner food was amazing matching wines dishes garage lime motor lettuce courses
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Reviewed 14 January 2021 via mobile

The fitout and polish of this place is great. It makes for a fantastic atmosphere and mood. Visited for a mid-week dinner with a friend. We shared the beef brisket main and chorizo side. The brisket was tender and full of flavour, will definitely need...to repeat that. The chorizo was nice, but I had my eye on the lime scallops... Next time. I had a coffee before the drive home, I swear it was one of the best lattes I've ever had. A big, very welcome surprise for a person who works in the city. Service was generally good - happy, friendly waitstaff. I say generally as I felt our flow of conversation was a bit more interrupted than usual. But really, that's so minor and some folk like the distraction anyway! All in all, I will certainly be back and will be singing it's praises.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed 14 January 2021

It's been over a year thanks to Covid, but it was great to be able to return. Mauro's food is consistently good. I have my favourites, so choosing was easy - the lime cured scallops, the provolone and the calamari. The bread rolls really count...as an extra course so the food was just the right amount. We apprecited the attentive service.More

Date of visit: January 2021
Reviewed 15 December 2020 via mobile

I visited this Restaurant in November and came away disappointed after what l have read.. Yes the food was amazing...BUT very little of it.. I had the 7 course tasting plate.. as we all did..and we were embarrassed at the tiny portions.. Am l a...huge eater...NO.. but if I'm paying very good $$$ for this...dont and me home hungry.. The response to my email was not handled well and didnt address my concerns. Sorry guys... maybe l was there in an off night.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Reviewed 11 December 2020 via mobile

Friday lunch in Gembrook. Bit of a drive but I’v been wanting to go to The Independent for a long time. All the way thinking don’t have expectations because you will be disappointed. Only no disappointments. Service excellent, staff with personality behind the mask. Went...with the seven course menu and three matching wines. Fabulous value at $89 for the quality, quantity of food and wine. It was a delight to enjoy food and wine as it should be.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Reviewed 15 February 2020

The lamb could feed 4 easily at roughly $17 ea. Probably the best lamb shoulder ive had in my LIFE. Will be back for sure. Seeing the chefs so professionally preparing the meals just adds to the whole dining experience!!

Date of visit: February 2020
Reviewed 15 December 2019

We stumbled upon this restaurant accidentally.... SOoo glad that we did!!! The owners of this business have the right combination of atmosphere, wonderful Argentinian food and friendly caring staff ( great almond chai lattes too). Wonderful options for dietary required meals etc! Will definitely return...if we are in the Dandenongs again!! Lol we may even make the effort to return, just to come to this restaurant!More

Date of visit: December 2019
Reviewed 17 November 2019 via mobile

We were so impressed by the amazing food and service We drove for an hour to get here. And home again the food is so flavorful and generous servings We ordered too much food but it was so nice we could not stop eating. Highly...recommend.More

Date of visit: November 2019
Reviewed 6 November 2019

I love this restaurant. I’d heard it described as modern Argentinian, but don’t go there expecting slabs of meat and beef asado etc. They refer to their food as having modern Argentinian influences, which is fair. Yummy food options. Some items designed to serve two...or more people. We sampled a number of dishes, all were good. My only suggestion would be that some food lacked a bit of seasoning and was elevated to the next level just by adding a bit of salt or lemon, which I asked for. The donuts with the creme de leche caramel were excellent. Coffee good also. Large space, inviting and not cramped, service very good. I want to go back and sample more things from the menuMore

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed 10 October 2019

This restaurant is in a converted motor garage & looks simple from the outside & once inside the interior is really well done. It has a great atmosphere.There were six of us that went, and as we were unsure of the types of foods we...went with the chef's menu choices & it was all well presented, delicious & plentiful. We thought we had eaten the main courses already when they appeared! The staff member was very friendly and helpful. When we arrived we were forewarned that there would be a public holiday surcharge which was understandable and we had no problem with & especially as we were told on arrival so were aware at the start. The chicken dish was amazing, the best chicken we have ever had, cooked slowly & was so tender.More

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed 7 October 2019 via mobile

I could not fault one thing at The Independent! The food was exceptional, the flavours amazing, every single staff member was friendly, attentive and knowledgeable, the menu and how much to order was explained perfectly, the layout and design of the restaurant is fantastic especially...for those who like to see what’s happening in the kitchen, loved our wine and the fact it is made specifically for the restaurant. Not one detail has been missed from the decor, crockery, glassware, uniforms and my favourite linen napkins!! Well done on creating a superb restaurant that is worth the little extra drive, we will definitely be back.More

Date of visit: October 2019
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