We continue our regular monthly feature where we summarise some of our highlights from the previous month and offer recommendations for where you should visit or have on your radar for the month ahead.
Encompassing new openings and old favourites, pop-up venues, events and everything in between, here is the inside track for those sharking for chips and drinks.
If I’ve missed any exciting new places off this list, please get in touch here: Send Email.
In Case You Missed It – Check out what OPENED IN SEPTEMBER.
When: October 11, 2013
What is it? Designed to feel like a Tokyo laneway, Mr Miyagi is located on Chapel Street Windsor, serving contemporary Japanese dishes complimented by Japanese inspired cocktails, Japanese whisky and iced tea along with an impressive beer and wine list.
Who’s behind it? Mr Miyagi is the latest venture from two of the industry’s young and savvy entrepreneurs, Andy Restein and Kristian Klein.
Size? Seats 75
What’s on the Menu? The menu has been composed by, Kyle Doody, formerly of Heirloom and boasts contemporary Japanese dishes. The sushi chef serves up crisp, fresh sushi and sashmi. If you’re looking for beer snacks you can’t go past the Miyagi Fried Chicken and a Japanese take on Bolognese with the Wagyu Bolognese on Ramen Gnocchi.
Bookings? Yes – For tables of 6, 8 and above. Private carriages at the back comfortably seat 8
When? October 4, 2013
What is it? Cafe innit
Who’s behind it? Liam Ganley and Margaret Lawless are the owners, the head chef previously worked at Auction Rooms.
What’s on the Menu? Brunch all day and Lunch, the menu has hints of traditional Irish dishes (thanks to the owners Irish), the signature breakfast dish is house hot smoked plum cured Tasmanian salmon, potato latkes, poached eggs, horseradish, fennel. For lunch it’s hard to go past the Corned beef hash, mustard piccalilli puree, kohlrabi sauerkraut, swiss cheese, bagel wafer.
When? Early November
What is it? Taking over what was previously Trocadero in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Hamer Hall, Fatto is bringing an authentic, approachable and generous style of Italian to the city’s busy masses. Fatto is all about lively, flexible, all day dining and drinking, in a fun, familiar environment. It will be a distinctly Italian cantina and bar, serving an accessible menu.
Who’s behind it? Frank van Haandel and Anthony Musarra are the creative minds behind it. Musarra is stepping back into his chef’s whites for the Van Haandel Group’s brand new Italian venue. First making a name for himself in his hometown of Sydney, Anthony Musarra (previously Pavilion on the Park, Lucciola, Harbour Kitchen & Bar and Park Hyatt Sydney, before moving to Melbourne with Radii at the Park Hyatt and ultimately the iconic Stokehouse) will work as Executive Head Chef of Fatto, with Nick Bennett (formerly of Trocadero) as Head Chef.
Size? 100 inside (40 bar), 80 on the terrace. Designed of Projects of Imagination.
What’s on the Menu? Crudo of trout, tuna, kingfish tartare, charred-grilled octopus, Venetian tramezzino, panino (6hr brisket), timpano (macaroni pie), snapper aqua pazza, Brasato (8 hour short rib), chocolate budino (Amaretti, caramel, rum, chantily cream) & will be keeping Trocadero’s cooked caramel cream on the menu.
When? May 2013
What is it? A new restaurant and bar to open in Melbourne’s Arts Precinct attracting locals, theatre patrons, musicians, actors and students.
Who’s behind it? The Keyte brothers who also own Script Bar and Bistro. Head chef is Ben Ransom, previous role was head chef of My Mexican Cousin.
Size? 50 inside, plus bar seating for 70 outside. Designed by 6 Degrees
What’s on the Menu? The menu is Asian and French fusion. As they approach Summer, they have opted to introduce more Asian-oriented dishes that capitalise on the availability of Spring produce. Blondie’s philosophy is “if we can make it in-house, we do”. Signature dishes include hot smoked salmon with whipped coconut, salted mango, spring onion, Vietnamese mint and palm sugar, seared market fish fillet with crayfish and prosciutto roll, tomato, crushed peas, vanilla beurre noisette and smoked potatoes & Flower Pot – layers of chocolate mousse, cherry marshmallow and whisky brulee with a chocolate crumble and edible flowers
When? September 20, 2013
What is it? A hidden bar next door to Touche Hombre
Who’s behind it? Davis Yu, owner and Director of Maison Davis
Size? 100ppl capacity, designed by Maison Davis
What’s on the Menu? Cocktails and a Bar menu
Bookings? Yes, Private Hire
When? September 26, 2013
What is it? Melbourne’s first Cave à Manger
Who’s behind it? Owned by Aidan & Tanya Raftery & the head chef is Jacob Scannell. Aidan has worked at Soük, The Press Club, Maha Bar & Grill and Europa Cellars, Tanya at Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne and Europa Cellars, Jacob at Quay in Sydney and Bacash, Verge, Ezards & Cavallero in Melbourne.
Size? 40 seats. Co-designed by Aidan & Tanya Raftery with Clear Design in Fitzroy
What’s on the Menu? Modern bistro fare, breakfast & lunch 7 days, dinner tues-sat (breakfast – ploughmans breakfast, crab scrambled eggs with avocado and tobasco) (lunch/dinner – smoked & candied salmon salad with cumin spiced cauliflower, roast chicken thigh with spring vegetable fricassée and garlic cream)
Bookings? Yes, but not on when there’s an AFL match at the MCG
When? Friday 21, October
What is it? Mexican Tequila Bar
Who’s behind it? The team behind Laundry Bar
Size? 40 seats, window bench and 3 outdoor tables
What’s on the Menu? Check it below
Bookings? Walk-ins, except for private functions
When? June 2012. Pop-Ups happening from 6 September, 2013
What is it? Licensed cafe operating 7 days – Small Victories are now also doing 3 weekly pop up dinners – at the moment it is a Southern BBQ theme which costs $35 pp and is a set menu:
– Chicharrones, salted caramel peanuts
– 12 hour hot smoked Sher Wagyu brisket
– Bacon mac & cheese
– Mustard coleslaw
– Togarashi onion rings, bonito aioli
– Soft white bun
– Apple fried pie, smoked bourbon ice cream
Who’s behind it?
Alric Hansen – Owner & Head Chef. 15 yrs experience as a chef, originally from NZ where he trained with some noteworthy chefs such as Mark Limacher, moved to Melbourne 8 yrs ago and worked at Rumi, Bar Lourinha, at Jaque Reymonds Arintgi, The Crimean & Ladro before opening Small Victories. Ben Farrant – Owner & Front of House manager. 15 Yrs experience working in the hospitality industry, also originally from NZ and moved to Melbourne approx 6 years ago. Before opening Small Victories he was the 2IC at Gills Diner.
Size? Option of bar, indoor or alfresco seating 62
What’s on the Menu? Small Victories point of difference – they offer restaurant quality food at cafe prices with nearly everything being made in house using local producers and the best products. They also offer locally roasted coffee by Wide Open Rd and a selection of micro brewery beers, wine, spirits and non alcoholic drinks.
Bookings? Bookings are essential for the Southern BBQ pop up dinners (every 3rd Friday – you may have just missed the October 18 event).
When? Monday 30 September
What is it? A new bar serving pasta the way it should be
Who’s behind it? Friends, Sylvan Spatarel and Ben Thompson who quit their ‘real’ jobs to follow their dream of opening up a Pasta Bar and change pasta’s bad reputation for the better
Size? Seats 44 and designed in-house by the owners and some friends along the way
What’s on the menu? Diners can choose between a range of traditional sauces like Bolognese or Amatriciana, or for the slightly more adventurous why not choose from the gourmet range with sauce combinations including broccoli, chilli, pesto, garlic and lemon or the very surprising crème fraîche, green pea and lemon.
The menu also boasts an array of ‘old favourite’ pasta options such as rigatoni and fettuccini, combined with a healthy dose of ‘raw’ zucchini and other slim pasta options for the calorie-conscious or gluten free.
Bookings? No. Sauced also serves take away so you can enjoy your pasta at home.
When? First hauled truck on October 9, 2013.
What is it? Mobile smoothie van that specializes in real fruit and super-food smoothie blends.
Who’s behind it? The business is run by three current university students. Morgan Cottee, Charlie Maginness and Mathew Bate, all of whom study different degrees, ranging from accounting and finance to arts and psychology. BlendCo became the product of their passions of festivals, music and health, all of which were combined together, forming what would go on to become the foundations of BlendCo.
What’s on the Menu? The menu consists of 5 different types of blends, one chlorella detoxification shot and 99% fat free frozen yoghurt. Blends consist of entirely natural ingredients and use no bottled juice fillers or preservatives, just real fruits and super-foods.
Bookings? They cater weddings, parties, anything.
When? October 18, 2013
What is it? Melbourne’s newest burger cafe, serving breakfast, lunch & dinner burgers.
Who’s behind it? Owner Katherine Sampson founded the HEALTHY HABITS SANDWICH FRANCHISE and sold to the Dymocks Group of Companies 18 months ago. Now back in business again after an extended break.
Size? 34 internal seats, 70 external seating
What’s on the Menu? Beef, lamb, grilled chicken, chicken schnitzel & vegetarian burgers. Coffee brought to you by Toby’s Estate – using Toby’s blend BRUNSWICK
Bookings? Yes, but small space, so limited.
When? Every Saturday and Sunday (11am – sunset) until end of December 2013
What is it? Pop-up Indian Street food stall selling dosas – Southern Indian Savory with a variety of Gluten-free vegan fillings
Who’s behind it? Friends Kunal Khanna and Tyson Savanah
Size? Set in a warehouse, super casual setup and can seat 24-30 people. The space is shared with a vintage bike shop and a table tennis table.
What’s on the Menu? Dosa- fermented crepe style pancakes made from rice and lentil batter with a choice of vegetarian/ vegan/gluten free fillings: classic potato masala, smokey eggplant with peas, spicy tamarind pumpkin (all vegan and served with fresh carrot, toasted sesame salad and chutney), poppers (Vada Lentil Nuggets) with chutney/sauces and Indian drinks such as Thumbs Up Cola, Limca & Maaza
Bookings? No, but phone orders welcome for pick-up
Contact: 50 Rose Street, Fitzroy. Facebook.
When? September, 16 2013
What is it? A café in the heart of Windsor serving up breakfast and lunch and boasting specilaity coffee roasted by Monk Bodhi Dharma
Who’s behind it? Owners Justin Kony and Michael Almagor have worked at numerous cafes around Melbourne, recently Hobba Coffee and Kitchen and Dukes Coffee Roasters. Head Chef Moshe Ittah has had extensive experience in fine dining and restaurants.
Size? 48 seats inside. 8 outside.
What’s on the Menu? Tahini toasted muesli, sweet potato and beetroot fritters with in-house cured salmon, spinach, poached eggs and a horseradish and walnut cream, brioche burger with top cut beef, paprika aioli, Swiss cheese and a beetroot relish with hand cut potato wedges.
Bookings? No bookings
When? September 24, 2013
What is it? Melbourne’s popular gourmet salad, soups and spuds bar. The offering is simple – healthy, fresh salads and salad dressings made from seasonal produce, offered from a set menu or by individual design at the salad bar.
Who’s behind it? Ex-corporate lawyer, Georgia Samuel, founded the original Famish’d on Little Collins Street.
Size? 60, including the outside seating.
What’s on the Menu? Famish’d specialises in salads, with the option to select daily specials or create your own salad from a well-stocked salad bar. There are breakfast and lunch menus, offering a range of soups, toasties, delicious desserts and St Ali coffee.
Bookings? Only for 6 or more
When? July 12, 2013
What is it? Converted warehouse into Thai restaurant serving authentic Thai dishes
Who’s behind it? Family run business by the same family who owned and run ‘krua thai’ in St Kilda and Richmond for more than 15 years
Size? 100 covers
What’s on the menu? A mixture of authentic Thai dishes as well as family hand-me-down recipes and fusion dishes. Thai noodle is the specialty and popular among Thai customers.
Booking? Book for dinner and weekends to avoid a long waiting list
When? March, 2013 – I missed it totally – so might have you.
What is it? Mesa Verde is a bar and eatery serving tequila and other tipples with Mexican inspired food, derived from fresh, local produce.
Who’s behind it? Long-time Curtin House dweller, Grant Gould, and Kathy Reed, a Melbourne cook driven by local produce and Mexican flavours.
Size? Designed by architect Grant Amon, with collaboration from owner Tim Peach, chef Kathy Reed and jewellery designer Marcos Davidson, Mesa Verde holds 175 people – 45 in the restaurant, 60 in the bar, and 20 in the private dining room.
What’s on the Menu? Mesa’s food is driven by what’s available locally and is prepared unpretentiously, the flavours are fresh and varied. Specials are frequent and experimental. Signature menu items include their unique selection of tacos or the Smokey pork belly with spicy beans, jicama and lime. New to Mesa Verde is Taco Tuesdays. Every Tuesday there is a choice of three rotating special tacos – choose two and get a Pacifico for $15.00.
Bookings? Mesa Verde takes bookings for both small and large groups.
When? October 5, 2013
What is it? All-natural frozen yogurt using Australian local farmers produce.
Who’s behind it? A local team who are dedicated in supplying farm fresh produce and supporting the local community. Swear words & Claire Larritt-Evans interior designed
Size? 30 seats with 4 more locations to come in the next month; Mornington, Mentone, Malvern, Cairns
What’s on the Menu? Frozen yogurt handmade in store daily + freshly cut fruit, superfood toppings, all natural nuts, 100% fruit coulis &handmade granola. Signature yogurt flavours include original tart with no added sugar, lemon & ginger (a match made in YOMG heaven).
Bookings? No – just rock up
Don’t miss out on any other Melbourne food & drink news – Subscribe to the email list receive every update (top right corner) and Follow @Shark4ChipDrink Know of any other places opening soon that aren’t on this list or that were missed? Let me know! Send Email. See you next month.