New restaurant & bar openings in December – a round-up of what’s hit Melbourne in the past month

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 we’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 NOVEMBER.


Nieuw AmsterdamNieuw Amsterdam

Date of opening? December 20, 2013

What is it? New York style, late night bar and eatery serving lunch, dinner and bar snacks, open from 12pm until late daily.

Who’s behind it? Owner and General Manager, Michael Roszbach (former manager of Cookie). Head Chef, Nick Stanton (former head chef of Woods of Windsor).

Size: Licensed for 200, restaurant seating for 60 and bar seating for 60. Interior designed by Samantha Eades and Wendy Bergman.

What’s on the menu? Nieuw Amsterdam is dishing up New American style food with a mix of quirky and classic cocktails. Stanton’s menu builds on new interpretations of classic American dishes, such as ‘chicken waffles’ with pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin and orange caramel or the ‘Nieuw Reuben’ with BBQ beef brisket, sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and thousand island dressing.

Bookings:? Yes

Contact: 106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne. Ph. 9602 2111. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Nieuw Amsterdam
Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon


Thomas OliveThomas Olive

When? November 20, 2013

What is it? Upstairs bar to Best New Restaurant of the Year, Saint Crispin, with an elegant and classical cocktail offering.  Food from the Saint Crispin menu.

Who’s behind it? Saint Crispin’s Joe Grbac (ex Press Club) and Scott Pickett (also owns Estelle).  Bar manager, James Tait has worked at Black Pearl and Der Raum, played a pivotal role in opening Tonka, and authored the new bar menu at 1806. Most recently, Tait was the Australian Whisky Specialist for William Grant & Sons.

Size? Mostly stand up with seating around perimeter.

What’s on the Menu? Snap crackle and pop, eel croquet, oysters, charcuterie plate, cheese plate.

Bookings? You book for downstairs…

Contact: 300 Smith Street
Collingwood. Ph. Ph. 9419 2202. Website

Thomas Olive_credit Dean Cambray


Koba Korean MelbourneKOBA

When? Opened late October

What is it? Korean Fusion

Who’s behind it? Owned by Rosa Kim and William Kim; brother and sister. Proudly family run and owned.

Size? 8 inside and 6 outside

What’s on the Menu? Bringing a fresh new take on Korean food. We’re talking Korean BBQ in a Burrito, Koba Rice Bowls and Korean Tacos. All made proudly in house using traditional family recipes, using not so Korean items such as the flour tortilla.

Bookings? No.

Contact: 119 Hardware St, Melbourne. Facebook.

koba korean melbourne
Saint Crispin on Urbanspoon


short batch ice creamShort Batch Ice Cream Cart

When? November 20, 2013

What is it? Retro ice cream cart cruising around Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy.

Who’s behind it? Scott Kilmartin (coming from a design background, previously the founder of– which made messenger bags and ipad cases from used advertising billboards. ‘I exited haul and spent 3 months traveling checking out ice cream and gelaterias in the US, Cuba, France , UK and Spain and spent a month at gelato school in Italy’

‘Whilst in NYC and LA I spent a lot of time chasing food trucks and talking to the cart vendors doing interesting things in Central Park. I got home too late to open a gelato shop in North Fitzroy, so decided to do the cart as a trial this summer’.

Cart design? The cart was imported from the UK, before Scott and Paddy Meade (one of the constructors of the fish that floated in the Yarra river during the Commonwealth Games), gave the cart a hipster make over.

What’s on the Menu? Currently offering choc tops. The plan is to serve scoop gelato once council and food permits are given.

Bookings? The cart can be hired for Weddings, Parties…Anything.
Contact: Friday & Sat 1-7pm or when it’s warm! Ph. 0490 187 337. Website. Facebook. Twitter.
short batch ice cream cart melbourne

Short Batch Ice Cream Co. on Urbanspoon

Clover-&-Rye-LogoClover & Rye – the kitchen around the corner

When? 8th November

What is it? Home cooked food from recipes with a European influence. Enjoy the pantry menu for a great coffee, breakfast and lunch or kick back for a leisurely dinner and dine on the kitchen table menu. Locally supplied seafood, quality meats marinated for days, fresh pasta and artisan breads.  Wash it all down with a choice of roasted coffees, craft beers, local wines or a cocktail.

Who’s behind it? Jo Duffield is the brains behind Clover & Rye. Jo runs a hospitality consultancy in Melbourne called B&RC and her company opened Mejico in Sydney last year. Clover & Rye is a neighborhood restaurant that reflects everything Jo stands for; great local produce, wonderful service with food & drinks to die for. The Head Chef John Kasidokostas, formerly of Spondi, Athens held a Michelin star.

The designer was Allister Sarris of Sarris design, their latest projects include Veludo, St Kilda The Pier, Port Melbourne and The George, Perth.

Size? 120 seats with terrace seating outside and The Kitchen Table, private dining for groups of up to 30.

What’s on the Menu? Modern European using local Aussie produce. Signature dishes include  the smashed avocado with yoghurt chunky salsa crunchy shallots & pumpkin kernels or spatchcock chicken with smashed chat potatoes & bok choy dressed with yoghurt & lime. The duets; embracing the sharing culture of late, Clover & Rye present meatballs, chicken & calamari dishes cooked in two ways. $22 and serves 2.

Bookings? All bookings accepted. The Kitchen Table is located in the private dining room and caters for up to 30 people.

Contact: 410 Bridge Road, Richmond, 3121. Ph. (03) 9428 5995. Website. Facebook.

Clover and Rye on Urbanspoon


Tommy Ruff Fish BarTommy Ruff Fish Bar

When? May 2013

What is it?  Gourmet fish and chips with healthy options  of grilled baked fish served with salad options, rice and veggies.

Who’s behind it? John and Helen Stamoulis – previous owners of Clarendon’s Fish and Chippers and redmullet fishcaf.

Size? 60 inside and 40 outside.

What’s on the Menu? Fish and chips – grilled, fried, battered or baked served with chips, salad, brown rice and veg. Whole baked fish, Snapper and Flounder and many other daily specials.

Bookings? Yes

Contact: 1-3 Carre St, Elsternwick. WebsiteFacebook.

Tommy Ruff Fish Bar
Tommy Ruff - Fish Bar on Urbanspoon


Francis CoffeeFrancis Coffee

When? Early December 2013

What is it?  Speciality coffee and food

Who’s behind it? Gerrick Numan, previous owner of Hobba Eatery and Willim Espresso.

Size? 40 seats, indoor & outdoor

What’s on the Menu? Coffee by Seven Seeds. Currently serving limited menu featuring high quality, local produce, full menu coming in the New Year.

Bookings? No

Contact: 253 Franklin Street, Melbourne. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Francis Coffee
Francis Coffee on Urbanspoon


Happy Camper Pizza Logo w:iconsHAPPY CAMPER PIZZA

When? December 2013

What is it? Melbourne’s latest Food Truck addition  – a 1960s converted Airstream selling Pizza.

Who’s behind it? An Airstream obsessed family who boast their pizzas are as good, if not better, than any Italian restaurant in Melbourne

Size?  At 5.4 metres long, it’s an absolute feat of engineering. Everything has literally been built around the oven.

What’s on the Menu? Handmade, artisanal pizzas using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The signature Pizza, Happy Camper is béchamel, gorgonzola, fig, prosciutto, rocket and balsamic glaze.

Bookings? As well as street food HAPPY CAMPER PIZZA can be booked for events and private functions.

Contact: Facebook.

Happy camper pizza
Happy Camper Pizza on Urbanspoon


Barry Cafe, NorthcoteBARRY.

When? September 30, 2013

What is it? Coffee and food, 7 days, breakfast all day and lunch from 11:30

Who’s behind it?  Kael & Matt Sahely (Pillar of Salt & Touchwood) with sister Loren McBride and Steve Svensen (Head Chef at Barry and ex-Pillar of Salt)  

Size? Indoor 65, Outdoor 25, Designed by Techne Architects, fit out by Bear Projects

What’s on the Menu? Five Senses coffee, all day breakfast including coconut sago pudding with mango, strawberries, lime syrup & black sesame, portobello & enoki mushroom omlette with havarti & truffled hazelnuts, cucumber & gin cured ocean trout with roasted cauliflower, freekeh, kale, pomegranate & soft-boiled egg.  Lunch including Californian superfood salad, wagyu beef burger, raw zucchini lasagna, crispy Korean chicken sub. Small selection of alcoholic beverages, wine, beer, cider, bloody Mary’s.  Gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Bookings? Monday to Friday only for groups larger than 5

Contact: 85 High Street, Northcote, 3070. Ph. 9481 7623. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Barry Cafe, Northcote
Barry on Urbanspoon


Long ShotLong Shot, melbourne

When? November 22, 2013

What is it? The café, which is just 52 ½ metres square, is stocked with baked goods by Shaun Quade and Jo Barrett; oversized muffins and sticky cinnamon scrolls sit alongside freshly tossed salads and gourmet sandwiches.

Who’s behind it? The Walker Evans Baker Restaurant Group (Lang Walker, Pete Evans, Gavin Baker). Executive Pastry Chef Shaun Quade (Quay in Sydney, Biota in Bowral, Urbane in Brisbane), and Jo Barrett (MoVida).  Joshua Willis (previously of Proud Mary) is Head Barista.

Size? 52 ½ metres square. A collaborative design by Emily Pedersen of Walker Corporation, and Anna Drummond and Trish Turner of Colab Design Studio

What’s on the Menu? Everything is handmade onsite, from the crusty, crunchy sourdough baked by Barrett to the bottled fermented sodas that change flavour with Quade’s mood. House made cereal and flavoured milk, also made on site. The specialty coffee, roasted by St Ali and poured by experienced baristas, places this gem firmly on the Melbourne coffee map. And for those seeking more than coffee, Long Shot has a single tap stocking crisp, cold German Wheat beer as well as a variety of wines by the glass.

Bookings?  No.

Contact: 727 Collins St. Ph. (03) 9252 7979. Website.

Long shot, melbourne
Long Shot on Urbanspoon


Local Burger Co MelbourneThe Local Burger Co.

When? August 21, 2013

What is it? Freshly cooked burgers that utilise homemade and local produce.

Who’s behind it? The team consists of Graeme Critchley and Evan Kipping as owners. Alex Greenwood straight out of Hackney in London as the head chef.

Size? 45 seats

Whats On the Menu? BURGERS! Old School Cheese burger, Classic Beef Burger, Beef, bacon and Cheese, Big Burger, Chicken Burger, Chickpea burger, Mushroom Burger and Pulled Pork.

Bookings? Nope

Contact: 687 Rathdowne Street carlton north. Website. Facebook

the local burgerc o.
The Local Burger Co. on Urbanspoon


Hot StarHot Star

When November 28, 2013

What is it Taiwanese street food offering a new fried chicken experience. A piece of whole chicken served in a bag with plum sauce to ensure a succulent end result.

Who’s behind it Established in 1992 by Mr Lam, Hot Star began in a Taiwanese street food market. This is the first Australian store to open

Size? No seating

What’s on the Menu? Chicken breast cooked on the bone, served whole with a plum salt; vegetarian options of fried oyster mushrooms and hand cut sweet potato chips

Bookings No bookings

Contact: 233 Swanston Street (btwn Little Bourke & Lonsdale St). Website. Facebook

Hot Star chicken


Fenix EventsFenix Events – corporate and private event space

When? November 12, 2013

What is it? The new Fenix Events has re-opened as a unique space available for conferences, weddings and private events.

Who’s behind it? Maple Event Group – the people behind iconic Leonda By The Yarra. Executive Head Chef – Roland Gordon has 12 years of event dining experience and will oversee both Leonda By The Yarra and Fenix Events

Size? Space suited for all styles of events from conferences, weddings and private events. Design led by Shareen Joel Design.

What’s on the Menu? Contact them below to see menu options.

Bookings? For events only – small conferences to larger 300 people events.

Contact: 680 Victoria Street, Richmond. Ph 03 9427 8500. Website. Facebook.

Fenix Events


General Store and Co, MelbourneGeneral Store & Co.

When? October 10, 2013

What is it? General Store & Co. sells Goods, Grog & Grocery.

Who’s behind it?  Size? There’s a village of them who own it and run it together: Josh Lefers, Stephen Wools, Dan Gallagher and Gaz Kempster have been working and hanging together for over a decade and this is another great extension of their times together.  They are the original gangsters from Big Dog Creative.

Size? 150-200pax

What’s on the Menu? A selection of old faithful jaffles & toasted sandwiches with toppings such as ham and cheese, spaghetti and cheese, baked beans and cheese and a weekly market special cooked by Sis Made This Catering

Bookings? Yes. 

Contact: 213 Franklin St, Melbourne (Opposite the Queen Victoria Market). Ph. (03) 9329 9951. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

General Store and Co, Melbourne


house many blackTownhouse

When? First Week of December

What is it? The bastard child of hatted Restaurant & a specialty coffee house

Who’s behind it? Owners Matt Ward, Mitch Haworth (Prospect Espresso) & Will Manning (Prospect Espresso, Verge, The Deanery)

Size? 60 seats, Bar seating available

What’s on the Menu? Creative Breakfast dishes with an all star lunch menu fit for a hatted restaurant – such as chicken breast, potato gnocchi, cherve, smoked marrow, peas, asparagus; Chilled white gazpacho, oloroso jelly, cucumber sorbet, almond bread

Bookings? No bookings for restaurant, but private dining room planned in the near future.

Contact: 466 Toorak Road Toorak. Ph. (03) 9973 8721. Facebook. Twitter.

Townhouse on Urbanspoon



What is it: Vietnamese food from the old country – no gimmicks, twists or fancy sells – just simple food with extraordinary flavours using family recipes and hard to find herbs sourced from our very own garden.

Who’s behind it: Family team Melanie Cao, Bay Cao, & Matthew Gray as the token white guy (aka Mel’s hubby).

Size: It’s a truck people – so sit or even pop a squat Vietnam style.

What’s on the Menu: Seasonal, but you can find pho, bun noodle salads and the addictive OoOdleLishious apple cider & beef rice paper rolls making regular appearances.

Bookings: Can accommodate private bookings but in general, follow our locations on social media.

Contact: Website. Facebook. Twitter. Ph. Mel on 0433.113.254



Ruby's Cafe, CoburgRuby’s

When? November 29, 2013.
What is it? A cute and stylish Art Deco inspired cafe and gallery space new to Coburg that incorporates great coffee and food, with warm and friendly staff.
Who is behind it? The owners are man and wife Mik & Becky Tsatsis who live locally.
Size? Inside seating for 20 and in the new year an outdoor area at the back of the property will be developed to seat another 15.
Whats on the menu? Delicious Padre coffee, all day breakfasts served with gourmet breads, free range eggs and locally sourced produce. Expect daily lunch specials, some with a Greek twist.
Bookings? No.
Contact: 138 Nicholson Street, Coburg 3058. Ph. 0499 731 059. Facebook.
Tues~Fri: 7am-4.30pm
Sat~Sun: 8am-4.30pm
Ruby's Cafe, Coburg

Ruby's on Urbanspoon

Mr Earl tea subscriptionMr Earl – tea subscription service

When? Website launch 1 December 2013

What is it?  A premium tea subscription service, changing the way Aussie tea lovers drink, buy and think about tea. Sign up for 1, 3 or 6 months and you’ll sample three different varieties of specialty teas conveniently delivered to your door each month.

Who’s behind it? Mr Earl. A tea aficionado who believes life’s too short for average tea.

Size? Ships to Australia

What’s on the Menu? Only the finest quality premium tea sourced from Australia and New Zealand’s best specialty tea brands.

Bookings? n/a

Contact: WebsiteFacebook. Twitter.

Mr Earl tea subscription

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.


2 thoughts on “New restaurant & bar openings in December – a round-up of what’s hit Melbourne in the past month

  1. Pingback: New restaurant & bar openings in January 2014 – a round-up of what’s hit Melbourne in the past month | Sharking for chips and drinks...

  2. Love the Aeropress and plan to take it on a long bikepacking trip, subject to pack space. very good page.nice project you are right.its realy ok.Coffee Van Melbourne is located in Melbourne, vic 3175. We are specializing in mobile coffee van for any functions, party, weddings, exhibitions, concerts plus much more. coffee mobile van, mobile coffee melbourne, mobile coffee dandenong, coffee melbourne, coffee dandenong, espresso coffee melbourne, espresso coffee dandenong, mobile cafe melbourne, mobile cafe dandenong

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s