New restaurant & bar openings in February 2014 – 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 in the comments section. In case you missed it – check out what OPENED IN JANUARY. ———————————————————————————————————————-

Taxi Kitchen, Fed SquareTaxi Kitchen

When? February 28, 2014

What is it? Fun dining, not fine dining!

Who’s behind it? Owned by Sovereign Hotel Group, Tony Twitchett is still Executive Chef and Sam Forte is the Head Chef

Size? Total capacity is 200 and there are a number of new bar seats and communal tables being added to the existing floor plan. Will also welcome casual diners.

What’s on the Menu? The menu will be much more accessible both price wise and style wise than Taxi Dining Room, with a much more rustic and hearty approach. Signature dishes include scorched oyster, salt and vinegar crackle; salt & pepper quail, apple soy; slow roasted lamb shoulder.

Bookings? Yes and no. Set menus required for groups over 16 and private functions for 20 to 150 pax

Contact: Level 1, Transport Hotel Federation Square. Ph. 9654 8808.  Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Taxi Kitchen, Fed Square ———————————————————————————————————————-

Jabili's Kitchen MelbourneJabili’s Kitchen

When? February 13, 2014

What is it? A street food pop-up with a modern African twist

Who’s behind it? Jabili Mchawala Head Chef (Ex Head Chef at Rice Queen). Owners of Mr Wow’s Emporium and Los Barbudos.

Size? The food truck is located in the rear warehouse of Mr Wow’s Emporium and Los Barbudos. Order at the window, grab a buzzer and take your food back into the bar to enjoy alongside your beer or cocktail

What’s on the Menu? Street food with a modern African twist such as Tunisian tacos with yoghurt braised lamb shoulder, pri pri wings, Moroccan plider with spiced lentils and house-made slaw.

Bookings? Food available for catering at Mr Wow’s and Los Barbudos

Contact: 95 and 97b Smith Street, Fitzroy. Ph. 0421483464. Facebook. Twitter.

Jabili's Kitchen Melbourne
Jabili's Kitchen on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

1090 Burger, Melbourne1090 BURGER

When? February 1, 2014

What is it?  A handcrafted burger truck

Who’s behind it? Son Nguyen

Size? It’s a truck stupid

What’s on the Menu? Cheeseburger ($6), Vegieburger ($8), Vintaburger ($8), Homemade spring rolls, vegie croquettes.

Bookings? Private parties and functions all welcome

Contact: Ph. 0430947287. Facebook. Twitter.

1090 Burger, Melbourne
1090 Burger on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Strasse Bar, MelbourneStrasse Bar

When? November 9, 2013

What is it? A craft bar which focuses on a premium offering served with fun and personality

Who’s behind it? Nick Reed (formally 1806) and Paul Marinelli

Size? Seats 50, or 65 with standing. Designed by first time bar designer Georgina Mann

What’s on the Menu? Showcases their take on affordable and easy to eat ‘street food’. Signature item include the Strasse-Bourger – Sliced Kransky topped with Chipotle Mayo and a Pickle served in a Brioche bun.

Bookings? Yes – groups up to 10

Contact: Back Carpark of 126 Pakington St, Geelong West. Ph. 0434570043. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Strasse Bar, Melbourne ———————————————————————————————————————-

Charlie Dumpling - PrahranCharlie Dumpling

When? January 23, 2014

What is it? Charlie Dumpling delivers a modern twist on dumplings

Who’s behind it? Led by Executive Chef Dylan Roberts (formerly Claremont Tonic, Ezard, Cutler & Co) and Restaurant Manager Jamie Munro-Lynch (previously Anada, Cutler & Co, Circa).

Size? Designed by renowned architects DC Group & Newline Design, Charlie Dumpling offers a fast casual dine-in experience whether seated in the main 45 seat dining room, at the bar, the outdoor “laneway” or attending an event in the 14-16 seat private dining room.

What’s on the Menu? Savoury dumplings (old favourites as well as edgy new versions such as Snapper, chilli, lime and blackbean), small bites including Charlie’s Fried Chicken Ribs with five spice honey and kewpie mayo and the already popular salmon tartare, delicious salads and an exclusive range of dessert dumplings including the extravagant milk chocolate dumpling with chilli sugar and raspberry sorbet. And Charlie’s signature cocktails like the “Mr C Sheen” (Gin, watermelon, lime, agave).

Bookings? Walk in restaurant, no bookings. Private dining room available for functions.

Contact: 184 High Street, Prahran, Victoria 3181. Ph. 03 9510 4213. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Charlie Dumpling - Prahran
Charlie Dumpling on Urbanspoon

chianti, North FitzroyChianti Bistro

When? February 14, 2014

What is it? Neighbourhood bistro and bar. Italian focused wine list and menu.

Who’s behind it? Owners – Lauren Bieber, Tom Crowe, Jessica Crowe and Domenic Stanton. Lauren and Tom also own and operate Mixed Business Cafe & Fowlers Flowers. The manager is Jessica Crowe (ex The Commoner). The head chef is Domenic Stanton (ex MoVida and Grossi Florentino)

Size? Dining (30), Bar (5), Private dining/function (10-20). Courtyard (15) coming soon.

What’s on the Menu? Italian bistro dining. Ryeland lamb and Saler beef from the Chef’s brother’s farm in Western Vic. ‘Chianti Classico’ 5 courses for $70.

Bookings? Yes, by phone only

Contact: 376 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy. Ph. 03 9481 4628. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

chianti, North Fitzroy
Chianti Bistro on Urbanspoon ———————————————————————————————————————-

Woodland House, MelbourneWoodland House

When? January 15, 2014

What is it? Woodland House is the highly anticipated collaboration between two of Melbourne’s finest young chefs, Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland. Previously the home of renowned chef Jacques Reymond who closed the restaurant on 21 Dec 2013 after 27 years of service.

Who’s behind it? Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland, who met working in the Jacques Reymond kitchen. With Thomas working his way up the ranks, whilst Hayden has come via Mercer’s in Eltham, Yering Station, The Square in London and Melbourne’s Interlude

Size? 60 seats

What’s on the Menu? Innovative, produce-based cuisine with a few surprises along the way

Bookings? Essential, function spaces also available

Contact: 78 Williams Road, Prahran. Ph. 03 9525 2178. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Woodland House, Melbourne
Woodland House on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-


When? February 12, 2014

What is it? A welcome addition to the Lygon Street landscape 

Who’s behind it? A collaboration with owner Carolyn Ferreira, menu by New York chef Cali Rivera and drinks by Miss Brown.  

Size? 80 Seats inside and out  

What’s on the Menu? Latin American – true to its foundations, but with a modern interpretation for the Melbourne market.  Ceviche, empanadas (chickpea, sweet potato and silver beet or chorizo and potato), patatas bravas (Spanish style potatoes), bocadillos (Argentinean style steak baguette and the Cubano with braised pork), slow cooked lamb and alfajores (housemade shortbread biscuits served with café ice cream) to name a few. Everything on the menu is made fresh in-house daily.

Bookings? Yes.

Contact: 171 Lygon Street, Carlton 3053, Ph. (03) 9347 3293. Website. Facebook.

Popol Nah on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Junior Morse, Abbotsford Jr. Morse

When? January 16, 2014

What is it? Junior Morse has oiled the pulleys and opened its window for takeaway. Sitting reliably beneath the Victoria Park railway station in Abbotsford, the robust corner provides remedies for ailments such as hunger and thirst, seven days a week.

Who’s behind it? Jon Costelloe, Anthony Daniels and Peter Walsh are a medley of publican, builder and restaurateur. Their partnership was unified by a discovery in an archeological dig. A bear saved their lives and Dr Morse was conceived.

Size? 12 seats.

What’s on the Menu? The focus is on specialty coffee and making merry for those on their way. Junior serves coffee only in its truest form — black or white and without the frills. The method centers on the refined details, dosing and weighing to taste. To ensure the perfect cup, coffee is served between 7am and 4pm. Junior’s menu is short and decisive, inspired by the ultimate takeaway experiences. Breakfast and lunch are made to order and menu items rotate fortnightly, seasonally and on the whim. So far, there has been the hangover-cure Vietnamese pork roll, the experimental jaffle turned great idea, slow cooked meats, salad heroes and freshly squeezed, Vic Market juices bottled to health.

Bookings? No.

Contact: 274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, Victoria. Facebook.

Junior Morse, Abbotsford
Dr Morse Bar & Eatery on Urbanspoon ———————————————————————————————————————-

The Tippler and Co, East MelbourneThe Tippler & Co

Date of opening? December 4, 2013

What is it? A new bar & eatery in East Melbourne, The Tippler & Co provides a relaxed environment for people to enjoy all things food and drink. The focus is on share style food accompanied with a carefully selected drinks list that includes craft beers on tap, local wines and various cocktails, all just a stones throw from the MCG.

Who’s behind it? This is the first venture for owner and manager, Gus McAllister.

Size? Seats 70, plus a function room upstairs.

What’s on the menu? Don’t limit yourself to just one or two choices, their share style menu lets you sample multiple dishes. Sweet potato & kaffir lime arancini, piri piri chicken with duck fat kipflers and the pea & smoked ham hock croquettes are fast becoming big hits on the menu.

Bookings? Yes. Walk-ins are always welcome, but bookings are advised to avoid disappointment. Contact: 58 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne 3002. Ph. (03) 9416 0618. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

The Tippler and Co, East Melbourne
The Tippler & Co. on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Imbebe Wine Bar, Port MelbourneIMBIBE Wine Bar

When? January 18, 2014

What is it? An intimate but sophisticated bar serving the best of Victorian produce. Serving Beer, cider and wine with light food to match.

Who’s behind it? Matthew peck returning to hospitality after 10 years in corporate. Previously 10 years in hospitality in Vic and Qld from 5 star down to small restaurants and bars.

Size? 27, up to 57 at the end of april.  Designed by Studio Equator – Richmond. They are winning awards internationally for their refit of Bluetrain – southbank.

What’s on the Menu? They serve a selection of local cheeses, dips and charcuterie. They also have a share plate from Komeyui Japanese restaurant thats delicious. If neither of those are what you are after then you can order in a delivery from any of the local restaurants.

Bookings? Yes

Contact: 359 Bay St, Port Melbourne. Ph. 0490 073 651. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Imbebe Wine Bar, Port Melbourne
Imbibe Wine Bar on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Goz City MelbourneGoz City

When? January 2014

What is it? Göz City is the first specialty gözleme cafe in Australia. Göz City is unlike any other Turkish and Middle Eastern food experience, combining the age-old gözleme tradition with a distinctly modern aesthetic and attitude. At Göz City, göz is prepared using enduring family recipes and traditional techniques, and served with love and a young, fresh perspective.

Who’s behind it? Taylan Aksoy (owner), originally from successful Turkish restaurant Köy (South Melbourne Market Cecil Street precinct).

Size? Seating for 13 inside + bar. Designed by Taylan working with IA Design & Construction

What’s on the Menu? Göz City’s menu is led by four customary gözleme, which feature permanently – cheese and spinach, Turkish spiced minced meat, herbed chicken and mushroom and veg. In addition, weekly unique and seasonal flavour combinations are added. Think pulled pork and fig, shredded chicken and mushroom or even a Mexican taco-inspired göz. Göz City offers quality coffee using Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters and a coveted Kees Van Der Westen – MIRAGE machine, plus a great selection of Turkish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired salads such as Cypriot Cauliflower or Quinoa Tabouli.

Bookings? No

Contact: 502 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Ph. (03) 9041 5667. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Goz City Melbourne

———————————————————————————————————————- Pop-Up

When? February 14, 2014 – May 11, 2014 (Valentines Day till Mothers Day)

What is it? Stokehouse Pop-Up is a temporary reincarnation of the iconic Stokehouse that was lost to fire on this year Friday 17 January. The trademark summer location, stunning signature panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay, personalised service and infectious, inimitable atmosphere is back for the late summer and is at the heart of the Stokehouse Pop-Up.

Who’s behind it? The Van Haandel Group with the Pop-Up being led by Stokehouse Restaurant Managers, Joel Penno (14 years) and Anna Touhy (18 years), along with Restaurant Head Chef Ollie Gould (10 years) and Café Head Chef Nick Mahlook (9 years).

Size? The 20 x 30 meter structure, provided by Harry the Hirer, seats 200 and invites guests to make a restaurant reservation or drop in to have a drink and say hello. The Pop-Up has brought back the Stokehouse’s signature relaxed beach glamour through the use of fresh and natural interior décor, including timber floor boards, floor to ceiling glass windows, relaxed indoor dining and a huge undercover outdoor terrace bar.

What’s on the Menu? A fresh and exciting take on Stokehouse Restaurant and Stokehouse Café; Stokehouse signature favourites – Beer battered fish & chips, Classic beef burger, Morton Bay Bug & prawn linguini and ‘The Bombe’ dessert – are back and available on the collaborative menu that suits all dining and drinking occasions.

Bookings? Restaurant bookings are encouraged and walk-ins are welcomed.

Contact30 Jacka Boulevard, 
St Kilda Beach VIC 3182. Ph. 9525 5555. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Stokehouse Popup, St Kilda


Moorabool Shire Feast of MarchMoorabool Shire Feast of March

When? Various events, Friday, March 1 through to Sunday March 23.

What is it? Victoria’s Moorabool Shire — including the towns of Bacchus Marsh, Blackwood, Ballan, Myrniong and Wallace — hosts a veritable swag of farmers’ markets, long lunches, festivals and family days throughout March 2014.

Who’s behind it? Award-winning chef, Mark Mills, winemaker Richard Mclean, Bacchus Marsh Tourism and a host of regional producers.

Size? Feast of March 2014 events include Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival, the Garden of St Erth Diggers Club Harvest Festival and Seasonal Feast, Ballan Autumn Festival and Farmers’ Market, the Djerriwarrh Health Services Longest Lunch, the Delectable Degustation with Mark Mills and Richard Mclean, Sunday Roast at the Wallace Hotel, and Myrniong Music Festival.

What’s on the Menu? A wide variety of produce sourced from the Moorabool region.

Bookings? Bookings needed for the Garden of St Erth Feast in the Forest, the Longest Lunch and the Delicious Degustation.


Moorabool Shire Feast of March ———————————————————————————————————————-

Marquis MelbourneMarquis

When? December 13, 2013.
What? A small and intimate bar which serves free canapes with each drink and small interesting plates for those who desire something more substantial, craft beers and quality wines and spirits.
Who? Owners are Adam Franklin (formerly of Naked for Satan, The Richmond Club Hotel and the Bridge Hotel), Simon Heaney (Formerly of the Bouzy Rouge and the Royce Hotel) and Keith Kendall (Formerly with hair on his head), head chef is Paul Hancott from Aniar and Cava restaurants in Galway, Ireland.
Size? Seats 50 people throughout the front bar and outside courtyard. They are currently undertaking a semi-renovation of the upstairs function room which will be complete by the end of march. This space will hold 40 patrons and includes a private balcony. The full renovation will be completed by September when they will open their specialty gin bar, Mother’s Ruin.
What’s on the menu? The menu is designed to encourage informal grazing while enjoying a tipple with friends. Each item (with the exception of the $12 Quail) costs less than $10. They will also provide complimentary canapes with all drinks purchased. Dishes include confit lamb belly, quail with char grilled watermelon and quinoa salad, inverted Parma, Calzone, Barramundi Fritters, Confit Duck legs House-made, sweet potato fries with chilli aioli amongst other things.
Bookings? Yes
Contact: 42 Johnston street, Fitzroy 3065. Ph. 9415 1329. Website. Facebook.
Marquis Melbourne

Marquis Bar on Urbanspoon

Crisp, MelbourneCrisp

When? January 15, 2014 What is it? Creative, healthy salads made fresh to your liking.

Who’s behind it? Corporate couple Ted Tolfree and Shey Newitt ditched their desks in search of salad.

Size? Crisp is mainly takeaway, but has outdoor seating for 30 and bar seating inside for 15. This salad got style. 1:1 Architects and Liquorice Studio are behind the Crisp look.

What’s on the Menu? If you can go past the famous Chicken Chipotle (many can’t), try the other favourites like the Asian Slaw, Middle East Falafel, or Superfood Detox. There are two new salads every season – this summer it was the Pulled Pork Tortilla and Kale Cleanse. Crisp also has healthy breakfast, snacks, juices and sides.

Bookings? No bookings, but Crisp takes online orders and does catering.

Contact: Shop W2, Southern Cross Lane, between Bourke, Little Collins, and Exhibition Streets. Ph. 03 9650 0161. Website. Facebook. Twitter.   Crisp, Melbourne
Crisp on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Hero Subs, Hardware Lane, melbourneHero Subs – Hardware Lane

When? February 12, 2014

What is it? Gourmet oversized Brooklyn inspired subs with100% respect to the fillings.

Who’s behind it? Michael and Eleena Tan who developed the Grain Store Café

Size? 15-20 (indoor)

What’s on the Menu? Gourmet Subs come in half and full sizes. Naked salads, sweet treats and drinks. The fan favourite is the #kidroyale: Smoked hickory rub slow roasted beef with onion jam, honey dijon, baby spinach, finished with crispy onion rings.

Bookings? No bookings but they do cater

Contact: 28 Hardware Lane, Melbourne. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Hero Subs, Hardware Lane, melbourne
Hero on Urbanspoon———————————————————————————————————————-

Om Nom MelbourneOm Nom

  When? November 20, 2013

What is it? Om Nom is the sweet centre of the Adelphi Hotel with desserts taking centre stage and never an afterthought.

Who’s behind it? The Iconic Hotels Group. Head Chef is Christy Tania. In a short but distinguished career, this French-trained Patisserie Chef has worked under world-renowned chefs including Alain Ducasse, Michel Roth and Sébastien Serveau.

Size? 40 restaurant seats and 8 seats at the bar. Designed by Fady Hachem of Hachem Design.

What’s on the Menu? Om Nom is an incredibly exciting concept where passion for beautiful and unique desserts made from the best ingredients is truly indulged. For those with a more savoury palette or watching what they eat, Om Nom has designed the menu around the concept of social eating, so smaller shared plates allowing guests to taste a little bit of everything.

Bookings? Yes, bookings can be made on-line or emailed to  

Contact: 87 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000. Ph. 8080 8888. Website. Facebook. Twitter.

Om Nom Melbourne
Om Nom Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

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.

One thought on “New restaurant & bar openings in February 2014 – a round-up of what’s hit Melbourne in the past month

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

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