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. ———————————————————————————————————————-
When? February 28, 2014
What is it? Fun dining, not fine dining!
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
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
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
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
When? January 23, 2014
What is it? Charlie Dumpling delivers a modern twist on dumplings
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Contact: 274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, Victoria. Facebook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.