The bar at Uncle
To see the Melbourne Gastronome list of anticipated places opening soon, click here.
Your one-stop-shop list of notable new Melbourne hospitality venues, with links to further details/reviews provided. I update the list as new information comes to hand. Let me know which venues I've missed!
- (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Urbanspoon, Yelp)
- The Rooks Return, 201 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9417 1401 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon): 7 November
- Heartattack and Vine, 329 Lygon Street, Carlton, 9005 8624 (Website, Facebook, Instagram, Urbanspoon): 22 October
- Altius Coffee, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (Website, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp) 10 October
- The Fifth Province, 3/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9078 4673 (Facebook, Instagram, Urbanspoon) 27 September
- Providence, 497 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, 9240 7055 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Urbanspoon) 5 October
- Green Park, 815 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, 9380 5499: late September
Sal Malatesta has sold his share in St Ali North to his business partner Jesse Gerner (Anada, Bomba). Gerner will reopen the business as all-day eatery Green Park with Spanish-inspired food from chef Howard Stamp (MoVida, Le Bon Ton).
- 400 Gradi Cicchetti, 99b Lygon Street, Brunswick East (Website, Facebook, Twitter): September
Johnny Di Francesco took over the shop next door to his 400 Gradi pizzeria, and has opened a bar that also serves cicchetti (small snacks). Pascale Gomes-McNabb designed the interior, and the food and drink offerings (good cocktails and about 100 Italian wines) sounds strong.
- NORA, 156 Elgin Street, Carlton (Website, Facebook, Twitter): late September
Back in February I wrote about the delicious NORA charcoal-crusted tarts that were being sold in some discerning Melbourne cafes. Now baking couple Tong and Jean are set to open their own bakery, on the corner of Elgin and Drummond in Carlton. Looking forward to this one.
- 400 Gradi, Crown Casino, Southbank: October
Winner of the recent World Pizza Championships in Italy, Johnny Di Francesco will be opening a second 400 Gradi pizzeria at Crown. (Good Food)
Opening week beginning 08/09/14
- Shortstop, 12 Sutherland Street, Melbourne, 9642 0807 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon): Monday
Anthony Ivey, who you may know from his time at Market Lane Coffee, was instrumental in setting up the original Doughboys Doughnuts pop-up in 2013, and now he's realised the dream of opening his own coffee and donuts cafe, with an absolute dedication to quality at every step of the project that has been impressive to witness. Expect crowds to match the hype - luckily the website has a pre-order option, so you can be sure you won't miss out. I've written up Shortstop here.
- White Kimchi, 117 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 8394 3826 (Facebook, Urbanspoon, Yelp)
Modern Korean restaurant on Smith Street. Liz from I Spy Plum Pie reported a good range of vego-friendly dishes.
- Vegilicious, 118 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 9537 3820 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Opening week beginning 01/09/14
- Elyros, 871-873 Burke Road, Camberwell, 9882 8877 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Guy Holder and Angie Giannakodakis, co-owners of Carlton's excellent Epocha restaurant, have opened a Cretan-inspired wine bar and dining room in Camberwell. It's in the site that was formerly Magic City, and it's named after the village in Crete where the mother of their business partner, Epocha floor manager Disa Dimitrakakis, was born.
- Black Market Pop-up Bar, 123 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 0424 979 029 (Website, Facebook)
A bar pop-up opening Thursdays to Sundays until the end of the year. Blackhearts and Sparrows are the wine purveyors and Beatbox Kitchen is doing the food.
- Carwyn Cellars, 877 High Street, Thornbury, 9484 1820 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Great news for the people of Thornbury: out the back of excellent bottle shop Carwyn Cellars comes a 16 tap craft beer and boutique whiskey bar. My northside spy has reported back very favourably (despite her hangover).
Opening week beginning 25/08/14
- Mighty Boy, 59-61 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9419 3686 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A combination of brunch cafe and Viet/Thai eatery next door to Cutler & Co, opened by Mark Peou (Tiny cafe in Collingwood) and his chef Christian Simoni (Chin Chin and Borsch, Vodka & Tears).
- Meatmaiden, 195 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9078 7747 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The team behind popular Richmond barbecue joint Meatmother have opened their second restaurant, with Justin Wise (former executive chef at The Point) consulting on the food. Meatmaiden is in the bunker space under the old Georges building that was the short-lived restaurant Little Hunter; the menu is much broader than that at Meatmother, and I tasted a range of dishes at a media/blog schmooze (the highlights were the excellent brisket and the decadent lobster mac 'n cheese). The pared-down lunch menu for $20/$25 will hopefully lure in office workers.
- Forester's Beer & Music Hall, 64 Smith Street, Collingwood, 8415 1464 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
The venue that was A Bar Called Barry has been reborn as Forester's Beer & Music Hall, brought to you by the crew behind Clifton Hill's Terminus Hotel and the Royston in Richmond. And what a beer and music hall it is: 50 taps serving 32 craft beers, pizza, and live bands on Friday and Saturday nights playing onstage in front of a giant gold clam shell dating from the 1920s.
Opening week beginning 18/08/14
- Munich Brauhaus, 45 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, 1300 686 424 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A Munich-inspired restaurant and bier hall has opened at South Wharf from Urban Purveyor Group (Sake, Ananas, Cut, Bavarian Bier Cafes, Lowenbrau and Swine & Co).
- Thailander Bar & Restaurant, 139 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 9600 2552 (Website, Facebook)
A second Thailander Thai eatery, opened on Lonsdale Street only a few weeks after their other restaurant at 425 Little Collins Street.
Opening week beginning 11/08/14
- Hakata Gensuke, 168 Russell Street, Melbourne, 9663 6342 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
New ramen restaurant in the city. Early reports from my ramen spy: "Noodles were really good, cha-shu was really tender (although small serve...need to order the extra meat and ajitama), and the tonkotsu broth base was great (I had a bowl of the black tonkotsu and a bowl of the god fire level 4 tonkotsu...the god fire was great, but the black tonkotsu was a bit too garlic intense for me...was fine at first, but after going back to the black after the god fire, it was way too garlicky and overpowered the pork). They have both the ramen master and a noodle maker out here from Japan teaching the staff, so good time to go while they're here. We'll see how it stacks up when they go back to Japan, whether they keep up the standards."
- Boca Del Sur, 1 Melrose Street, Sandringham, 9598 4487 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A tapas bar, restaurant, weddings and events space by the beach in Sandringham.
Opening week beginning 04/08/14
- LadyBoy Dining + Bar, 394 Bridge Road, Richmond, no phone (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Colourful new Thai restaurant and bar on Bridge Road, next door to the Curry Club Cafe. Owner/chef Mitch Townrow, who trained at Longrain, is joined in the kitchen by chef Pez Bowman.
- Bluebonnet BBQ, 187 Johnston Street, Collingwood, 9972 1815 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Chef Chris Terlikar's BBQ is a damn sight better than most of the BBQ currently flooding Melbourne's trendy suburbs, and his has the bonus of interesting sides and a dessert of beignets served with smoked banana and salted caramel. After successful pop-ups at The Beaufort and the Grub Food Van, Bluebonnet now has permanent digs in Collingwood.
- The Terminus Hotel, 605 Victoria Street, Abbotsford (Website, Facebook)
Iconic Abbotsford pub the Terminus is reopening on Friday, following a multi-million dollar fitout by the Sand Hill Road pub group (also responsible for the Bridge Hotel, the Prahran Hotel and the Richmond Club Hotel). The original Termo bingo nights will return on Wednesdays.
Opening week beginning 28/07/14
- The Kettle Black, 50 Albert Road, South Melbourne, 9088 0721 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The folks behind the very cafes Top Paddock and Two Birds One Stone have done it again, opening a cafe in South Melbourne that looks set to be another runaway success. The site is dramatic, spread out over the ground floor of a new apartment building and the ground floor of Albert Street's last terrace house, crouching underneath the skyscraper. The cafe menu is full of interest and the white/green/marble/brass interior is seriously beautiful. Expect crowds on weekends.
- Belle's Hot Chicken, 150 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9077 0788 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Aaron Turner, last seen in Australia foraging up a storm at Loam, has spent the last year working in Nashville, TN. His mate Morgy McGlone was also there, opening Husk for Sean Brock. Now Turner and McGlone have brought Nashville-style spicy fried chicken to Fitzroy, tweaking Belle's Diner on Gertrude Street into Belle's Hot Chicken.
- Raw Trader, 10 Sutherland Street, Melbourne, 0478 692 008 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Cafe in a CBD laneway specialising in organic, raw, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free healthy desserts and treats. They also serve almond and hazelnut milks.
- Cat Cafe, 375 Queen Street, Melbourne, 9642 8540 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Melbourne has its first cat cafe, following in the pawprints of similar establishments in Asia and Europe. Visitors book in advance, paying for a one hour session in the cafe they can play with eleven cats from rescue shelters that live in-house. As TimeOut explains, in order to get council approval for the cafe, the food and drink offering is severely limited (pre-wrapped food and tea/instant coffee with powdered milk) - but the food and drink isn't the attraction!
- Bistro Koo, 479 Glenferrie Road, Kooyong
Koots Salle à Manger closed in May, but the site is reopening as Bistro Koo in August, operating Wednesdays to Sunday. Good Food reported that David McLean (Croutons, Kooyong Cafe) is running it in partnership with his chef Kris Sharples.
Opening week beginning 21/07/14
- Jardin Tan, Royal Botanic Gardens/Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 9691 3888 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
VdM's Shannon Bennett has taken over the Observatory Cafe in the Botanic Gardens, and has relaunched it as Jardin Tan with a Vietnamese inspired menu. Both the take away kiosk and the cafe itself are now open.
- Pastuso, 19 ACDC Lane, Melbourne, 9662 4556 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Peruvian! The team from San Telmo have collaborated with Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia (formerly at Sydney's Morena) to open Peruvian grill, cevicheria and pisco bar Pastuso at the bottom of AC/DC Lane, down past Cherry Bar. I visited the week it opened, and really enjoyed the balance of flavours.
- Brothl, 123 Hardware Street, Melbourne, 9600 0588 (Website, Urbanspoon)
If you can look past the obnoxious name, there's a great concept here. Eco warrior Joost Bakker has revamped his zero waste eatery Silo into a venue specialising in nutrient-dense broths made from surplus bones and offal sourced from restaurants such as Attica, Rockpool and The European. The boyfriend and I have dined here twice, and loved it both times.
- Big Boy BBQ, 344 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9425 9636 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A third Big Boy BBQ has opened - the Bridge Road restaurant is in addition to the existing Big Boys in Caulfield South and in the CBD's Hardware Lane.
- The Guilty Moose, 143 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park, 9078 0925 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
New specialty coffee and food cafe in Albert Park, sister venue to Armadale cafe The Lovebird.
Opening week beginning 14/07/14
- Dainty Sichuan Noodle Express, Emporium Melbourne level LG, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, no phone (Urbanspoon)
The owners of Dainty Sichuan have opened a "diffusion brand" express noodle restaurant on the lower ground level of Emporium, near Jerry Mai's Pho Nom restaurant. It was going to be called Ba Noodle, but the Emporium management managed to persuade them to keep the Dainty name. As the name suggests it's all about the noodles (try the potato thread noodles, they're ace), which you order and pay for upfront.
- I Dream of Sushi, 6 Margaret Street, Moonee Ponds, 9375 7961 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Cafe in Moonee Ponds, serving sushi and other Japanese dishes.
- Finn, 124 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 0481 394 403 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Cute Scandi-themed cafe at the Town Hall end of Carlisle Street, serving meals and Seven Seeds coffee.
Opening week beginning 07/07/14
- Mister Jennings, 142 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9078 0113 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
After a few years working in partnership with Scott Pickett at Northcote's cheffiest restaurant, The Estelle, Ryan Flaherty has opened his own place. Mister Jennings, on Richmond's Bridge Road just near Lennox Street, also offers technique-focused fine dining in a casual setting. I haven't been yet, but word on the street is that the frozen kangaroo is a must-order dish.
- The Cherry Tree Hotel, 53 Balmain Street, Cremorne, 9428 5743 (Website, Urbanspoon)
It was with great sadness that we bade farewell in June to the GB: over the 18-year tenure of publicans Chris and Penny Hodges, the Great Britain Hotel yanked out the Carlton taps, championed smaller beers (most notably the local Mountain Goat) and live music, and became the best damn pub in Richmond. Depressingly, the GB site across the road from East Richmond station has been taken over by the Open Door Pub Co 15-venue pub chain (whose managing director founded the Australiana-themed Walkabout pubs in the UK, cough) and rebadged as the 'GBH'. But the GOOD NEWS for fans of the original GB is that Chris and Penny have bought the lovely old Cherry Tree Hotel in the Richmond pocket of Cremorne (my old local!). They've just reopened it this week, so head on down to support them.
- Ascot Food Store, 320 Ascot Vale Road, Moonee Ponds, 9370 2649 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Interesting-sounding new cafe in Moonee Ponds, with head chef David Stewart (previously at Tender Trap in Doncaster). Joyce from MEL: HOT OR NOT reported favourably on the food.
- Rockwell at Two Birds Brewing, 136 Hall Street, Spotswood (Website, Twitter)
The two birds behind beer brewing company Two Birds Brewing (Jayne Lewis and Dani Allen) have opened their brewery in Spotswood, and they've teamed up with Casey Wall and Manu Patoi from Collingwood favourite Rockwell and Sons for their food.
- Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar, 23 Oliver Lane, Melbourne, 9639 5777 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Made Establishment Group has turned the former PM24 site on Russell Street over to The Smith's Michael Lambie, who has opened a modern Asian diner called Lucy Liu's (no relation to the actress), serving Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean dishes. Zac Cribbes is head chef. Instead of entering via Russell Street, you now head in via Oliver Lane (the cobblestone laneway that also houses Coda and Bowery to Williamsburg).
Opening week beginning 30/06/14
- Artusi, Upper Level Southgate, Southbank, 8199 1033 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Southgate risotteria Tutto Bene has opened an Italian wine and "tapas" bar, Artusi, on the Southgate site that was Walter's Wine Bar. Tutto Bene chef Leandro Panza is in charge of the kitchen.
- Coppersmith Hotel, 435 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, 8696 7777 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Located in the site that used to be the old Cricket Club Hotel, the Coppersmith is a new, full-service 15 room boutique hotel that comes with a bistro, bar and rooftop retreat. In charge of the kitchen is chef Daniel Southern, most recently running things at Comme before it closed and Stokehouse took over the lease.
- Soldier On Espresso / Oak & Steel, 188 High Street, Prahran, 0488 688 122 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Espresso bar by day, Oak & Steel wine bar by night, now open in Prahran/Windsor in a former art gallery. Brought to you by Tim Bruce and his son Dylan Alexander.
- Breslin Hotel, 133 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 0417 475 493 (Facebook)
The site on the corner of Sydney Road and Union Street that was (in rapid succession) The Spot, then Phoenix Public House, then the Jewell Of Brunswick Hotel, has been rebadged yet again and opened as the Breslin Hotel.
- The Roadhouse, 295 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9415 6878 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new burger joint offering old and new style burgers, milkshakes and four kinds of Polish hot dogs.
- Thailander Bar & Restaurant, 425 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9600 2552 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Thai eatery on Little Collins Street near the corner of Queen Street.
Opening week beginning 23/06/14
- Il Melograno, 76 High Street, Northcote, 9482 2092 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Gelateria opened opposite Westgarth Cinemas, from owner Carl Fodera and third-generation Sicilian gelataio Marco Enea.
- Kirks Wine Bar, 46 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, 9600 4550 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Ian Curley and Con Christopoulos (City Wine Shop, Spring St Grocer, Supper Club, Siglo and the European) have strayed from Spring Street to open a Venetian-influenced wine bar on the corner of Hardware Lane and Little Bourke Street, in the site that was once Settebello. Named after the building's first tenant in the 1860s, a hotel called Kirk's Bazaar, it's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Araliya, 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9078 6757 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Sam and Dee Wedande, the couple behind Sri Lankan restaurant Araliya in Hawthorn (a mainstay of Melbourne dining for nearly thirty years), have opened a second Araliya in St Kilda.
Opening week beginning 16/06/14
- Chiara, 727 Collins Street, Docklands, 9252 7909 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The next restaurant that has opened in the Collins Square precinct (after Bar Nacional and Long Shot) from the partnership of television chef Pete Evans and former Little Hunter chef Gavin Baker is Chiara, an Italian restaurant. George Fowler is in charge of the kitchen and Shaun Quade is doing desserts.
- Tadka Boom, ground floor, Goldsborough Lane, 550 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 9600 1633 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A new Indian street-food-fusion cafe in the legal district, helmed by chef Lalitha Rajan. The breakfast and lunch menu looks light and interesting, with no heavy curries in sight.
- Chuckle Deli, 5/318-322 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9650 4494 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
New deli in the Hub Arcade, serving daily fresh salads, sandwiches, cured meats and pickles.
- The Fox on Montague, 355 Park Street, South Melbourne, 9939 9022 (Website, Urbanspoon)
South Melbourne's recently-closed Montague Hotel has reopened as the Fox on Montague, and the trio behind Collingwood's Fox Hotel are serving seafood and 12 taps of craft beer.
- All Day Donuts, 12 Edward Street, Brunswick, 8060 6664 (Instagram, Urbanspoon)
Raph Rashid, food truck impresario (Beatbox Kitchen, Taco Truck) has opened a fixed-address shopfront, All Day Donuts. The donuts are made fresh and dipped on demand, served with Seven Seeds filter coffee. Open 8am-3pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only (with future plans to open in the evenings for fried chicken).
- Frank and Ginger, 101-103 Orrong Crescent, Caulfield North, 9527 7232 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
New cafe in Caulfield North serving food and Maling Road specialty coffee, from the team behind Armadale cafe Gardiner and Field.
Opening week beginning 09/06/14
- Wild Timor Coffee, 282 Sydney Road, Coburg, 9386 2315 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Former Timor peacekeepers have enlisted the help of Pozible donors to open a cafe in Coburg serving single origin coffee from Timor-Leste and Timorese cakes. Down the track they plan to serve full meals made from Timor-sourced organic ingredients, and set up a small outdoor cinema with cocktails.
- Underground Experiment, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9416 0058 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A little over a month after The Noble Experiment opened its doors, the space underneath it is launching as a periodically changing bar space. The first incarnation will be specialising in cocktails from the 80s and early 90s, including the Blue Lagoon, Sex on the Beach, Fluffy Duck and Grasshopper. It will be open on Friday and Saturday nights, starting this Friday.
Opening week beginning 02/06/14
- Millstone Patisserie, 10a Claremont Avenue, Malvern, 9509 0789 (Website, Facebook, Instagram, Urbanspoon)
I'm hearing great things about the croissants at Paris-trained pastry chef Alice Wright's patisserie and cafe, newly opened near Malvern station.
Opening week beginning 26/05/14
- Stokehouse City, 7 Alfred Place, Melbourne, 9525 5555 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
While the beachfront home of the Stokehouse is being rebuilt in St Kilda after being razed in a fire, the restaurant is spending a year in the city, occupying the Alfred Place site that was previously Comme. Pascale Gomes-McNabb has fitted out the downstairs and more formal upstairs spaces with characteristic style and panache. The downstairs level also has a speakeasy bar out the back, open Thursday to Saturday nights.
- Kong, 599 Church Street, Richmond, 9427 1307 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
With Chin Chin and Baby roaring along, Chris Lucas' much-hyped next project has finally arrived: Kong, a Japanese/Korean BBQ 60-seater in the old Pearl Cafe site in Richmond. Chin Chin former sous chef Dan Briggs is pitmaster and Ben Cooper is Executive Chef, overseeing both Kong and Chin Chin.
- Patch, Studio Nine, 32 Bendigo Street, Richmond, 9029 0328 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Melbourne's first paleo cafe? That's what they're saying at Patch, a new cafe from ex-footballer Tom Davidson and his business partner Jacob Burke. Coffee comes from Code Black and the menu fits the restrictions of the paleo diet.
- Addict Food & Coffee, 240-242 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, 9415 6420 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Gone is the old Fitzroy Curry House on the corner of Johnston and Gore, and in its place is new cafe Addict. Run by a coffee roaster duo from Shepparton, their coffee is Padre and their chef Mark Boyd (ex-St Ali) is serving all day breakfasts.
Opening week beginning 19/05/14
- Filter, 555 Collins Street, Melbourne, 9620 1211 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Andy Kelly, the man behind Small Batch Coffee, Auction Rooms and Counter, has opened a beautifully designed cafe on the corner of Collins and King Streets that focuses on filter coffee and smørrebrød. Filter is the result of a project called The Keys, run by Broadsheet and the Bank of Melbourne.
- The Shaw Davey Slum, 171-175 Elgin Street, Carlton, 9079 2121 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The former Pugg Mahones in Carlton on the corner of Drummond and Elgin Streets has had a dramatic makeover to become the Shaw Davey Slum (named for a 1958 commissioners report that called for the 'slums' of Carlton to be demolished). It looks like a standard pub from the outside, but on the inside it's an OTT wonderland of 1960s psychedelia. It's the third venue for the team behind Asian Beer Cafe and Father's Office, and the pub menu has retro Australiana touches, including parmas breaded with corn flakes, and calamari with Vegemite salt.
- Hophaus, mid-level Southgate, Southbank (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Blue Train Cafe at Southgate has moved up a level, and in its original site is new Bavarian-inspired bier bar and grill, Hophaus. Look out for over 30 draught beers on tap and low and slow cooked meats over the coal fired pit and rotisserie.
- Amarok Bar & Restaurant, mid-level Southgate, Southbank (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new Southgate venue featuring American and Canadian food in a lodge-style restaurant, adjacent to Melbourne's Ice Bar.
Opening week beginning 12/05/14
- Luxembourg, 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, 9525 4488 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The restaurant that was Andrew McConnell's Golden Fields is now a French-inspired wine bar called Luxembourg, with McConnell having gone into business with his former head chef from Cutler & Co, Chris Watson. There's a millefeuille and quince dessert on the menu that looks sensational.
- Joanie's Baretto, 832A High Street, Thornbury, 9480 5774 (Website)
A new Italian bar focusing on birre, vini and aperitivi from the team behind Umberto Espresso Bar. Open evenings Wednesday to Sunday, with aperitivo evenings from 5-7pm Wednesday to Friday.
- Peek-a-Boo Espresso, 361 Queen Street, Melbourne, 9670 8881 (Yelp)
Espresso bar on Queen Street near A'Beckett Street.
Opening week beginning 05/05/14
- SuperNormal, 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 9650 8688 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Andrew McConnell has opened a terrific new restaurant on Flinders Lane, opposite ezard and the Anna Schwartz Gallery. Some of the popular dishes from his previous St Kilda restaurant Golden Fields have survived the transition, including the lobster roll and the peanut butter parfait. Some of the menu highlights include the pigs head bao and the octopus & kimchi pancake. The private dining room doubles as a karaoke box!
- Etto, 216 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, 9500 9886 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
South Melbourne's fresh pasta and pizza joint Etto has opened a sister restaurant in Malvern. The second restaurant is larger, seating 50, but the concept (fresh pasta cooked to order and delivered subito) remains the same.
- Hello Sailor, 89 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, 9813 5560 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A stylishly fitted out cafe in Auburn Road Hawthorn, serving breakfast, lunch, Seven Seeds coffee and Storm in a Teacup tea. They also sell Noisette bread on Wednesdays and weekends.
- Jimmy Grants, Emporium Melbourne level 3, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Another Jimmy Grants, brother to the souvlaki bar in Fitzroy, has opened on the upper level of the posh new Melbourne Emporium shopping centre. Unlike the outlet at Rue & Co, the Emporium Jimmy Grants offers the full menu.
- Jerry Joy, 128 Mansfield Street, Thornbury, 9484 0503 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A new cafe for Thornbury (from the people previously behind Burwood East's The Fooddrinkery), in the site that was formerly Kitschen Pantry.
Opening week beginning 28/04/14
- Rue & Co, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon - Church of Secular Coffee, Urbanspoon - Jimmy Grants, Urbanspoon - Kong)
Ahead of a redevelopment of the site on the north-west corner of Exhibition and Collins Streets, a shipping container street dining precinct called Rue & Co has sprung up. The first shipping container is Sal "St Ali" Malatesta's Church of Secular Coffee, serving coffee and cafe food. The second is George Calombaris' Jimmy Grants, serving souvlaki and salads, and the third is Chris Lucas' Kong, serving Korean BBQ. Street artist Rone's eight-storey high mural of a girl's face watches over them.
- Roti Road, 189-193 Barkly Street, Footscray, 9078 8878 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Footscray gets its first proper Malaysian restaurant and Lauren from Footscray Food Blog pounced as soon as it opened, pronouncing the roti as good as Mamak's. Plus they have a Roti Flying Man who does a dancing and roti spinning floorshow each night (!).
Opening week beginning 21/04/14
- Melt Pizza, 171 Chapel Street, Windsor, 1300 11 6358 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
In the site that used to be Pizza Piazza at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, spruced-up newcomer Melt Pizza serves pizzas with choose-your-own-toppings, and panuozzi (crisp wood fired sandwiches).
Opening week beginning 14/04/14
- Racks Ribs Co, 680A Glenhuntly Road, Caulfield, 9528 1000 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Racks Ribs Co, a Caulfield take away shop serving beef and pork racks and chicken on a Josper grill, has reopend after an initial few months late last year.
- Frying Colours, 520 Macaulay Road, Kensington, 9939 9679 (Website, Facebook Urbanspoon)
Love a good pun. Korean restaurant Frying Colours (from Korean-born Min Hui Lee) has opened to general acclaim, with an above-average booze list, the obligatory fried chicken and housemade kimchi.
- EARL Canteen, Emporium Melbourne level 3, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 8609 8145 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
EARL Canteen #3 has opened on the upper level of the posh new Melbourne Emporium shopping centre, along with a range of other dining options that are a cut above your average food court dining experience. Unlike other EARLs, this one is open on weekends too.
- Pho Nom, Emporium Melbourne level LG, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Chef Jerry Mai (who has worked at Nahm, Gingerboy, Seamstress, Dandelion and most recently consulting for the revamped National Hotel) has opened a Vietnamese street eatery with her brother, on the lower ground level of the Melbourne Emporium shopping centre. Very good pho (Mama's recipe), banh mi and bun.
- Meatball and Wine Bar, 98 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9416 4421 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Josie Bones on Smith Street closed at the end of February and has been replaced by a third Meatball and Wine Bar, "SmithBalls", which joins CityBalls in the CBD and RichBalls in Richmond.
Opening week beginning 07/04/14
- La Formaggeria, 72 Acland Street, St Kilda, 9534 1111 (Website, Facebook, Yelp)
Micro cheese lab and produce store from the team behind Il Fornaio and Brighton Schoolhouse, on the corner of Acland Street and Carlisle Street.
- Meatballs & Sons, 266 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9416 3006 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Not to be confused with the Italian-focused Meatball and Wine Bar chain, Meatballs & Sons takes a global approach to its balls, including Thai, Indian and Mexican flavours. The Brunwsick Street site has a cute general store fitout, and the meat is sourced from Glenn Harvey from Tully's in Mornington.
- The Noble Experiment, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9416 0058 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Smith Street site that was previously cocktail bar Agent 284 is now The Noble Experiment, a Prohibition-themed venue with barrel aged cocktails and a North American food menu (including poutine, different cuts of steaks and a whole head of cauliflower roasted with cheese and beer).
- Mestizo Peruvian Restobar, 77 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe, 9499 6988 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The chef/owner of Mestizo is the Peruvian-born Daniel Hernandez, and he's dishing up modern style Peruvian cuisine in Ivanhoe.
Opening week beginning 31/03/14
- Two Row, 351 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9939 6634 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Two Row is a craft beer bar brought to you by Tiff Waldron and Slowbeer, located on Smith Street just north of Johnston Street. There are five rotating taps offering a selection of weird and wonderful craft beers, plus bottled beers, wine, spirits and several kinds of grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Fonda Mexican, 31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 8686 7300 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The cavernous space at 31 Flinders Lane that was Virginia Plain/Mercy Bar + Eatery has been taken over by the guys behind the popular Fonda Mexican restaurants in Richmond and Windsor, and transformed into the 200-seater Fonda Flinders Lane.
Opening week beginning 24/03/14
- Stagger Lee's, 276 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9419 5564 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Proud Mary owner Nolan Hirte has opened a second venue, in collaboration with chef Chris Hamburger (Twenty and Six Espresso, St Ali North). It's on Brunswick Street near the corner of Johnston Street, and the four group Synesso Hydra looks mighty impressive on the benchtop. It's popular and noisy, but there are some terrific items on the brunch menu.
- Clever Polly's, 313 Victoria Street, West Melbourne, 9077 9294 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Remember the Hound Dog's Bop Shop? These days it's a wine bar and bottle shop focussed on natural wines. They're also serving a smallish lunch and dinner menu. I've heard positive reports and it's on my list of places to visit.
- Susie Wong, 12 Chapel Street, Windsor, 9510 1875 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Peter Capurso (who has worked front-of-house at MoVida, Taxi Dining Room and Mr Wolf) has opened Susie Wong with one of his St Kilda footballer mates at the Astor end of Chapel Street. He signed up chef Jerry Mai to create a Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai menu, and former chef at Red Spice Road and Merivale's Lotus and Ms G in Sydney, Daniel Sullivan, will be running the kitchen.
The South Yarra site that was MamaBaba is now a 120 seat French restaurant called Le Grand Cirque, helmed by TV chef Manu Feildel. The menu offers simple French fare and the dining room is "circus-themed" (check out the non-mobile version of that website, whoa). Mr Lethlean gave it a pretty savage review in the Oz.
- Ms Collins, 425 Collins Street, Melbourne, 8614 2222 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp)
Ms Collins opened in the Collins Street site that was previously Silk Road. The enormous venue contains 7 bars and can accommodate up to 800 people (!).
- Ba'get, 132 Russell Street, Melbourne, 9988 4130 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
It seems like there's a new Vietnamese street food venue opening every other week in the CBD. This one is just sticking to bánh mì.
Opening week beginning 17/03/14
- Huey Long's, 295 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9419 2130 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Named after Huey "The Kingfish" Long, a controversial 1930s Louisiana Governor, Huey Long's is the second New Orleansesque bar to open in Fitzroy/Collingwood in two months. But whereas Le Bon Ton has ornate hand-painted signs and a pressed metal ceiling, Huey Long's is more of a down and dirty dive bar, stashed at the back of Po'Boy Quarter. The cocktails are excellent and only $15, and they're stocking a range of Abita beers (a great NOLA craft beer). I like.
- Chew Burgers, 147 Plenty Rd, Preston, 9484 9720 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
When your name is Andrew Chew, calling your burger joint Chew Burgers makes good sense. All sauces and pickles are made in-house, and according to Three Thousand the burgers use Otway Ranges Wagyu.
- Pallino Bar & Bocce, 790 High Street, Thornbury, 9484 7968 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A little spritz, beer and salumi bar that has opened on the site of an original espresso bar frequented in post-war decades by Italian migrants - with astroturf out the back for bocce tournaments.
- Smith & Daughters, 175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9939 3293 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Smith & Daughters has opened where De Los Santos used to be. It's the new project from Shannon Martinez (Sweetwater Inn, South, Gasometer) and her FOH business partner Mo Wyse, the driving force behind the original Collingwood People's Market. They're serving up "plant-based Latin cuisine", and have confirmed there isn't be a single animal product on site. The vegan menu includes pazole, paella, chorizo, ceviche and croquetas - Cindy & Michael have given it the thumbs up. I enjoyed it too!
Opening week beginning 10/03/14
- The Moor's Head (South), 480a Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Joe Abboud of Rumi fame has opened a second outlet of his awesome Lebanese pizzeria the Moor's Head, in addition to the existing northside version in Thornbury. The Moor's Head South is in Elsternwick, offering the same "inauthentic" pizze with some added salad and meat options at lunchtime. I was a guest at the friends and family night just before it opened, and it was just as good if not better than the Moor's Head North (if you're there at lunchtime, try the Persian spiced chicken with sour barberries).
- Fukuryu Ramen, level 1, 22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne, 9090 7149 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new ramen joint, one level up on Corrs Lane between Brutale and Sichuan House. I popped down a week after it opened and the tonkotsu was really good.
- Afrofeast Food Truck, various locations, 0414 144 412 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A food truck with a difference, run by Ugandan-born Dennis. To quote from their website: "The Afrofeast Food Truck is all about redefining African cuisine for food-savvy Melburnians. We serve the tastiest African street foods, from the Ugandan Rolex to the South African Bunny Chow. And we do it with the spirit of urban African: fresh, vibrant and dynamic. Afrofeast uses organic and ethically-sourced products wherever possible."
- Kin Vietnamese, shop 1, 233 Chapel Street, Melbourne, 9521 5268 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A new Vietnamese restaurant that has opened on Chapel Street.
Opening week beginning 03/03/14
- Market Lane Coffee, Shop 73-76 Dairy Produce Hall, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, 9804 7434 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Great news that the fine folk at Market Lane Coffee have opened a fourth outlet, this time in the Deli Hall at the Queen Vic Market. The prime site has been a chemist for the last 80 years, and great care has been taken by the lovely and talented Sarah Trotter of Hearth Studios to preserve and showcase the original 1920s heritage features, such as the high level panelling, ornate nickel window frames, and Carrara marble benchtops. The Market Lane site in nearby Therry Street will stay open as well.
- duNord Kitchen, 367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, 9642 0052 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
This Nordic inspired cocktail bar has been around for a while, but has now added a New Nordic food menu, which Gemima at TimeOut has been raving about.
- Paperboy Kitchen, 320 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 9642 0147 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Having honed his banh mi craft by popping up at various markets last year, Adam Milgrom's Paperboy Kitchen now has its own site on Little Lonsdale Street near Hardware Street. As well as serving banh mi made with unusual ingredients like crisp eggplant and panko-crumbed fish, they're selling rice noodle bowls and fried chicken riblets with Sriracha mayo.
- Café BÜ, 585A Canning Street, Carlton North (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Another cute little neighbourhood cafe, serving Five Senses coffee (with St David Dairy milk) and toasties. They're on Canning Street with an upstairs deck overlooking Pigdon Street.
- Harper & Blohm, 80 Primrose Street, Essendon, 0438 693 162 (Website, Twitter, Yelp)
A new artisan cheese shop, opened by Olivia Sutton (formerly with Calendar Cheese Co) at the Prince Wine Store in Essendon.
Opening week beginning 24/02/14
- Taxi Kitchen, level 1 Transport Hotel, Federation Square, Melbourne, 9654 8808 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Taxi Dining Room has rebadged itself as Taxi Kitchen, with a new fitout and more casual menu, atmosphere and price point. Executive chef Tony Twitchett is still in charge.
- Lazerpig Pizza Parlour, 9-11 Peel Street, Collingwood, 9417 1177 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A ridiculously-named pizzeria that has opened in the old Star, brought to you by the folks behind the Grace Darling and Warrandyte pizzeria A Boy Named Sue.
- La Chinesca, Harley House basement 71 Collins Street (entry via Strachan Lane), Melbourne, 9663 8333 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A Mexican-Chinese (yes, you read that correctly) bar that has opened in the underground space off Strachan Lane that until recently housed Strange Wolf. Chef Daniel Salcedo (ex Rockpool, Piqueos) is in the kitchen.
- Feast of Merit, 117 Swan Street, Richmond, 9428 8480 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Feast of Merit is a social enterprise restaurant created by not-for-profit organisation YGAP: all profits generated by the restaurant will be channelled into YGAP's youth education projects in developing communities across Africa, Asia and Australia. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu leans towards the Middle East. Head chef is Ravi Presser, founding head chef of Fonda Mexican whose resume also includes Circa, Bar Lourinha, Mrs Jones and Cumulus Inc.
Opening week beginning 17/02/14
- Second Empire Cafe, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 9290 9400 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The Hawthorn Town Hall has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation to become the Hawthorn Arts Centre. They've opened Second Empire Cafe, operated by catering company Epicure, is on the ground floor serving breakfast and lunch.
- Popol Nah, 171 Lygon Street, Carlton, 9347 3293 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Latin-fusion restaurant on Lygon Street from Honduran head chef Cali Rivera, with an interesting-sounding menu that includes breakfast eggs, lunchtime bocadillos sandwiches, Caribbean-style ceviche, empanadas, Argentinean-style beef and slow-cooked meats.
- Espresso at Assembly, 62 Pelham Street, Carlton (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Oliver Mckay and Chrissie Trabucco recently closed down their Thornbury cafe Lowlands, but have opened an espresso bar next door to their existing filter coffee and artisan tea cafe, Assembly. The new space is small but serves pastries along with the brewed coffee.
- Prix Fixe, Alfred Place, Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Ticketed dining comes to Melbourne at Prix Fixe, located in Alfred Place (near Comme). Philippa Sibley (formerly Albert St Food & Wine) is co-owner and head chef and her business partner is Jason Jones (Stables of Como, Porgie & Mr Jones, Friends of Mine). It's a CBD theatre concept restaurant where guests buy tickets for lunch/dinner ($49/$79) online.
Opening week beginning 10/02/14
- Le Bon Ton, 51 Gipps Street, Collingwood, 9416 4341 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Collingwood site that was the Glasshouse Hotel and then the Hell Towers Saloon at 51 Gipps Street has reopened as Le Bon Ton, a venue taking its influence from New Orleans, with a smoke house, an absinthe and oyster room, a dining room and regular crab boils. Michael and Will Balleau (brothers who also run Chingon in Richmond) have employed Texan chef brothers Jeremy and Cristopher Sutphin (who were at Fog in Prahran) and former Black Pearl bar manager Evan Stanley. I popped in on opening night and loved it.
- Babu Ji, 4-6 Grey Street, St Kilda, no phone (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Jessi and Jennifer Singh from North Fitzroy's Horn Please have opened Babu Ji in the George Building in St Kilda, next door to Melbourne Wine Room. The Indian menu will be similar to that at Horn Please. Open for dinner six nights a week (closed Wednesdays) and lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- Jabili's Kitchen, 97B Smith Street, Fitzroy, 0421 483 464 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Tanzanian-born former head chef at Rice Queen, Jabili Mchawala, has opened a food truck called Jabili’s Kitchen. It's set up out the back of Mr Wow's Emporium and Los Barbudos until May, serving up modern African cuisine.
- Las Tapas, 100 Chapel Street, St Kilda, 9077 3969 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A tapas bar more authentic than most, operated by a duo who met at France-soir, one of them from Barcelona and the other who was one of the first to bring tapas to Melbourne in the early 1990s.
Opening week beginning 03/02/14
- Golden Child, 1-3 Bardolph Street, Glen Iris, 0416 892 681 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Cute looking cafe close to Burwood train station, serving Code Black coffee - my sources tell me it's run by the team behind Hawk & Hunter. Menu higlights include curried eggs and Chinese pretzels for breakfast, crumbed steak sandwich and panzanella salad for lunch.
- Zhou Zhou, upstairs 455 Chapel Street, South Yarra, 9826 0168 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
David Zhou (Oriental Teahouse, David's) has opened Zhou Zhou upstairs above the Oriental Teahouse on Chapel Street. With a Hecker Guthrie fitout "evoking the spirit of Old Shanghai", the bar boasts over 50 boutique beers, cocktails and Cantonese snacks.
A temporary structure has been constructed on the site that was the Stokehouse, following the devastating fire that razed the St Kilda institution on January 17. The pop-up will operate for 10 weeks before moving to another, yet-to-be-determined location that Frank Van Haandel will hopefully lease during the rebuild of the original foreshore building.
Opening week beginning 27/01/14
Surely there was at least one new opening? If you know what it was, please let me know...
Opening week beginning 20/01/14
- Crisp, Shop W2 Southern Cross Lane, Melbourne, 9650 0161 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A lunchtime salad bar in the upmarket mould (ingredients include edamame, quinoa, kale and chipotle), opening shop at the Paris end of town after success in Goldsborough Lane over the last eight months. Crisp's point of difference from other similar salad bars is that each salad is made up fresh on the spot, whether you choose from one of the set recipes or design your own.
- Smokey's All American BBQ, 144 Rouse Street, Port Melbourne, 9646 4719 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
What the name says. Offering ribs, brisket, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and pie.
- Charlie Dumpling, 184 High Street, Windsor, 9510 4213 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A dumpling restaurant and cocktail bar that has opened a few doors down from Hanoi Hannah. Chef Dylan Roberts (Claremont Tonic, Cutler & Co, St Jude's Cellars and Ezard) is consulting on the menu.
- Arkwright & Co, 611 Nicholson Street, Carlton North, 9081 0012 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
An old textile warehouse converted into a tearoom and cafe reminiscent of 1950s Britain.
- Lot 347, 347 Smith Street, Fitzroy (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
New craft beer bar Lot 347 has opened, in the Smith Street site north of Johnston that was once the original Fitzroy auction rooms and was more recently Monties.
- Place Holder, 9 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9429 4332 (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Specialty coffee from former Top Paddock baristas Sam King and Sonam Sherpa, in a tiny space at the bottom of Neometro’s Nine Smith Street. It'll be there for 12 months before the building gets turned into apartments - Milk Bar has the story.
Opening week beginning 13/01/14
- Northern Light Bar & Eatery, 102 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9416 0698 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Chef Adam Liston (most recently at The Commoner, before it was closed for a few months due to fire) and front-of-house Glen Bagnara has opened a Chinese and Japanese influenced bar and eatery in the Smith Street site that was Gigibaba.
- Woodland House, 78 Williams Road, Prahran, 9525 2178 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
After 23 years, Jacques Reymond closed his eponymous restaurant at the end of 2013. He has passed on the grand old manor to his chefs Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland, who have reopened the site as Woodland House. Expect similarly high end dining (as befits the building), but with a more European influence.
- Goz City, 502 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9041 5667 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The team behind South Melbourne restaurant Koy have opened Goz City, a gözleme joint on the corner of Lt Collins and William Streets in the CBD. They're also serving borek, salads and single origin coffee - I haven't been yet, but you can't help but love a place where the dessert special is called 'The Ryan Göz-ling'!
- Dr Morse Bar & Eatery, 274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, 9416 1005 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The full Dr Morse Bar & Eatery (including a beer garden) opens in March. For now, the owners are just operating Jr Morse, a coffee window next to Victoria Park train station. Although for now the seating is only on crates outside, the kitchen is fully operational and there's an interestingly varied breakfast and lunch menu.
- Big Huey's Diner, 315 Coventry Street, South Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
An American diner from Iain "Huey" Hewitson and Neil "Moondarra" Prentice, with a 1959 Rock-Ola jukebox turned up to 11 playing fifties & sixties 45s. The cheap and cheerful menu consists of po'boys, hot dogs, sloppy joes and burgers. Neil has been such a warm, friendly presence as the Wine Guy at Chin Chin, and it's great to see him in his own place. Full opening hours are still a work in progress as liquor licensing issues sort themselves out, but Neil's own product is the house wine, and there's a claret-centric wine list and a good range of craft beers.
- Imbibe Wine Bar, 359 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, 0490 073 651 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new wine bar in Port Melbourne (just down the road from other newcomer Harry & Frankie), specialising in Victorian food, wine, craft beer and cider.
- Pho & Co, 122 Russell Street, Melbourne, 9654 5923 (Urbanspoon)
A modern Vietnamese restaurant opposite the former Greater Union cineams, from the chaps behind nearby cafe Oli & Levi. Half a dozen kinds of rice paper rolls, pho (eye fillet or mushroom/tofu) and a selection of other salads and dishes, including the near-ubiquitous pork belly sliders.
Opening week beginning 06/01/14
- Admiral Cheng-Ho, 325 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, 9534 7250 (Urbanspoon)
Marwin Shaw from Balaclava tea and coffee house Monk Bodhi Dharma has opened a second vegetarian cafe, Admiral Cheng-Ho, this time on the north side (corner Nicholson St and Johnston St). Cindy and Michael from Where's the Beef gave it the thumbs up, confirming that everything on the menu is vegan or vegan-adaptable, and marked as such; more than half of the dishes are marked gluten free and two are raw.
Opening week beginning 30/12/13
- Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment, rear 397 Brunswick Street (enter via Leicester Street), Fitzroy (Website, Facebook)
A stoush with Abbotsford Convent meant that the bar that time forgot, Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment, closed in early 2012. But then word spread in late 2013 that he was going to be reopening a new house of refreshment in Fitzroy. He has now opened behind a Brunswick Street denim store, and he looks just as grumpy as ever. Read what Broadsheet has to say about the new look HSHoR: apparently it'll be open daily from 9am in January, then Thursday to Sunday 9am-10pm from February.
Opening week beginning 23/12/13
- A1 Bakery, 122 Station Street, Fairfield, 9481 1492 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Famed Lebanese bakery A1 Bakery has opened in Fairfield, in addition to their Brunswick and Dandenong locations.
- Counter, 104 Errol Street, North Melbourne, 9326 7749 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Andy Kelly from Auction Rooms has opened a standing room only coffee spot across the road from AR, in the space that used to be Wooly Bully. It's aimed more at the take away/locals market, serving Small Batch coffee, sandwiches and Tivoli Road Bakery pastries.
Opening week beginning 16/12/13
- Sister of Soul, 73 Acland Street, St Kilda, 9593 8550 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new vegetarian/vegan cafe in St Kilda.
- Nieuw Amsterdam, 106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne, 9602 2111 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A New York style lunch, dinner and late night bar/eatery, housed in an 1880s building on Hardware Street that was once an iron foundry. The owner/manager Michael Roszbach was formerly at Cookie and his head chef Nick Stanton was previously at the Millswyn and the Woods of Windsor.
- Viva Brazil, 201-209 High Street, Prahran, 8527 8222 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A Brazilian BBQ churrascaria has opened in the High Street Prahran restaurant precinct, near Hanoi Hannah and Charlie Dumpling. They employ the churrascaria red/green method of meat distribution: flipping the double-sided disk on your table to green means 'bring me more meat', flipping it to red tells the roaming passadors to hold off.
- The Royale Brothers, rear 1 Church Street, Brighton, 9005 4242 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Another burger joint, this time from the team behind the Pantry in Brighton. And yes, there's a Royale with Cheese on the menu.
Opening week beginning 9/12/13
- The Press Club, 72 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 9677 9677 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
George Calombaris' The Press Club has reopened, in the site next to Gazi that used to be bar Little Press. It seats up to 34 guests at 10 booth tables, doing upmarket modern Greek cuisine. Next door is the by-appointment-only Press Club Projects, a test kitchen and private dining room for eight.
- Townhouse, 466 Toorak Road, Toorak, 9973 8721 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Specialty coffee cafe from the blokes behind Prospect Espresso, recently opened in Toorak Village.
- N Lee Bakery Cafe, 234 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, no phone (Urbanspoon)
Beloved-by-the-masses Vietnamese bakery legends N Lee have brought their bánh mì to South Melbourne, in addition to their existing bakery cafes in the city and Smith Street. Open 7-4, Monday to Friday.
- Kinship & Co, rear 540 Little Collins St, Melbourne, 0415 301 355 (Twitter, Instagram, Urbanspoon)
Little cafe on Little Collins near King, serving Five Senses coffee and sandwiches.
- Pidapipó Gelateria, 222 Faraday Street, Carlton, 0422 004 750 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A pop-up gelateria that has opened at King & Godfree, which is in the process of undergoing major renovations. Details in Espresso.
- Harry & Frankie, 317 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, 9645 4414 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A terrific new wine bar and wine shop in Port Melbourne from Tom Hogan, former head sommelier at Daylesford's Lake House. There's charcuterie, cheeses and two or three simple dishes rotating on the menu. Went on opening weekend and loved it.
- Plenty Food, 78 Chapel Street, Windsor, no phone (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Jason Chan, the man behind Batch Espresso and a partner in The West Winds Gin, has opened another cafe. This one is at the Windsor end of Chapel Street, run with Chan's sister Marie, and chef Darren Daley (most recently at Livingroom) is in the kitchen. Once the booze licence comes through Chris Stock will be serving cocktails upstairs.
- Marquis Bar, 42 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, 9415 1329 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Not to be confused with Fitzroy pub the Marquis of Lorne, Marquis Bar is the site that used to be Burlesque Bar and it retains a similarly lush, Baroque fitout. Keep an eye out for Mussels Madness on Thursdays - mussels served by the half-kilo with limitless bread and French fries.
- Lune Croissanterie, 1/29-31 Scott Street, Elwood, 9077 6463 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Former aeronautical engineer and Formula 1 racing car developer Kate Reid's Lune Croissanterie croissants have a cult following. To get your hands on them previously you had to show up at certain cafes (eg Patricia Coffee Brewers, Everyday Coffee) on certain days and hope they hadn't already sold out; now Kate has opened her Elwood croissanterie to the public, serving croissants, cruffins (croissant/muffin hybrid) and Clement coffee.
- Yo-Chi Frozen Yoghurt, 194 Faraday Street, Carlton, 9347 7130 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The best self-serve frozen yoghurt store in Melbourne (accept no imitators!) is aiming to replicate its Balaclava success, having opened its second Yo-Chi store in the Carlton site that used to be the old Brunetti's.
- The Rickshaw, 199 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9419 5930 (Website, Instagram, Urbanspoon)
The Gertrude Street site that was Tandoori Times has become The Rickshaw, which judging from the menu looks to be a South East Asian street food eatery.
- Joanne's Kitchen, 238 High Street, Northcote, 9973 7675 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A self-described sweet home style restaurant, serving a fusion of Taiwanese and Malaysian food. It's in the High Street Northcote site that used to be Disco Beans before they decamped to Preston.
- Nant Whisky Cellar and Bar, 3 Driver Lane, Melbourne, 1800 746 453 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Hobart single-malt whisky distillery Nant has opened its own whisky cellar and bar in Melbourne, next to the Money Order Office. There are over 100 single malts to try, plus a Scottish-influenced food menu, with an emphasis on Tasmanian produce.
Opening week beginning 2/12/13
- Ruyi Dumpling and Wine Bar, 16 Liverpool Street, Melbourne, 9090 7778 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A beautifully fitted-out dumpling and wine bar from Sheng Fang in the site that was previously Laksa Me, opposite New Gold Mountain and Doube Happiness. I attended the launch and enjoyed a selection of "premium" dumplings, especially the shao long bao. Keep an eye out for the fragrant floral jelly on the dessert menu too.
- Francis Coffee, 253 Franklin Street, West Melbourne, 9329 4629 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A cafe near the Queen Vic Market from Gerrick Numan (previously behind Hobba and Willim Espresso), open Monday to Friday serving breakfast, lunch, alcohol and Seven Seeds coffee.
- The Little Man Cafe, 158 Victoria Street, Seddon, 9687 8881 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new cafe in Seddon, not too far from Common Galaxia.
- Loch and Key, above Captain Melville, 34 Franklin Street (entry via rear laneway), Melbourne, 9663 6855 (Website, Urbanspoon)
A hidden cocktail bar with a balcony terrace that has opened above Captain Melville, ideal for late night drinking (open until 3am on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and until 5am on Friday and Saturday nights). TimeOut and Broadsheet have details.
- Hellenic Republic, 26 Cotham Road, Kew, 9207 7477 (Website, Urbanspoon)
Made Establishment group has turned St Katherine's in Kew into a second Hellenic Republic restaurant.
- Sparrow's Philly Cheesesteaks at The Catfish, 30-32 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 9417 6420 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Gertrude's Brown Couch has been reborn as The Catfish, and they're serving Sparrow's Philly Cheesesteaks - see The Thousands and The Crafty Pint for details.
- Sookie La La, 593 High Street, Northcote, 9486 5417 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
An American diner that has just opened in Northcote. I like that in addition to sandwiches they have an extensive soup menu that includes chowder, matzo ball soup, borscht and gumbo.
Opening week beginning 25/11/13
- Hawthorn Common, 302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, 9819 2200 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The Burwood Road site that has been Orto, Chester White and Canvas has been revamped again: this time it will be a bakery/cafe with the excellent Danny Colls (Silo, Liaison) at the helm. I popped in the week before opening for Danny to give me a sneak peek and it's looking great, especially the huge balcony.
- Cobb Lane, 13 Anderson Street, Yarraville, 9687 1538 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Pastry chef Matt Forbes (Waterside inn, Noma, Vue de Monde) has opened his own digs in Yarraville, a bakery and cafe with an English focus.
- Mr Burger, 364 Chapel Street, South Yarra (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Fans of Mr Burger will be glad to know there's now a Mr Burger store on Chapel Street, in the site that was until very recently Jus Burgers.
- Mardo's, 1 Crockford Street, Port Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The former Sloney Pony has been revamped into a new hotel called Mardo's.
- The Dojo Ramen Bar, 333 High Street, Northcote, 9482 1247 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
This new ramen joint in Northcote is getting some favourable buzz.
- Allpress Roastery and Cafe, 80 Rupert Street, Collingwood, 8405 5755 (Website, Urbanspoon)
Kiwi coffee roasters Allpress have opened a big, beautiful roastery and cafe in a Collingwood factory.
- The Tippler & Co., 58 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
My friends in East Melbourne are celebrating that their suburb now has a wine bar: Gus McAllister has opened a bar and eatery on Wellington Parade called The Tippler & Co.
- À Bloc Bicycle Shop, Gallery & Cafe, 116 Commercial Road, Prahran, 9510 4238 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A bicycle shop, gallery and cafe all in one, serbing Five Senses coffee and Little Bertha cakes in the site that used to be Great Dane Furniture.
- Humburger, 789 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, 9818 3881 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Hamburger joint on Glenferrie Road with above-average burgers, disco fries, shakes and sundaes.
Opening week beginning 18/11/13
- Rice Paper Scissors, 19 Liverpool Street, Melbourne, 9663 9890 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Rice Paper Scissors has opened in the site next door to Shimbashi that used to be the Japanese fusion restaurant Horoki.
Apart from a few salads (including a very decent Yam Phed with banana blossom that I ordered and enjoyed) the menu consists mainly of a range of snacky, Thai/Viet dishes that will serve as great accompaniments to booze once their liquor licence comes through. In the meantime, I can recommend the iced lemon tea that they're making.
- Twee's Hut, Shop 26, 343 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9917 2017 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Vietnamese soul food newly opened in the CBD, with everything under $10.
- Supernormal Canteen at Economic Industries, 53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, no phone (Website, Urbanspoon)
Andrew McConnell's next restaurant, the Golden Fields-with-a-Japanese-twist Supernormal, isn't opening in Flinders Lane until next year, so in the meantime he's running a pop-up test kitchen for it in a different site until 21 December 2013 (now extended until 1 March 2014). The Melbourne restaurant scene just reached a new level of meta. It's called Supernormal Canteen, and it's open at Economic Industries, the site McConnell has next door to his other restaurant Cutler & Co.
- Téta Mona, 100A Lygon Street, Brunswick East, 9380 6680 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Lebanese soulfood in a new Brunswick East restaurant. The menu looks terrific.
- Not Too Classy, 460 Victoria Street, Brunswick, 9387 6476 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A "Thai inspired" cafe with a cute fitout and an eco-friendly focus, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Sezar, 6 Melbourne Place, Melbourne, 9663 9882 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Garen Maskal (Black Toro, Glen Waverley) is bringing khorovadz - Armenian barbecue - to Melbourne, in the city site that was Saint Peter's.
- Banoi, 807 Bourke Street, Docklands, 9041 4365 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new eatery in the Docklands offering modern Vietnamese street style food, from the team that run NSHRY in Albert Park.
- Long Shot, Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The next cab off the rank at Collins Square after Bar Nacional is the group's Long Shot, a bakery cafe at which Shaun Quade will be in charge. Essjay is excited.
- Joe Taylor, 7 Errol Street, North Melbourne (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A cocktail bar in the old Rose Bar site in North Melbourne - Gemima Cody has the lowdown in TimeOut.
- Mugen, 11 Bligh Place, Melbourne (Website, Urbanspoon)
A new ramen joint from Yoshi Kurosawa, who also owns the neighbouring Robot Bar. I'm keen to try their tsukemen (deconstructed ramen: cold noodles that you dip into hot broth) that people are talking about.
Opening week beginning 11/11/13
- Burma Lane, 118 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9615 8500 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Apples and Pears Entertainment Group, which owns the Red Spice Road restaurants, has turned the Little Collins Street site that was Mahjong Black into a modern Burmese restaurant. I popped in for lunch then wrote about them here.
- Huxtaburger, 201-209 High Street, Prahran, 9417 6328 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Huxtaburgers head south of the river, opening on the ground floor of the Trilogi building on High Street off Chapel Street in Prahran. The slated Tuesday opening was pushed back to Wednesday.
- Gelato Messina, 237 Smith Street, Fitzroy (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Like Zumbo, Messina is another phenomenally popular Sydney import now trying its hand south of the border. Simone Panetta (ex Grossi Florentino, Vue de Monde, Rosetta) is in charge of the Fitzroy site on Smith Street, and you will also be able to find their gelato at the Good Food Month Night Noodle Markets. Expect queues at peak gelato times.
- The Post, 306 St Kilda Road, St Kilda, 9534 7678 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The old (1893!) St Kilda Post Office Hotel on the corner of Inkerman Street has had a revamp and has reopened, with a more gastropub feel. It's a public bar, restaurant, beer garden, café and boutique accommodation all in one.
- Plus 5, 37 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, 9008 8955 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Plus 5 has taken over the space previously inhabited by Shed 5 on South Wharf Promenade, next to BangPop. Expect cocktails, charcuterie and small bites including a short pizza list.
Opening week beginning 04/11/13
- Rice Workshop, 238 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, 9650 6663 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Restaurateur David Loh (Bubble Cup, Food Republik, Dessert Story, Shop House, Taiwan Café) is a busy, busy man. His latest venture is with chef Tomohiro Suzuki: Rice Workshop, Melbourne's first rice bar, where you order your rice bowl from a vending machine freshly imported from Japan.
- Four of a Kind Cafe, Shop 12, The Paramount Centre, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne, no phone (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A cafe in the food court of the Paramount Centre, opened by four siblings with barista and chocolatier experience. In contrast to D'Marco's around the corner which serves heart-jolting Vittoria, Four of a Kind serves Market Lane coffee and St David Dairy milk, with Chamellia specialty tea, Mörk hot chocolate and sweet and savoury food from reputable local suppliers (including some pretty great toasted waffles). I met two of the siblings, Steven and Tessa, and they're so enthusiastic and sweet - I'm glad they've opened just around the corner from my office.
- Pocket, 29 Melrose Street, North Melbourne, 9041 4441 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A cute little cafe in a quiet corner of North Melbourne, serving Allpress coffee and simple salads and sandwiches. Wander down the walkway next to the grocer to find it.
- Charlie's Restaurant, 162-170 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North, 9486 2740 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The site that was Marmalade and Soul has reopened as Charlie's Restaurant, with Andy Bedford (former head chef at Charcoal Lane) at the helm. The dinner menu has half a dozen entrees and half a dozen mains to choose from, with mains hovering around the $25-$30 mark. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Wednesdays to Sundays.
- Fatto Bar & Cantina, River Terrace, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 8698 8800 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Van Haandel's Trocadero at Hamer Hall closed at the start of October, but after a quick refurb by Projects of Imagination it has reopened as Fatto, a white-tiled Italian bar and cantina with Anthony Musarra as executive chef.
- Vessel, 31 Dukes Walk, South Wharf, 0417 388 020 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Another new addition to South Wharf is Vessel, a bar with a snacky menu from the team behind Laundry Bar in Fitzroy.
- Smith Street Alimentari, 302 Smith Street, Collingwood (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Twin to Brunswick Street Alimentari, the Smith Street Alimentari has opened next door to sibling Gorski and Jones. Open seven days a week from 8am-7pm, with plans to hopefully stay open until 8pm in the near future.
Opening week beginning 28/10/13
- Thomas Olive, upstairs 300 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9419 2202 (Website, Urbanspoon)
Scotty Pickett and Joe Grbac have opened a bar above their Smith Street restaurant Saint Crispin, and it's named after the building's original tenant from the 1850's. James Tate (Tonka, Der Raum) is running the bar, open evenings Wednesdays to Sundays.
- Om Nom Dessert Bar, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 8080 8888 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
After closing earlier this year, the Adelphi Hotel has recently reopened and this time they've introduced Om Nom, a dedicated dessert bar on the lobby level that apparently also serves savoury food. Ezard continues to operate in the basement.
- Short Batch Ice Cream Co., various locations in Fitzroy North, 0490 187 337 (Website, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Scott Kilmartin, the enterprising former CEO of North Fitzroy business Haul (and owner of Gus the Boxer, the coolest dog that ever lived), is back. The ice cream addict went to gelato school in Calabria then travelled around Italy, France, Spain, the US and Cuba doing gelato 'research'. Now he's pedalling ice cream - literally - on a handsomely decorated bicycle cart that can generally be found in Edinburgh Gardens and Princess Park from 12-8 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
- Il Gobbo, 305 Keilor Road, Essendon, 9379 9540 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Thanks to Michael from Where's the Beef for letting me know about Il Gobbo, an all-vegan burger joint in Essendon that is getting rave reviews on the vegoblogosphere. It's next to a tattoo parlour, Down to Earth, which is one of the few tattoo parlours in Australia to use only vegan inks.
- Romulus & Remus, 2/648 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9429 3042 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
An Italian restaurant in a former indoor golf range, from Renton Carlyle-Taylor and Mark Hopkinson.
- From on High, 412 High Street, Prahran, 9510 3751 (Facebook, Urbanspooon)
Cafe on the corner of High Street and Williams Road, Prahran.
Opening week beginning 21/10/13
- State of Grace, 477 Collins Street, Melbourne, 8664 7110 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
State of Grace occupies the space that was Negroni Bar & Grill, in the Olderfleet Building on Collins Street. I attended the launch party, which pulled out all the stops to include unicorn ice sculptures and ballet dancers plié-ing on the bar. At street level there's a bar and European bistro, but if you can find the hidden entrance behind the bookcase you can also head down to the underground cocktail bar Fall From Grace. Opulent and eccentrically decorated, it feels a bit like a cross between The Carlton Club and a classier version of The Bottom End. A great addition to the Rialto end of town.
- The Emerson, 143-145 Commercial Road, South Yarra, 9825 0900 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The site that was once Commercial Road gay club The Market has had a multi-million dollar refurb and has reopened as The Emerson, a three-storey restaurant, cocktail bar and nightclub. Head Chef Jeff Trotter is ex-Royal Mail Hotel (Dunkeld), and the sprawling rooftop terrace can accommodate hundreds.
- Johnny Pump, 87 Fletcher Street, Essendon, 9375 4408 (Website, Urbanspoon)
Naomi Pasinetti and Jeff Booth opened Johnny Pump (named after the New York slang for a fire hydrant) in Essendon in late 2013. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menu combines Sicilian dishes including several types of pasta with American dishes like burgers and waffles.
- Mi Peru D'Carmen, 242–246 Como Parade West, Parkdale, 9587 8002 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Melbourne's first dedicated Peruvian restaurant (in Parkdale!), run by grandmother of eight Carmen Barra. The setting is simple, the food is hearty and unpretentious.
Opening week beginning 14/10/13
- Mr Miyagi, 99 Chapel Street, Windsor, 9529 5999 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A loud, buzzy Japanese restaurant, opening opposite The Woods of Windsor. The menu is by Kyle Doody, formerly working at the fusion-y Heirloom, and in addition to the crowd-pleasing, bar-snacking favourites (ordering the fried corn is a no-brainer) there are a couple of dishes out of left field, like pork belly with kimchi daikon pickle and fried apple, or David Chang's ramen gnocchi with wagyu bolognaise.
- Flipboard Cafe, 141 LaTrobe Street, Melbourne, no phone (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
That a cafe this small can feel this stylishly labyrinthine is a tribute to architect Martin Heide and interior designer Megg Evans. Wedged between their office Brolly Studios and the exit of Bennetts Lane jazz club, the cafe boasts Link Walker (Ray, Wide Open Road, Le Miel) as barista and Joshua Bailey of Bailey Coffee as roaster. Fresh pressed juices and gluten free snacks also available.
- La Condesa, 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, no phone (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Another taqueria for Fitzroy, this time near the corner of Johnston St and Smith St. While they're waiting for the liquor licence and cantina opening, they've started serving tacos in the courtyard out the back: head down the laneway.
- Chihuahua Bar, 19 Dukes Walk, South Wharf, 0416 113 755 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Yes, more tacos. This time at South Wharf, with promises of 50+ tequilas to imbibe.
- Hello Sam, 760 Chapel Street, South Yarra, 9973 9551 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Burgers, schnitzels, hot dogs, onion rings and coffee at this cafe at the river end of Chapel Street. It's a tricky, narrow site that was briefly NorthSouth Eatery and then BK's on Chapel, but the staff are friendly and burgers seem to be a sure-fire formula for success these days.
- The Piano Restaurant & Bar, 18 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9428 9385 (Website, Urbanspoon)
A new Thai restaurant at the city end of Bridge Road: the chef, Tommy, is ex-Longrain. Thai food guru Andy from the blog Krapow rates the food, noting that "the Thai cuisine served at the Piano is probably what Thai people would refer to as Thai fusion but most Westerners would just call delicious upmarket Thai".
Opening week beginning 07/10/13
- Uncle, 188 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 9041 2668 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Modern-Vietnamese restaurant Uncle opened at 188 Carlisle Street St Kilda, run by FOH Rene Spence (B'Stilla, The Smith, Pelican) and Vietnam-born chef Dai Duong (head chef at Pelican and sous at Dandelion). When I visited there were a few misses among the food hits, but some of that was likely due to teething problems and I look forward to revisiting soon. The extensive rooftop will be sensational for summer dining.
- Adriano Zumbo Patisserie, 12-14 Claremont Street, South Yarra (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Yes, it finally happened: the monstrously successful Sydney patissier set up shop south of the border, in South Yarra next to Two Birds One Stone and Mama Baba (and very close it must be said to Melbourne's homegrown Wonka factory, the Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio). People started queueing up at 5am on opening day. Madness.
- Lee Ho Fook, 92 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9077 6261 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Regional Chinese in former Boire site on Smith Street, from Pete Bartholomew and Dave Mackintosh with head chef Victor Liong (former sous at Sydney's Mr Wong). Hotly anticipated, as the team who brought you the MoVidas, Pei and Rosa's Kitchen are reliably excellent, and I was dazzled by the meal I had at Mr Wong's at Easter. I sneaked in for a preview of a few dishes on one of the soft open nights and was mostly very impressed (I could take or leave the milk buns with candied pork floss, but the Sichuan pickled vegetables and the crisp eggplant with spiced red vinegar were sensational)... looking forward to revisiting next week for a closer look.
- Brighton Schoolhouse, 15 St Andrews Street, Brighton, 9593 3129 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Spacious cafe in an 1843 former schoolhouse on the corner of Church Street and St Andrews Street in Brighton. The team behind it were previously at Il Fornaio and The Last Piece, and Hawthorn footballer Josh Gibson is one of the co-owners. The coffee is St Ali and the menu includes "Miranda Kerr waffles".
- Ashkelon Food Store, 321 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North, 0498 003 212 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A lovely looking cafe/food store from chef Leilani Wolfenden (former co-owner and head chef of Next Door Diner in Northcote). You can dine in or take away, and soon their online ordering and delivery system will be running. Jetsetting Joyce is a fan.
- General Store & Co, 213 Franklin Street, Melbourne, 8376 7711 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Located on Franklin Street near the Vic Market, General Store & Co is a cafe, bar and grocery store all in one, with a resident barber and a resident jafflogist.
Opening week beginning 30/09/13
- Bomba, 103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 9077 0451 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Aylesbury has been revamped by the same owners and renamed Bomba, with a more overtly Spanish menu and a decent selection of vermouths. The Monday to Friday workers lunch they've just introduced looks to be terrific value, with the choice of a tapa, ración and a side for $15.
- Barry Coffee and Food, 85 High Street, Northcote, 9481 3371 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Another cafe from the team behind Richmond cafes Pillar of Salt and the opened-just-a-week-earlier Touchwood. Like Touchwood, it's large (seats 110) and is doing the 5 Senses/Synesso thing. It's next door to the Palace Westgarth cinemas, in the site that used to be the rather blah cafe Traffic.
- Bar Nacional, Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands, 9252 7999 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The Collins Square development is two tram stops past Spencer Street into the Docklands, and the first restaurant opening is the Spanish-themed Bar Nacional, from Pete Evans and Gavin Baker. The food is reliably good, and for Docklands workers the St Ali coffee is a godsend.
- Theic Tea Bar, 77 Cromwell Street, Collingwood, 0433 214 938 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Popping up for a few months in a furniture showroom is Theic, a specialty tea brew bar from Nathan Wakeford (Somage Fine Foods), offering 24 varieties of tea.
- Lemon, Middle & Orange, 25-31 Rokeby Street, Collingwood, 9415 1593 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A cafe in a quiet pocket of south-east Collingwood, offering an Irish spin to the usual Melbourne cafe fare. Traditional Irish brown soda bread is baked onsite each morning.
Opening week beginning 23/09/13
- Touchwood, 480 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9429 9347 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A cafe collaboration between the partners behind Pillar of Salt and those behind Tall Timber and Station Street Trading Co. The space is generous (seating over 100), coffee-wise it's the 5 Senses/Synesso combo, and the chef is Tistan White (ex-Ladro and Red Door).
- Sauced Pasta Bar, 148 Chapel Street, Windsor, 1300 728 233 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Fast food principles applied to pasta - choose a pasta, choose a sauce, choose a side, disposable bowl and plastic cutlery and away you go. It's good to know that they're using Alligator pasta, but judging from the photos I've seen of dishes smothered in sauce, my Nonna would not approve.
- Chick-In, G23/620 Collins Street, Melbourne, 9973 6244 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
I've heard good things about the Korean fried chicken at this little restaurant in the alleyway behind Purple Peanuts and Pallet Espresso.
- Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, 9819 2463 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Coffee and pastries from David Ballinger, former chef and co-owner of the Pour Kids in Malvern.
Opening week beginning 16/09/13
- Foxtrot Charlie, 359 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 9387 3397 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Another new cafe on Sydney Road that has been curiously overlooked by the usual online suspects. They're roasting their own coffee and using organic biodynamic milk.
- Third Wave Cafe, 30 Cato Street, Prahran, 9510 2991 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The original Third Wave Cafe in Port Melbourne serves cafe food by day and American BBQ by night. Its new sister cafe in Prahran is only open during the day, and its brunch menu is notable for having several Russian dishes including borscht, blintzes, pelmeni and syrniki. When you read posts on other blogs about this cafe, be aware that they've been offering several bloggers free meals.
- Famish'd, cnr Bourke Street and William Street, Melbourne, 9614 4905 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Reliably great salad 'n soup cafe Famish'd has opened a second store at the other end of the city, in the new St James development on the corner of Bourke and William Streets. The new cafe has a funkier fitout, by the team that designed Axil/The Petty Officer.
- Hinoki Japanese Pantry, 279 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9417 4531 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Terrific little Japanese food store and sushi bar on Smith Street. The sashimi platters look enormous, and there are 89 items on the sushi bar menu.
- Persillade, 150 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, 9078 4056 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A wine bistro near Jolimont station that used to be Europa Cellars, run by Tanya and Aidan Raftery and serving brunch then a broadly French bistro menu. Wine from the display racks can be consumed with your meal for a $10 corkage fee.
- The Local Burger Co, 687 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, 9347 7561 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Yes, more burgers. This one is in the Rathdowne Street site that was the sadly short-lived Indian restaurant Lakshmi. The menu promises burgers, buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers.
- Two Lost Boys, 20/2 Maddock Street, Windsor, 9939 9313 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A cafe in the little cul de sac north of Windsor station, serving Monk Bodhi Dharma coffee and brunch until 3pm.
- Brother Thomas, 350 William Street, Melbourne, 9329 5006 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The Brother Thomas coffee roastery has opened a cafe of its own, just opposite Flagstaff Gardens.
Davis Yu (Touche Hombre and before that Claremont Tonic, Louie/The Millswyn) has opened a bar next door to his Lonsdale Street Mexican restaurant. As well as cocktails there are burgers and fried chicken on the menu, a Zoltar fortune teller machine and a human fortune teller reading fortunes six nights a week.
Originally hailing from Vladivostock, the charming Marina Bykova has left her job as a flight attendant to pursue her dream of opening a pelmeni (Russian dumpling) kitchen. She runs a little stall at Prahran Market where you can eat them on the spot or purchase to prepare at home, served with herbed sour cream and spicy adjika relish. I've tasted them and they're delicious - make sure you try some of the sweet ones filled with cottage cheese as well as the savoury ones.
- Ichi Ichi Ku, 119 Park Street, South Yarra, 9820 9119 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
An izakaya in South Yarra, apparently by the same team behind St Kilda's Ichi Ni Izakaya. Sophia has written about them on Poppet's Window.
Opening week beginning 09/09/13
- Story Coffee & Foodstore, 700 Bourke Street (concourse level), Docklands, 9600 0558 (Urbanspoon)
Dukes Coffee Roasters bringing their coffee to the Docklands. I expect there'll be some healthy competition between Story and Halyard, as the two specialty coffee cafes in the Docklands only a few doors down from each other.
Opening week beginning 02/09/13
- Hannah, 141 Chapel Street, St Kilda, 9534 4442 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Jason Bates (Mart 130, Grocery Bar, Hell's Kitchen) has opened a cafe on Chapel Street near the corner of Carlisle. The menu looks a cut above the average smashed-avocado fare, the coffee is Proud Mary and the music is vinyl.
- Traveller, 2/14 Crossley Street, Melbourne, 9123 4567 (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Mark Dundon's name is synonymous with Melbourne third wave coffee excellence (he opened Ray, St ALi, Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan and De Clieu). He recently opened a tiny cafe in the city (a small shopfront a few doors down from Von Haus that was previously a solicitor's office). Traveller is standing room only, with food supplied by Seven Seeds.
- Short Round, 731 High Street, Thornbury, 9484 3904 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Named after Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom sidekick ("No time for love, Doctor Jones!"), this Thornbury cafe offers Proud Mary coffee and a Victoria-centric menu.
- Zombie Burger, 5 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda, 9537 1118 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A burger bar at the bottom of the new Shakespeare Grove apartment complex in St Kilda, with burgers in the Shake Shack/Huxtaburger vein.
Opening week beginning 26/08/13
- Hero, 445 Swanston Street, RMIT SAB Building 80, Melbourne, 9995 4655 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
The duo behind The Grain Store, Michael & Eleena Tan, are now serving New York-style subs in RMIT. A gimmick that seems to be working for them is the #LIMITED6, a limited edition sandwich (only six for sale per day, rotated fortnightly) made from fancy ingredients.
Opening week beginning 19/08/13
- Po'Boy Quarter, 293-295 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9419 2130 (Website, Urbanspoon)
The crew behind the Gumbo Kitchen food truck have set up a permanent diner in Fitzroy (where the Smith St internet cafe used to be), serving po'boys and gumbo to a blasting jazz horn soundtrack. They're the best po'boys I've tasted in Melbourne, and they made me miss New Orleans terribly.
- Trailer Made, various locations, 0418 801 714 (Website, Blog, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A food truck with a difference, from Amy Roberts and former Cumulus Inc chef Casey Norman. They've taken inspiration from their travels in Europe, China and Korea, and the current menu has Eastern European/Middle Eastern touches.
- The Herbert Cafe, 41 Arthurton Road, Northcote, 8060 3637 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A cafe near Northcote station, in an industrial warehouse space serving Padre coffee.
Opening week beginning 12/08/13
- Pallet Espresso, Shop G21/620 Collins Street, Melbourne, 0403 235 410 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Japanese/Italian fusion cafe in the alley next to Purple Peanuts, from the team from Purple Peanuts. I'm intrigued.
- Tivoli Road Bakery, 3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra, 9041 4345 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
MoVida Bakery was sold to head baker Michael James, who has renamed it Tivoli Road Bakery. The salted caramel donuts remain on the menu, as do dossants (Michael's version of a cronut). Great to see Michael has made the switch to local brands for coffee and soft drinks (from Lavazza to Small Batch, and from San Pell to Daylesford).
- El Chino Taqueria y Panaderia, 214 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North, 9078 7974 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A taqueria and Mexican bakery near Piedimonte's, serving sourdough, pastries and tacos.
- Vincent the Dog, 348 Drummond Street, Carlton, 9348 2068 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Vincent Gao has opened an espresso bar near Markov, serving a rotating selection of specialty coffees with sandwiches and 5 and Dime bagels. Closed Tuesdays.
- Miss Katie's Crab Shack, 238 Victoria Street (in the Public Bar), North Melbourne, 9329 9888 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Having previously gone by the (slightly unwieldy) name Dr Juicy Jay’s Fried Chicken & Crab Shack, the back room at the Public Bar is now run by Katie Marron and renamed Miss Katie's Crab Shack. Fried chicken, school prawns and a crab boil are all on the menu, made from ingredients sourced across the road at the Queen Vic Market.
- DakDak Cafe, 2,1-3 Bignell Road, Moorabbin, 0407 013 047 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
"Vintage bits, retro kicks & old skool food": The Thousands recently paid them a visit.
Opening week beginning 05/08/13
- The Common Good, 77 Church Street, Hawthorn, 9077 3431 (Website, Facebook, Yelp)
An ethical grocer selling organic and fair trade produce to the good people of Hawthorn.
- Maddox Cafe, 295 Sydney Road, Brunswick, 9041 5650 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A new brunch cafe on Sydney Road that gets the tick of approval from Cindy & Michael from Where's the Beef.
- 90 Secondi, Etihad Stadium Gate 3, 700 Bourke Street, Docklands, 9600 2841 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Johnny Di Francesco, owner of pizzeria 400 Gradi and the first Australian pizzaiolo to be accredited by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana to make Neapolitan pizza according to the European Union's appellation specialità tradizionale garantita (STG), has opened a pizzeria in the Docklands. 90 Secondi (90 seconds is all the time it takes to cook a Neapolitan pizza) is in the NAB development opposite Etihad Stadium, serving STG wood fired pizza in a cafe setting. Downstairs it's stand up snack-style service, upstairs it's a little more formal with a more extensive menu.
- Boney, 68 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9662 1026 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The bar formerly known as Pony has turned into Boney, brought to you from the team behind Revolver Upstairs, Cookie and The Toff in Town with lunch on weekdays and dinner nightly from Cookie/Choo Choos/Colonel Tan's chef Karen Baston. Open til 3am Monday to Wednesday, 5am Thursdays and Sundays, and 7am Fridays and Saturdays.
- Brutale, 18 Corrs Lane, Melbourne, 9654 4411 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Croatian/Eastern Euro food from chef Daniel Dobra (The Brix, Royal Mail Hotel) and Rene de la Soyo in the old Eurotrash site in the city. I've loved Dobra's cooking at past employers, looking forward to seeing what he does with his native cuisine. The open kitchen features a charcoal spit-roast, wood-fired oven and charcoal grill, with a bar well-stocked with Balkan rakija. And I'm not normally in the habit of quoting media releases that are sent to me, but I felt I had to share this eyebrow-raising sentence: "Guests will be treated to visceral displays of on-demand savagery as Dobra engages a tree-trunk chopping block to dismember beasts for culinary pleasure, one carcass at a time."
Opening week beginning 29/07/13
- Young Bloods Diner, 60 Rose Street, Fitzroy, 9419 3864 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
The new cafe/restaurant venture at the Rose Street Artists Market, brought to you by market owners Adam and Christian Ferrante (who also owns Hell of the North). Chef is Sascha Randle, current sous at the Builders Arms Hotel. Chic-looking fitout by March Studio architects (Carlton Baker D. Chirico).
- Union Food & Wine, 169 Union Road, Ascot Vale, 9372 7566 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new bistro (no relation to Union Dining) from ex Sofitel chef Stuart McVeigh, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I attended the soft opening and left with a very good impression: a friendly neighbourhood bistro from an extremely competent chef is just what the West needs.
- Jimmy Grants, 113 Saint David Street, Fitzroy, 9416 0060 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Continuing the Made Establishment's Press-Club-to-Gazi casual trend, they've opened a Calombaris souvlaki bar at 113 Saint David Street Fitzroy. My pick is the Bonegilla, named after the migrant camp near Albury/Wodonga (where my Italian grandparents were interned upon arrival as immigrants in Australia). There's going to be at least three Jimmy Grants, with two other branches opening next year in Ormond and in Williamstown.
- Shop Ramen, 329 Smith Street, Collingwood, 9123 4567 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Shophouse Ramen popped up for ten days in February at the Gertrude Street end of Smith Street, serving hand-made ramen. Now Pat Breen has set up a permanent ramen home, rebadged simply as Shop Ramen, at the Johnston Street end. As well as bowls of ramen filled with unconventional ingredients, there are pork/tofu buns, milkshakes and pie for dessert.
- N2 Extreme Gelato, 329 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, no phone (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Welcome the T-1000 of gelato to Melbourne. Those crazy kids from Sydney's N2 Extreme Gelato have opened a liquid nitrogen infused gelateria at Brunswick Street next door to Scally & Trombone. Melbourne will *love* this place.
- Altair Restaurant, 152 Yarra Street, Warrandyte, 9844 5548 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Chef Kelvin Shaw and his partner Michelle have opened a restaurant in Warrandyte with an interesting-looking modern Australian menu. Definitely worth a look if you're in the area.
Opening week beginning 22/07/13
- Tuck Shop Take Away, 273 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield, 0431 406 580 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A burger/jaffle joint with a difference, the difference being that the couple running it have experience at The Fat Duck, Attica and Vue de Monde, and all the syrups, sauces and chips are made on-site.
- Don't Tell Charles Coffee & Desserts, B1/70 Speakmen St, Kensington, 0439 528 525 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A new cafe that has brought Padre coffee to Kensington. They're baking desserts (including macarons and cupcakes) on-site daily.
- The Stables of Como, Como House and Gardens, Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra, 9827 6886 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A cafe at Como House, brought to you by Jason Jones and his ICKE & IGBY team, with a similar menu to that at their other cafes Porgie & Mr Jones, Snow Pony and Friends of Mine. Open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea seven days a week - the fitout looks gorgeous.
- Si Señor Art Taqueria, 193 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, 9995 1083 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Former taco/art pop-up Si Señor has opened in the same Balaclava site that previously housed the (unrelated) Argentinean Señor BBQ. It was opened by Ricardo Amare (who was part of the team that opened Señoritas), they're using La Tortilleria and the Guadalajara-style tacos we ordered on opening weekend were great.
- Iv's Burritos, various locations, 0423 215 255 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A Mexican food truck, offering burritos, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tamales. Keep track of them via Facebook, Twitter or the Where the Truck At website or app.
- Bay City Burrito, 4 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda, 9534 1582 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Gary Mink, the San Franciscan who opened Hi Tech Burrito in Glenferrie Road, has opened Bay City Burrito in St Kilda to bring some Mission-style Mexican to Melbourne.
Opening week beginning 15/07/13
- Jinda Thai, 3-7 Ferguson Street, Abbotsford, 9419 5899 (Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Thai restaurant in a beautiful warehouse space near North Richmond station - read more of my take on it here.
- Weasels Garden Cafe, 8 Murray Street, Abbotsford, 9410 0214 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Cute little outdoor cafe in Abbotsford, serving cafe breakfasts and Vietnamese lunches.
- Travelling Samovar Tea House, 412 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, 9917 2911 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
This little tea house sounds delightful, boasting a cute fitout, boutique tea menu, assorted tea wares and cakes (I want to try the Russian Napoleyon cake).
- Pecking Order, 440 Church Street, Richmond, 9429 3771 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Cheap and cheerful chicken joint next to Bar Economico (formerly Der Raum), using free range chicken.
- The Commoner, 122 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, 9415 6876 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Beloved Modern British gem The Commoner has reopened after a fire closed them down for several months. I exhort you to go in for a meal and support them as they get back on their feet - and be sure to order the steamed ale pudding with buttermilk sorbet and salted caramel.
- Herbie Mills, 34 Mills Street, Middle Park, 9645 0977 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
A licensed cafe notable for having Mauritian Creole items on its menu.
- Tom Thumb, 53 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, no phone (Urbanspoon)
Sal Malatesta bought the old Cafe 53 at 53 Flinders Lane Melbourne and until he needs it he's leasing the site to Kris Wood (Clement, Halyard) on coffee and Andrew Gale (Duchess of Spotswood, St Ali South) on food. I popped in for a superior coffee on opening morning. Sandwiches, Duchess-y bar food and booze (incl. bottled Negronis) are all coming soon, which will make Tom Thumb a great place to drop in for a drink while waiting for a table at Cumulus, Mamasita, Chin Chin etc.
- Cellar Bar, 34 Inkerman Street, St Kilda, 9534 1060 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Cellar bar has been on a rollercoaster ride since its inception. Located in the basement under the Melbourne Pub Group's Newmarket, Cellar Bar opened in October 2012 as a degustation-only velvet den with live entertainment. In January it tried pivoting to something less formal, replacing the degustation menu with a bar menu, but by March the venue was temporarily shut down. It has since reopened, and with the departure of chef/director Paul Wilson from MPG, former MPG executive sous chef Stephen Burke has stepped up to the Group executive chef role.
- Spring St Grocer Cheese Cellar, 157 Spring Street, Melbourne, 9639 0335 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Adding to Spring Street Grocer's existing grocery, sandwich, coffee and gelato offering (if you haven't sampled the delights of Gelateria Primavera then you're missing out), the underground cheese room is set to open on Saturday. SSG Operations Manager and Head Cheesemonger Anthony Femia is in charge, and this man knows cheese: he was manager of the cheese room at Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder, and recently competed in the World Contest of the Best Cheesemonger Competition 2013 in France, finishing fourth in the world among the top ten finalists!
Opening week beginning 08/07/13
- Little Tommy Tucker, 432 Centre Road, Bentleigh, 9576 5174 (Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Jimmy Marinis' new cafe, bringing Dukes coffee, Prana Chai and Somage tea to Bentleigh. Head Chef Brett Hobbs was most recently sous chef under Nick Stanton at Woods of Windsor, and has put together a simple breakfast and lunch menu.
- Songkran Kitchen, 321 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, 9646 2690 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Thai restaurant in the Bay Street Port Melbourne site where Olarndo Thai used to be.
Opening week beginning 01/07/13
- Halyard Coffee, 760 Bourke Street, Docklands, no phone (Website, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Specialty coffee in the Docklands, open 7am-4pm Mon-Fri to the relief of all Docklands workers. Kris Wood from Clement is looking after the coffee, and the sweets they're serving are from Candied Bakery and Matt Forbes. (Time Out)
- D.O.C. Albert Park, 135 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park, 9690 7960 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Expert pizzaiolo restaurateur Tony Niccolini has expanded the Carlton/Mornington D.O.C. empire to Albert Park. Go for the pizze, but try something from the salumi/mozzarella bar too.
Davis Yu pivots, turning his Chin Chin-esque eatery Claremont Tonic into a South Yarra edition of his CBD Mexican cantina and tequila bar Touché Hombre. Melbourne CAN'T get enough tacos.
- Gloria Swanston's Kitchen, 243 Swanston Street, Melbourne, 9663 2916 (Website, Facebook, Urbanspoon)
Gloria Swanston, a former model, actress and cabaret dancer, has opened a kitchen upstairs at Lounge (Swanston on Swanston). The menu is American comfort food - burgers, sliders, mac n cheese balls and a 'tortilla lasagna' (!).
- Los Barbudos, 95 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9416 0079 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Cuban-themed bar (think rum, cocktails and Cuban sandwiches) from the Thank You, Come Again group behind Double Happiness, New Gold Mountain, Lily Blacks and Mr Wow's Emporium. I attended the launch night and liked the scuffed interior and bar staff outfitted in baseball shirts (the bar is named after "the bearded ones", Castro's guerillas who attended a Havana Sugar Kings baseball game in 1959). As well as the hearty Cuban sandwich, other snacks like braised lamb empanadas and fried green plantains are available Wednesdays to Sundays from the Cuban food truck El Paladar parked out the back.
- Markov Beer + Dining, 350-352 Drummond Street, Carlton, 9347 7113 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
Restaurant Markov Place now rebadged as Markov Beer + Dining. The fitout has been revamped and the menu has been recast with a greater focus on craft beer and affordability (mains average $22). Trumble Dewé remains as head chef.
- Shizuku, 309 Victoria Street, Abbotsford, 9995 8180 (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Urbanspoon)
A Japanese restaurant amidst Victoria Street's Vietnamese restaurants. People keep talking about the ramen burger they're serving. (Time Out)
I decided to start the list from 1 July 2013, which means that the list doesn't include a whole host of earlier 2013 openings like Saint Crispin (Collingwood, formerly Cavallero), Gazi (CBD, formerly The Press Club), gg 150 (East Melbourne), Bistro K (Collingwood), dinners at Pope Joan (Brunswick East), Bowery to Williamsburg (CBD), Earl Canteen Collins Place (CBD), Tall Timber (Prahran), Middle Fish sister Thai restaurant Mr Nice Guy (Melbourne), Krimper (CBD), Howler (Brunswick), Habitat Lounge (Fitzroy), Valentino (Hawksburn), Pardon Coffee (Prahran), Common Ground L.E.S. (Balaclava), Sbriga Espresso Bar (Melbourne), Stovetop (Carlton), Bellota Wine Bar (South Melbourne), Bar Economico (Richmond, formerly Der Raum) and The Everleigh's The Elk Room (Fitzroy).