To see the Melbourne Gastronome list of anticipated places opening soon, click here.
To see the Melbourne Gastronome list of places that have recently opened, click here.
Pop-ups, supper clubs, temporary cafes, chef residencies... whatever you want to call them. There are heaps of them in Melbourne, and here's your one-stop-shop list of the most interesting ones popping up soon at a vacant space near you. Please email me if you know of any others that should absolutely be on this list.
- Bress Pop-up Restaurant and Cellar Door (8-11 August)
Bress winery/cidery is closed over winter, but the Bress team will be setting up a pop-up cellar door and restaurant at the Grub Food Van in Fitzroy. Over a four day period Adam and the team will be firing up the wood fired oven and running tastings, lunches and dinners - details of each of the events are on the Bress website.
- Gauchito Gil (three weeks from 15 August)
Dan Sims and Jess Ho from Bottle Shop Concepts are organising Gauchito Gil, a three week pop-up wine bar in the Wallis & Ed space in the Hotel Windsor, offering South American varietals for under $10 a glass. Keep an eye on their twitter feed for more details.
- Soi 38 (six Friday nights from 19 July to 23 August)
A limited six week season of Thai noodles at Sketch & Tulip cafe in West/North Melbourne, on Friday nights from 5pm, starting on the 19th of July and finishing on the 23rd of August. The Soi 38 food cart will be dishing up $5 bowls of Thai noodles, with a different kind (including boat noodles and Sukhothai noodles) served each week. I've tasted them, and they rock! See website or FB page for details.
- Trailer Park (weekends)
Trailer Park is an outdoor food court of food trucks in one convenient location (to begin with it'll be at Village Melbourne, the site formerly known as the Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone on St Kilda Road), open every Saturday and Sunday for lunch and dinner service from August 3rd. Curated by my friend BurgerMary, Trailer Park will begin with Beatbox Kitchen, Cornutopia, Gumbo Kitchen, The Curry Truck and the debut of The Brûlée Cart. Trucks will be rotated on a monthly basis, with Chingon and White Guy Cooks Thai already confirmed for September. There will be picnic tables, undercover booth seating, winter heating and - crucially - a fully licensed bar so you can booze with your street food. See the FB page for details.
- Lee Ho Fook - Return of the Dragon (soon)
On my list of venues opening soon I've written about why Lee Ho Fook is my most eagerly anticipated upcoming restaurant. It's due to open later in August, but in the meantime Pei Modern has been hosting pop-up banquets where you can get a sneak preview of Victor Liong's LHF menu. I've heard whispers there's at least one more banquet planned before opening - check the LHF FB page for details.
- Scarf (ongoing, Monday nights)
Scarf is a terrific social enterprise that borrows restaurants to provide front-of-house hospitality training and mentoring to marginalised young people, allowing them to build skills and confidence, as well as streamlining their path to employment in the hospitality industry. For $35, you’ll eat a two-course set menu, cooked by Scarf’s chef, Ricky Holt, and served to you by Scarf trainees. During dinners, trainees are guided by their mentors, who are hospitality professionals. As part of Scarf's winter season, they will be popping up at Epocha in Carlton every Monday night from 22nd July until 19th August: see their website for more details.
- Pierre Roelofs' Dessert Evenings (ongoing, Thursday nights)
They've been running for four years, but Pierre Roelofs' no-bookings dessert evenings at Fitzroy cafe Rosamond every Thursday night from 7-11pm remain as good as ever. The menu changes each week and you get a choice of one, two or three courses (plus optional "dessert tubes"). In addition to being supremely talented, Pierre has got to be the nicest pastry chef ever.
- IDES (ongoing, next dinner 11 August)
Chefs Lindsay Fush (Royal Mail Hotel) and Peter Gunn (Attica) have been collaborating on a five-course menu popping up about once a month at Tonik Bar in Kensington. Their next dinner will be a six-courser at The Botanical on 11 August, then they'll be returning to Tonik: check their FB page for more info and booking details.
- Stage is Set (ongoing, next dinner 19 August)
Stage is Set bills itself as Victoria's original collaboration dinners featuring young hospitality professionals centre stage. Established in 2011 by James Kummrow (Trocadero, former sous at the Royal Mail Hotel), the quarterly dinners take place at Jorg in North Fitzroy - there are a handful of tickets left for August 19, so get in quick. Collaborating with James on the event will be Peter Gunn (Attica), Malcolm Meiers (Trocadero CDP), Shaun Quade (pastry chef, ex-Biota, Royal Mail Hotel, The Brix) and Lauren Ellese (Bistro Guillaume FOH). See the FB page or Twitter for details.
- Derby & Well (ongoing, next dinners 20 and 21 August)
Chef/owner of Collingwood pub The Vine Hotel, Ron O'Bryan, is running Derby & Well pop-up events on the third Tuesday and Wednesday of the month. Each month Ron collaborates with an up-and-coming chef, creating a cheffy five course degustation that differs from their usual fare, and sommelier/FOH manager Anthony Langdon selects boutique and small batch wines to match. The July collaboration was with Nick Stanton from The Woods of Windsor, and details for the August dinners should be released soon - look for details on their FB page.
- Fringe Food Festival (ongoing, next dinner 22 August)
The Fringe Food Festival runs grass roots food events with a focus on local produce and nice people. Upcoming events include a Barolo vs Burgundy night at Ombra Salumi Bar on 22 August and a grass fed vs grain fed dinner at the Vine Hotel on 29 August. Details for booking are on the FFF website.
- Kerala (Friday and Saturday nights from 6 September to 12 October)
Smith Street cafe Tomboy will be hosting a Kerala/Palomino pop-up on Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm-1am, transformed into a "marigold-strewn bar and curry house" serving curries, cocktails (West Winds, 666, Tromba), beers and bhajis to a vintage Bollywood soul soundtrack. Check Kerala's FB and Twitter for details.
- 20ft Monster (ongoing)
A Godzilla-themed pop-up collaboration between chef Johan van der Walle (Hellenic Republic, Chocolate Buddha and Cibo in Auckland), and front of house Sam Maher (The Press Club, Rockpool and Chez Bruce in London). Check the Monster's FB page or website for details on when the next "attack date" will be.
- The Drifter's Table (ongoing)
The Drifter’s Table is a project by a trio of chefs - Zac Nicholson, Robbie Bell and Keelan Gallogly - trying to kick start the pop-up restaurant movement in Melbourne. Their cheffing pedigrees include Quay, Rockpool Bar and Grill Melbourne and The Fat Duck, and they've been running TDT dinners every month or two in various locations around town. Keep an eye on their website for future dinners: there'll be one in about late August, which they'll announce three weeks in advance.
- Secret Foodies (ongoing)
There's something about the cachet of "secret" events that the punters love (remember the Zingara Cucina and Hidden Pizza hoopla?). Secret Foodies, based in Sydney, host dinners in secret locations around town (an SMS on the day giving you directions to the venue). Check their website for upcoming events.
- Shaun Quade Seasonal Dessert Evenings (ongoing)
Pastry chef Shaun Quade has worked at Quay, The Royal Mail Hotel and Urbane (Brisbane), where he was nominated for Best New Talent in the 2010 Gourmet Traveller Awards. He was instrumental in the success of Biota (Bowral) in 2011 as head chef/pastry chef and also worked at The Brix. He's running seasonal dessert evenings - check his website for details of when the next one might be.
- Borrowed Space (ongoing)
Adam Liston (former head chef at The Commoner) and Joel Alderton (former head chef at The Brix) are running a series of food events created with industry people in mind, popping up at venues around town. Details of upcoming events can be found here.