Here is a list of the new and notable spots your friends have been tagging you in over the last few months. But, you’re only human so you might have missed a few! Never fear, our (slightly later than) mid-year new restaurant round-up has arrived.
Daughter in Law
From the brains that brought us Babu Ji and Horn Please comes Daughter in Law, an ‘unauthentic’ Indian diner in the CBD. We’re talking naan pizza with blue cheese, curry chips and yogurt croquettes. Classic curry lovers are catered for too, with rogan josh, goat curry and vindaloo making their mark on this fresh and vibrant menu.
Le Charme De Saigon
Finding one thing on a menu that’s under $10 is great, but Le Charme does you one (well, six) better, with half a dozen pho lunch specials costing a mere $9.90. Think steaming soups loaded with rare beef, wagyu, brisket and more. Or head down after dark for Nutella cocktails, dumplings, and margaritas perched on disco light coasters.
She has risen! After leaving the Northern suburbs a few years ago, this cult status brunch spot has reopened in brand new CBD digs. Taking up residence on Collins Street, Pope Joan brings old favourites from the brunch and lunch menu (hello beef pastrami loaded Reuben) along with delicious dinner options. Mussels, Milawa chicken schnitzels and miso pumpkin pair perfectly with their extensive drinks offering.
The grand 1928 T&G Building’s massive foyer has had a makeover, and wow is it 21st century. Like the David Jones food hall on steroids, Liminal Melbourne is a delicious one-stop-shop. Dine-in among the sleek stone, custom light fixtures and invitingly upholstered furniture or grab something nice to go from the wine and cheese deli section.
Feel like Japanese but can’t make up your mind between BBQ, yakitori, hot pot or tempura? Then we’d like to introduce you to the concept of Izakaya, where all Japanese food is created equal. Try it for yourself at the newly opened Bincho Boss, a lunch and dinner spot on Little Bourke Street showcasing the highlights of Japanese dining. Menu must-tries include the soy ginger fried chicken, salt-crusted char-grill wagyu and tempura-battered ice cream. They even make their own tofu! Still can’t make up your mind? Live the boss life with a 10-course set menu priced at $85 per person.
Lulu’s at HWKR
Here for a good time but not a long time, the latest pop-up at HWKR comes in the form of Lulu’s. Specialising in char kway teow, titular chef Lulu has over 30 years experience crafting the delicious smoky flat rice noodle dish in Penang. Try them with a litany of authentic ingredients like prawns, Chinese sausage, duck, fish balls and more.
Agostino is the final and long-awaited piece in the newly refurbished King & Godfree puzzle. Their temperature-controlled wine cellar features local and Italian drops, but the cream of the crop is their barolo. Draped in crisp white uniforms, their servers are as sharp as their food menu. Try their spaghettini with bug, crab and chili or the culatello (rare salumi) with salted persimmon.
Di Stasio Citta
If you love sleek interiors and Italian food, sit yourself down at Di Stasio Citta for an evening of wining and dining. The latest from restaurateur Rinaldo Di Stasio, this CBD outpost of his popular St Kilda spot brings all the comfort of Italian dining to a fresh Spring Street location. Parmigiano covered oysters, mountains of fresh pasta and specials like old school fish and chips (served with pickles) are only the beginning.
Check out the refreshed look at Souk, known for their dramatic neon lighting. Enjoy a night out, Ottoman Empire style, with flavours from their new menu like the three-cheese truffle borek, Turkish dumplings and syrupy spiced honey doughnuts. They’ve also condensed their two-level spot into one level of Arabian inspired decadence to make way for ‘Handsome’, a new bar opening in mid-August. Stay tuned.
The Oxford Scholar
Here’s some A+ news for RMIT students past and present (and a whole lot of Melburnians). The Oxford Scholar is back! One of the city’s oldest pubs has re-opened after a big, beautiful renovation. The building’s exposed 1857 red bricks and contemporary elements including glass and wood features set the stage for a new menu. You’ll find your favourite pub classics as well as fresh fare like Korean beef ribs and crispy tofu curry.
Little Brother Cafe
A pioneer of Melbourne’s obsession with Vietnamese street food is back after a revamp. A line-out-the-door lunchtime favourite since it opened in 2015, Little Brother Cafe is now kicking on through dinner, with posh drinks too. So now you can sip on a salted caramel Vietnamese espresso martini while contemplating the new menu. Or just go straight for the must-have steamed barramundi wrapped in banana leaf.