We all like to be ahead of the pack, don’t we? To help you do that we’ve compiled some of the best new places to eat, drink and shop in the City. Get in quick!
Eating and drinking
Rooftop Bar revamped
Curtin House’s famous Rooftop Bar really shines in summer, so what better time to check out their fresh new look. A rejigged and extended bar means less crowding to order drinks and the kitchen and menu have been overhauled. Cinema-goers will be pleased with the new sound system and projector, and a steeper grandstand provides the best views in the house.
Longsong opens above Longrain
Perched above Chinatown favourite Longrain, massive new bar Longsong delivers hand-held snacks, drinks and larger meals in a soaring former horse stable. Chef David Moyle (from Franklin in Hobart) is looking beyond Thailand to world flavours for the venue, much of it cooked over hot coals. For drinks, there’s a focus on tapped wine barrels, beer kegs and custom-bottled craft spirits.
Brunetti Flinders Lane
Melbourne’s favourite pasticceria is opening a brand new cafe on 20 November 2017, just in time for Christmas. Brunetti City on Flinders Lane will rival Brunetti Carlton in size, delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner to hungry shoppers. A pizza oven will be dramatically suspended from the roof, right next to a Campari bar, gelato bar, deli counter and their famous cakes. The classic Italian menu will have a modern twist – like a carbonara garnished with gratings of cured egg yolk.
You’ll be spoilt for choice at Saxe Restaurant on Queen Street, the first solo venture for Chef Joe Grbac (ex-Press Club, Saint Crispin). Downstairs, set yourself up at a communal table and grab a glass of wine from a list curated by Marc Esteve Mateu (ex-Press Club). Bar snacks here are just a taster of the deluxe menu upstairs. Expect dishes like quail breast with pomegranate vinaigrette, or fermented white asparagus on parmesan custard, offered a la carte or degustation.
Like Lonely Planet in restaurant form, Annam trawls the backstreets of Asia for the best and tastiest hawker street food. Helmed by Pho Nom’s Jerry Mai, the kitchen might turn out kimchi dumplings, smoked eggplant in betel leaf or Thai pork sausages. Made-to-order rice paper rolls are not to be missed, and the waffle-coated fried ice cream screams instant classic. Sharing banquets make group gatherings easy.
Proving that you can have fun while being healthy, Superfluid Cafe has brought organic, cold-pressed juices and plant-based meals to the Carlton Hotel. The ground floor cafe serves juices that aim to boost your mood, energy, immunity and even sex drive. Foodwise it’s all fresh, vegetarian meals that avoid refined sugars, gluten and preservatives.
Green Man’s Arms
The newest venture from hospitality veterans Alison Whyte and Fred Whitlock, Green Man’s Arms brings Israeli-style vegetarian food to Lygon Street. Boutique beers like Two Birds and Holgate are great companions for house-made falafel, Yemeni flatbread, colourful salads and smashed potatoes. Several of the dishes are vegan, including the halva icecream – phew.
More new eats
Night owls will love the 24/7 menu at Butcher’s Diner, where the rolls, burgers, grills and roasts use premium Aussie meat.
In the swanky new Rialto development, Rustica Rialto has Insta-worthy dishes like blackberry-cured ocean trout plus freshly baked bread and pastries.
Relaunches of old faves include The Hof Downtown, which has a revamped interior and menu and 10 Bavarian beers on tap. And the totally reimagined three-storey Waterside Hotel now features The Chophouse (steaks), Bubblehouse (champagne) and Ale House (public bar).
For the best of British you can’t go past Debenhams, the well-known department store that has just landed in Melbourne. The store boasts curated fashion, beauty and homewares from their own label as well as popular UK high street brands.
Blender Artist Markets
In their new waterside location, Blender Studio’s relaunched Blender Artist Market will run every Friday night through summer. Expect more than 50 stallholders selling locally made goods, as well as a food truck park and live music. Check it out at the new arts precinct at the rebranded District Docklands (formerly Harbour Town). It opens 17 November.
In addition to their pop-up at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne’s-own Radical Yes now has a new permanent shop in North Melbourne. This lovely space, complete with fitting salon, is just the spot to try on their stylish flat-soled shoes and sunnies.
More new retail
Big-name global brands continue to expand their Melbourne offerings, which is a bonus for us! Burberry recently opened a ginormous flagship store on Collins Street, near new retail precinct St. Collins Lane. And H&M opened a new store in late November 2017 in the (also revamped) The District Docklands.