New restaurants and bars in Melbourne

This city loves to eat and drink, so there’s always somewhere new to discover. Take your taste for culinary (and liquid) excitement on an adventure.

New look and new holes for Holey Moley’s ground floor

It’s been such a hit since opening in 2017 that Holey Moley Golf Club just got bigger and better. In addition to the fun on level one, there’s now another bar and nine new pop-culture-themed holes downstairs. Come for the mini-golf and stay for the karaoke, pizza and drinks, like their Long Island Iced Tee and Sugar Caddy cocktails.

A bar and indoor golf course furnished with lots of quirky knick knacks

Holey Moley

New hawker-style barbecue bar from the Fancy Hanks crew

David Bowie said we can be heroes just for one day. But at the Fancy Hank’s crew’s new South-East Asian hawker-style barbecue bar, it’s more like every week, Tuesday to Saturday. Heroes is a four-storey party palace, including two floors of karaoke and a weather-proof rooftop. Kanpai!

A red and neon lit room crowded with people enjoying food and drink

Heroes

Scott Pickett’s fiery Matilda opens on Domain Road

With a kitchen focused on flame, Matilda was warmly welcomed at the start of winter. Different woods, smoke and charcoal produce distinctive flavours in the fresh produce at this smart-casual Mod Oz restaurant. Still not convinced? It’s brought to you by Scott Pickett, the chef-restaurateur behind Estelle Bistro, ESP and Saint Crispin.

Steak on a plate covered with sauce and greens

Matilda

Italian favourites Saluministi open in The Causeway

What began as a warehouse pop-up in 2015 just opened the doors on its third permanent paninoteca (that’s Italian for sandwich bar). Saluministi’s made-to-order panini, stuffed with freshly prepared ingredients like porchetta and calamari, are now available in that little lane called The Causeway. Bellissimo!

Cult pork belly joint Mr Crackles opens on Bourke Street

While there are other options at Mr Crackles, he’s really all about the piggy. How about his classic roll of crisp-skinned, slow-roasted, five-spice pork belly with Vietnamese salad? Or the crackling cup, which you can eat every yummy bit of because the cup’s a soft white roll. Or whole crackling sheets. Or straight-up crispy pork belly – by the kilo!

A roll covered with cheese, salad and pork belly

Mr Crackles

Legendary bakers Rustica opens in Melbourne Central

We clearly can’t get enough of their sourdough bread and sensory-pleasing pastries, as Rustica has added a third CBD location in Melbourne Central. Get in early for flaky croissants, decadent donuts and their lovechild, the cronut, with fillings and toppings as glorious as a sunrise. They’re so good it can be slim pickings by afternoon tea time.

Green Light Diner @ Clocks at Flinders Street Station

It’s inspired by the best bits of 1920s train station diners. Think dark leather booths, parquetry, brass fittings including old-fashioned luggage racks, and vintage-inspired tiles that caution you to mind the gap. Then think all-day breakfasts, including 5 & Dime bagels, big plates like parmas and porterhouse from 10am, and a basement whisky bar. At Green Light Diner @ Clocks, who cares if you miss the train?

Modern Korean at Restaurant Shik

Once the obscure cousin of Japanese cuisine in Melbourne, Korean has risen to K-Pop-level cool in recent years. Get better acquainted with the peninsula’s culinary pleasures at Restaurant Shik, where you’ll soon know your kimchi from your jangajji. After some superb seafood, wagyu or pork belly and a few plum wines, Seoul won’t seem far away.

Joe Grbac opens Saxe Restaurant

Head downstairs for snacks and cocktails, upstairs for the a la carte and tasting menus. Either way you’re in for a treat at Saxe Restaurant, because the man on the pans is Joe Grbac. It’s the first solo outing for this chef, who foodies will remember from Saint Crispin and The Press Club.

A fork next to a multi coloured dessert on a plate

Saxe

Poppu Uppu takes hot pot dining to the next level

Is this the best ever winter pop-up? The guys behind some of Melbourne’s favourite Japanese joints, including Izakaya Den and Hihou, now give you nabemono hotpot dining. Say what? It’s DIY soup, so add your selection of veggies, protein and noodles to a simmering pot of customisable broth at your table. In other words, Poppu Uppu does fun comfort food that warms body and soul.

St Charly arrives on Lygon Street

Standing out from its Italian neighbours on Lygon Street, St Charly embraces food from across Europe, the Middle East and beyond. From Portuguese-style chicken burgers and sumac-crusted lamb to good coffee and fresh pastries, this daytime cafe hits the spot.

Pentolina serves up Italian food for any diet

Do you deny your love of Italian food because of dietary restrictions? Then Pentolina is your salvation, because the menu is littered with vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options. Traditionalists will also love this CBD newcomer, where classic fresh pasta dishes are served amid contemporary Italian-inspired urban design.