What’s new in Melbourne’s laneways

Melbourne’s famous laneways are always full of surprises. From Melbourne Fashion Week runway shows to new spots for superior eats and drinks, here’s the latest.

Melbourne Fashion Week to hold free runway shows in two city laneways

Melbourne Fashion Week is taking its runway shows to Melbourne’s street-art covered laneways. Union Lane, a regular Instagram hotspot known for its kaleidoscopic colours, and Section 8 Bar in Tattersalls Lane provide the backdrop for this year’s Street Runways series, which kicks off Friday 31 August.

With three distinct themes, ranging from the latest offerings from city retailers, to multicultural influences and sustainable design and independent and emerging labels, there’s something for every fashion fan. If you want to kick on, head to the Section 8 post-runway after-party with DJs until 1am including DJ Sezzo, Recluse, Paz and Lewis Can Cut.

People at a bar in a street art covered city laneway

Section 8 will host one of Melbourne Fashion Week’s Street Runways. Photo: Duncographic

A new Parisian-style steakhouse opens in Alfred Place

Alfred Place, the little laneway between Collins Street and Little Collins, is the location for Garçon Parisian Steakhouse, a new venue that takes its cues from Paris in the 1980s. Strike a pose as style icons like Grace Jones peer from the walls of this funky little bistro. Classics are on the menu – steak frites with grass fed Tasmanian Cape Grim beef, salade niçoise and crème brûlée. Start with Kir Royale (kirsch and champagne) or really get the party started with a Sazerac (absinthe, whiskey and cognac).

An old school pie shop opens in Howey Place

The humble meat pie is getting an upgrade, thanks to Matti Fallon, former head chef and part-owner of the now closed Little Bourke Street Scandinavian, duNord. The result is Princes Pies, a tiny 22-square-metre shopfront in Howey Place. If you hanker for a hot pie, all your hopes for a buttery pastry encased gourmet experience are about to be fulfilled. Sausage rolls and pasties are also available, as is quality coffee. The decor is decidedly retro – serve yourself a helping of sauce from a genuine 1980s bust of Bob Hawke.

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!

A hand holding a bread role stuffed with cured meat, cheese and olives, against a backdrop of a city laneway

Salumunisti has opened in The Causeway

Pentolina serves up Italian food for any diet

If Italian food is what you crave, Collins Way, a tiny dogs leg off Little Collins Street, is your new must-visit location. Pentolina, a CBD newcomer, offers classic fresh pasta dishes served amid contemporary Italian-inspired urban design. Diners with dietary restrictions no longer need despair – their menu also has vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

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, new to Niagara Lane, 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.