bout a month ago, we wrote about an exciting collaboration on the horizon between some Melbourne food and drink veterans – Salvatore Malatesta (St ALi), Jerome Borazio (Sister Bella, 1000 Pound Bend et al) and Maurice Esposito (Esposito and Saint Peter’s) who is consulting on the menu. It’s a collaborative venture, with Grant Smillie (360 Agency) and Andrew McKinnon (The Taboo Group) in the ring too.
The vision for the project is something of an all-day eatery and bar, a la institutions like The Continental and Mietta (back in the day), or in a more contemporary context, Hairy Canary. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from early morning until late at night and has quite a monopoly over its location, given that there isn’t anywhere decent for a pre or post show drink outside the theatre foyer for blocks.
St ALi are of course in charge of the coffee, with Borazio on the grog and Esposito brought in to consult on the menu, which will be a pastiche of St ALi breakfasts and Saint Peter’s mains exploring Creole cuisine. Creating a melting pot of Africa, the Caribbean and South America with an lighter, Australian interpretation, dishes on the menu include share plates of twice-cooked short ribs, scallops ceviche, crab profiteroles and baby ‘poboy’ – a traditional prawn sandwich from Louisiana. For diner there’s a West Indian fish stew, Guadeloupe-style steak and sweet, spiced poussin.
Jerome’s cocktail list too rings true to a southern swing with a strong list of cocktails including an Old Fashioned, a Julep and a Hurricane. Beer and wine hold a strong local contingency.
With such a solid crew behind this new venture, designed by the prolific Six Degrees architects, we’re confident they won’t have too much trouble filling the venue with both passing day trade and those popping in before or after a show in this central arts precinct at the Recital Centre, with the MTC next door, the Arts Centre round the corner and the Malthouse and ACCA just down the road.
My Mexican Cousin
Corner of Sturt Street and Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
(03) 9686 3398
Daily 7am–1am (breakfast and lunch only at the moment with dinner to come soon)