All eyes are on Henley Beach this month.
Specifically, the block of Seaview Road that once comprised local fixture Evida. The new development has already welcomed Bowlsome and Acacia. Now, after a two-year gestation, the long-anticipated Melt Henley joins the ranks.
It’s the third venue for the Melt brand, the 10th in Simon Kardachi’s growing empire, and the first to head west. “This is fantastic for Henley,” says managing partner Ben Kelly. “We’re all really excited to be down here. We want to bring people beachside.”
The area has long been a bustling destination for beach goers, families and locals, but it’s struggled to keep up with Adelaide’s new-wave dining boom. That’s in the past.
The 200-seat restaurant and bar is the quintessential beachfront venue; it’s Adelaide’s answer to iconic eastern-state eateries Stokehouse and Bondi Icebergs. Studio –Gram’s (Shobosho, Osteria Oggi) white, bright and breezy design lifts from the surroundings with accents of Cypress pine, coral-pink booths and sea-green tiling. “It brings the outdoors indoors,” says Kelly. When we visit on a scorcher of a summer’s day, the bi-fold doors open to a welcome sea breeze.
Designers Graham Charbonneau and Dave Bickmore’s usual suspects are on board again: lush greenery from Emma Sadie Thomson snakes around the timber trusses, and a Love Concrete bartop is the setting for a serious line-up of local and European wines and beers. A cocktail list devised by Maybe Mae’s Ollie Margan will soon roll out across all Melt venues.
It’s a big team. The 70-strong staff includes familiar faces from Bread and Bone, Abbots & Kinney and Lost in a Forest. Chefs Henry Hobby and Kyle Booker have come over from Kardachi ventures Melt CBD, Press and The Pot.
The extensive menu features Melt’s usual selection of pizza and small plates – with the addition of four new seafood options, naturally. A first for the brand is the inspired breakfast menu: follow your morning beach stroll with baked egg, slow-roasted pork and white beans; Canadian French toast with smoked speck; or scacce (folded flatbread stuffed with speck lardons, pecorino romano, fior di latte and creamy carbonara sauce). A grain salad, granola and fritters make up the lighter options.
Afternoon or evening? Opt for a cocktail at the bar or wines on the deck; or linger with a shared meal at one of the communal tables. For a more intimate experience, settle into a booth or window seat with floor-to-ceiling views of the sea.
“It’s a multi-functional space,” says Kelly. “There are so many different experiences you can have here. It won’t feel the same all day.”
A dedicated takeaway area is still under construction. When it opens it’ll serve pizza, coffee (locally roasted by D’Angelo Coffee) and gelati to-go. A rooftop bar is in the long-range plan.
Downstairs diner Sea Salt is now open too. It's a take on the old-school fish and chip shop, elevated with sustainable seafood, inspired dishes and summery cocktails.
269 Seaview Road, Henley Beach
(08) 8422 8606 (restaurant)
(08) 8422 8608 (takeaway)
Mon to Fri 11.30am–late
Sat & Sun 9am to late