In light of Melbourne’s renewed stage-three lockdown, some of the restaurants in this article may not have made the switch to takeaway yet. They’re still worth adding to your dining out hit list, for when things are back to normal. In the meantime, scroll down – there’s plenty of home-appropriate content a little further in.
Get comté, bechamel and truffle brioche toasties to go; see inside some of the city’s most remarkable historic buildings from home; embroider or cross-stitch your frustrations away with some crafty kits from a Melbourne studio; and check out the NGV’s powerful new showcase of Indigenous art through the ’70s and ’80s into the 2000s. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser is checking out in Melbourne this month.
Andrew McConnell’s Gimlet is undoubtedly the hottest new restaurant in town, which means bookings can be tough to nab. But you don’t always need one – the grand city bar-slash-eatery is taking walk-ins on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, so you can wander in, order a Martini and clam flatbread, and soak in all the stunning design details, from the custom chandeliers to the burgundy velvet booths.
Gertrude Street’s fleeting bologna sandwich joint Rocco’s is no more. In its place? Poodle, a playful yet polished bistro from the same team. Try the club sandwich, made with chicken-fat-brushed bread, fried chicken skin, ham-hock terrine, iceberg, tomato and tarragon mayo. The chef, an Andrew McConnell alumnus, is also on a mission to bring back the vol-au-vent. Time will tell.
And cocktail bar Nick & Nora’s continues the Eau de Vie crew’s track record of clever cocktails in a themed-but-not-quite-gimmicky setting. This time it’s a 1930s detective couple. There’ll be plenty of flamed, frozen and flipped drinks here, but we’re eyeing off the Cafe Noir, made with aged rum and cold-drip coffee, with a saffron-vanilla nitro mousse on top that you’ll have to smash to get to its boozy inner.
If you can’t hit up any new openings, more than 50 remarkable Melbourne buildings are opening their doors – virtually – this month for Open House Melbourne. Step inside a nearly century-old cottage by renowned architect Walter Burley Griffin, the historic Parliament House, a recently restored mid-1880s gem, a former explosives store and Melbourne’s new creative hub, Collingwood Yards.
Or embroider or cross-stitch your frustrations with these crafty kits from Melbourne studio Bitchcraft. The R-rated range of DIY kits allow you to cross-stitch “Don’t Be a Fuckwit”, and other phrases too risqué for Broadsheet’s pages. You can even embroider a colourful trio of middle fingers. (Here’s a PG option, for the softies.)
When it comes to sprucing up your home, there are few things as cheap, easy and effective as an indoor plant. This sprawling new 350-square-metre warehouse is stocked full of greenery that’ll thrive inside or on cramped balconies – and prices start at $20.
On my one night at Berlin’s notorious Berghain, a nightclub in a former power station, my mate Will got in too, and was then immediately kicked out (he panicked and tried to hide his phone in his underpants, thinking it’d be taken from him otherwise). He’s never lived it down, and I continue to humble-brag, all these years later, to anyone who’ll listen. Prepare to get those same bragging rights – once we can travel internationally again – with this website, which drops you outside a virtual version of the club and brings you face to face with a bouncer, analysing your face and voice, “reading” your emotions in real time, so you can practice getting in. My advice: keep your phone out of your underpants.
The NGV’s latest show, Marking Time, is a powerful one. It shines a light on the stories and cultures of Indigenous communities through artworks grouped in key historical shifts, from the ’70s and ’80s into the 2000s, and the whole thing is available to explore online.
We’re well and truly in the midst of truffle season, and Maker & Monger is leaning in with a limited-edition comté, bechamel and truffle brioche toastie. There are more truffles shaved on top, and a little Murray River salt. Oof.
Other limited-edition foods of note this month: a gluten-free doughnut stall has popped up in Brunswick, and a Japanese lamington shop will be here for one day only, at multiple locations around town.
In Broadsheet’s new cooking series, Doomsday Dinners, we ask the country’s top chefs to make a meal that’s quick, easy and filling, accounting for supermarket limits on items such as rice and pasta, with a budget of just $30 to feed four. It’s a tough brief. Khanh Nguyen of Melbourne’s celebrated Southeast Asian eatery Sunda is up first, with a creamy, comforting dish inspired by cacio e pepe.
Want to up your cocktail-making game? Tune into Broadsheet’s live Instagram feed on Friday nights to learn how to make a cocktail of your choice. The final two in the series are happening on July 3 and July 10.
Some of our other favourite resources for those staying at home right now include fitness classes you can stream, excellent new takeaway options (plus one pioneering newcomer that’s changing the restaurant-delivery game), and booze you can get delivered. There’s plenty more in Broadsheet’s At-Home Hub.