Five brand new restaurants for the top of your hit list – including an instant-classic pizzeria. A hypnotic, 360-degree exhibition you need to see. A bath-with-a-view you’ll never want to get out of. And so much more. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Tomas Telegramma is checking out in Melbourne in November.
After lying in wait, some of the year’s most anticipated restaurant openings are coming in thick and fast. There’s Di Stasio’s first foray into pizza – an instant classic with lobster-topped pizzas and fior di latte soft serve; and Nomad, a stellar new addition to Flinders Lane with hockey puck-sized hash browns and a nostalgic take on the lamington. Also for your hit list: Pearl Diver, a luminescent new oyster and cocktail bar; Chris Lucas’s big, bold and boisterous Yakimono at 80 Collins; and Entrecote’s new home – there’s a roving caviar and vodka trolley. Say no more.
Race to the regions
Forget the long, lonely, locked-down winter. It’s time to really break the five-kilometre shackles and hit the open road – a bit of a tonic, right? Whether you’re after an extended, lavish holiday for the ultimate detachment from reality or a spur-of-the-moment weekender, behold our guide to the best accommodation in regional Victoria. The state’s best regional restaurant, Brae, has a number of on-site guest suites and – while I’m not usually one to lap up a bath experience long enough to prune-ify myself – this one is top of my to-bathe-in list. For a less lush but just as lovely stay, Alkira Eco-Glamping Retreat is a tiny yurt-like hut on a 40-acre farm. It’s a little bit magical. And as the weather warms up, escape the city to one of Victoria’s best picnic spots; they’re all less than two hours from Melbourne, including a stunning property with a “Versailles-like” garden.
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Broadsheet for your ears
Our brand new podcast, FYI, is here. The first episode, reported by yours truly, is a big moment for my smallgoods obsession. It’s all about mortadella – and why it’s everywhere right now. With help from top chefs and butchers (and my dad), we’ll bust myths, dial up the nostalgia and hopefully send you straight to your nearest deli-meats dealer. The second episode will make you forget all about Salt Bae; our Sydney editor, Salt Che(-Marie Trigg), poses – and answers – the question: is perfect seasoning a myth? And in the third episode, our publications director Nick Connellan goes in search of Australia’s worst whisky, a dram so (apparently) revolting that collectors now go to all sorts of lengths to find a bottle.
In the galleries
Melbourne’s dedicated – and delightfully makeshift – gallery spaces have started to reopen. Or open for the first time: The Lume, a digital gallery unlike any other in the Southern Hemisphere, has arrived with a monumental, mesmerising Van Gogh exhibition that’s truly not to be missed. Elsewhere, Flinders Street Station’s barely known third level is still home to Patricia Piccinini’s out-of-the-ordinary immersive art experience. Walk among a meadow of creatures resembling white orchids, and be struck by a psychedelic disco of sorts, complete with bulbous coloured glass, wacky mirrors and neon lights. And at the NGV, Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist Maree Clarke is reviving and sharing elements of Aboriginal culture that have lain dormant, or been lost entirely, due to colonisation. One highlight of Ancestral Memories is her larger-than-life necklaces; made from river reeds, galah feathers, kangaroo teeth and echidna quills, they hover from the ceiling in ghost-like fashion. They’re joined in mid-air suspension by dramatic, segmented glass eel traps. Read all about these exhibitions – and the rest of this month’s most exciting art openings – here.
Big Esso is a big deal
With her snug Yarraville cafe Mabu Mabu, chef Nornie Bero has been making indigenous food more accessible to Melburnians for years – sprinkling saltbush, strawberry gum, wattleseed, lemon aspen, pepperberry and other native ingredients through eggs, tacos, fried chicken and more. But she now has a second, bigger platform for her indigenous-food advocacy – and it’s smack bang in the middle of Fed Square, on the land of the Wurundjeri people. Bero is from Mer Island in the Torres Strait, and her new all-day diner and bar, Big Esso, is all about the food she grew up with. Expect tamarind pippies, buckets of chargrilled prawns, and fried crocodile with saltbush and pepperberry. A small retail area sells products from Mabu Mabu’s Indigenous-owned partners, plus house-made hot sauces, seasonings, spice mixes and teas to take home.