Nab a seat by the open fireplace at the new spot from the Neighbourhood Wine team, check out a terrifying new theatre show inside a shipping container, discover a dreamy-but-disturbing new art exhibition, and experience Flinders Lane eatery Chin Chin with no servers and no chefs – but something altogether unexpected instead. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Ellen Fraser will be checking out this month (you can follow along here).

From the owners of North Fitzroy’s Neighbourhood Wine, Old Palm Liquor has arrived, bringing with it cider-brined woodfired pork chops, vegetables with pickle-infused butter, chilled Mac Forbes vermouth, and funk and soul tunes – and all in a space that feels immediately lived-in. As at its sibling venue, one of the best spots in the room is by the big open fireplace.

A terrifying new immersive theatre show, Flight, is touching down at Southbank at the end of the month. The whole thing takes place in complete darkness inside a shipping container – but you’ll feel like you’re 30,000 feet in the air. By UK-based theatre company Darkfield, this is not one for nervous fliers.

The crew at Arbory Afloat has excellent timing – just as things are starting to warm up and we’re wondering where to dine al fresco, the floating riverside bar opens its hatches again. The menu has had a tropical, Miami-inspired transformation, so now you can fuel up on ceviche, croquetas and tacos. And it’s scored a swimming pool, too, so you can take a quick dip before you dine.

Dipping is also encouraged at Kenny Lover, an Australiana-themed ice-cream and hot-chip shop from the Peaches and Dexter crew that’s about to land in Thornbury. Expect out-there flavours such as coconut and finger lime; Davidson’s plum and ginger; and soy sauce – which could be the new salted caramel.

Bust out your shiniest tenner, because beloved local florist Flowers Vasette is holding a hyper-curated plant and pot sale at its Fitzroy warehouse. There’ll be snake plants, peace lilies, bat flowers, monkey cups and Persian shields from $10 and coffee by Code Black.

From images of futuristic, augmented humans to an algorithm that makes your face “perfect”, Lucy McRae’s works are dreamy and disturbing at the same time. In her new show at the NGV, McRae – a self-described sci-fi artist and body architect – asks how technology is changing our bodies.

For more mesmerising art, head to Bunjil Place to catch Katena Luminarium, a glowing inflatable labyrinth you can climb inside, by Nottingham-based company Architects of Air. The installation closes on the 6th.

If, unlike me, you can watch horror films with the sound on, you’ll love Monster Fest VIII, which is happening at Cinema Nova in Carlton. Over four days, the cult film festival will screen a range of films, including Blood Vessel, the second feature directed by special-effects maverick Justin Dix, who worked on the Star Wars franchise. It’s a high-seas horror that pits a motley crew of shipwreck survivors against an ancient evil force on an abandoned Nazi warship.

Speaking of things that emerge from the depths, Hyper Real 2.0, an extension of Chin Chin’s artist program, begins at a secret location close to the Flinders Lane eatery. You’ll be guided through the laneway with the help of a little augmented reality, then sit down to a very unusual meal where you won’t see any chefs or servers – instead, your food and drinks appear as part of a series of interactive installations and avant-garde performances.

When it opens in Preston on the 4th, Moon Dog World promises to be like no brewery Melbourne’s seen before. There’ll be chicken parma rolls, slow-cooked lamb and pavlova, plus pine-lime beer and on-tap tequila cocktails. Perhaps more importantly though, there’ll be room for 725 punters, plus an indoor waterfall, river and lagoon.

The massive three-day market that is Finders Keepers is moving into the heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building again from the 18th to the 20th. More than 270 independent artists and designers will have stalls selling ceramics, jewellery, homewares, furniture, plants, candles, accessories and more. Plus there’ll be snacks from Wonderbao, two bars, three coffee stations and live music.

In Cremorne, the Reymond siblings – the trio behind Bistro Gitan and L’Hôtel Gitan – have opened a new two-in-one diner. Splurge on a $120 côte de boeuf (rib eye on the bone) for two at restaurant Frederic, or grab a spot at the marble-topped bar at casual offshoot Fred’s for $2 oysters. Prices aside, both are elegant, intimate and French-leaning.

The NGV also has a new dual act: Olympia by Polixeni Papapetrou and Bleached Gothic by Petrina Hicks. Both exhibitions are haunting, feminine and surreal, exploring the relationship between artist and muse.