• The sophisticated new riverside restaurant by Farmer’s Daughters is so fiercely Victorian that it’s called Victoria. While Farmer’s Daughters is all about Gippsland, its Fed Square sibling is funnelling the best of the whole state’s produce (and wine) into Melbourne’s epicentre. There’s an interactive ingredients table, a glass-walled 3000-bottle “wine library” and a terrace with river views. Plus, unmissable rosti and supersized steaks.

• First Look: Lune’s deluxe Armadale store was locked, loaded and ready for a line-up when it opened on Saturday. Pastry master Kate Reid couldn’t wait to bring her god-tier croissants back to the south.

• Now open: Yakikami is a fiery, flashy new Japanese barbeque restaurant for South Yarra. Perch at a dedicated yakitori table for succulent chicken skewers, or retreat to the private dining room for an omakase experience where high-end Kobe beef is the star. It’s from the Wagyu Ya and Niku Ou team.

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• First Look: All-you-can-eat Sri Lankan for just $20? Maalu Maalu brings back the buffet with a bang. Curries, rice, sambol – you name it. Plus, get unlimited hoppers for $5 extra.

• First Look: 1896-built Sorrento stalwart Stringers reopens as a sleek all-day diner and deli. The longstanding limestone facade remains on the corner, but the interior bears almost no resemblance to the cafe’s former self, thanks to the hospo group behind Higher Ground and Top Paddock. Find fluffy ricotta hotcakes for breakfast, woodfired pizzas (and excellent potato cakes) for lunch, and there’s a fancy provedore and wine shop.

• Now open: the reincarnation of impressive Port Fairy fine diner Fen is hidden behind a wine store. The regional Victorian restaurant closed in 2018, but now it’s reopened in a moody, mostly black space on the town’s main drag. There’s one sitting, two nights a week, for just 14 people. And it’s worth travelling for.

• First Look: Everything revolves around shokupan at South Yarra’s new Japanese bakery Fuumi. Get the pillow-soft milk bread by the whole or half loaf, as a classic katsu sando, or slathered with peanut butter and brûléed banana. It’s an extension of local-favourite West Melbourne cafe Fuumi Fuumi.

• Now open: in a ’50s chocolate factory, Frontside is a welcome new daytime diner for Port Melbourne. By the Coe & Coe crew, it’s doing breakfast-appropriate carbonara and fluffy tiramisu hotcakes.

• First Look: Concealed by concrete, Juno is a new McKinnon cafe with a strikingly simple design. From the owner of similarly design-centred Thornbury cafe Prior – and with an ex-Maha chef in the kitchen – it’s serving hulking Moreton Bay bug rolls and thick slabs of brioche slathered with ricotta and three types of jam.

• Now open: the Marquis of Lorne team has worked its magic on an art deco Werribee pub. The 1926-built Bridge Hotel was born again in lockdown. But despite its fresh face, it’s still got heritage charm in spades – plus three crackling open fireplaces and a nostalgic fisherman’s basket for some all-out Australiana.

• Now open in Camberwell: an antiques store transforms into neighbourhood wine bar (and shop) Gloria’s. Bathe in the chandelier’s buttery glow in the front room, or head out back to get toasty by the fire. There’s a 180-strong wine wall, plus hummus swimming in chilli oil and charcuterie hampers to go.

• The Japanese art of robatayaki (or “fireside cooking”) takes centrestage at Brunswick East’s Kura. Tucked unassumingly beneath an apartment building, ex-Kisume and Nobu chef Ken Ibuki is carrying on his father’s legacy – with yakitori served every which way and a diverse selection of sake by the glass.

• Now open in Hawthorn: Whiplash, a retro sandwich and bagel joint in a curvy converted milk bar. Retired AFL player Jordan Roughead has joined forces with his former barista – and a few of his old Collingwood teammates – to open this no-fuss spot on Auburn Road. Look for the red and white branding.

• First Look: Get family-sized pies with all the trimmings at Seddon’s reborn Mona Castle Hotel. The 1874-built pub’s fate hung in the balance after closing in 2020. But the corner spot has been returned to its former glory – with hearty Sunday roasts, shareable sausage rolls and plenty of west-side pride.

• Now open: Via Porta brings its lovely pastries and sangas to a pint-sized corner spot in Kew. The Mont Albert bakery-cafe now has a compact outpost off High Street. Satisfy your hunger and thirst pronto with slow-cooked brisket toasties, and almond and lemon curd croissants, then take home a ready-made lasagne.