Melbourne welcomes back Chef Donovan Cooke (previously of Derby Bar & Grill, Happy Valley Clubhouse at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and est est est) who is mustering the pans in a kitchen displaying a nine-metre, two-and-a-half tonne bespoke oven. As befits the location, it’s a big operation, capable of seating 300 diners with a kitchen retinue of 28 chefs.
Melbourne interior designers Blackmilk fitted out the space; think cul-de-sacs and fishnet curtains to create intimate dining, and keep an eye out for ropy lighting by international designer Kwangho Lee.
Understandably quality seafood is the focus here, with Cooke commenting “Why trick up mother nature? She is the real artist.”
At the oyster bar (open till 2am), the morsels are shucked to order and dishes are served with a Japanese leaning. Meanwhile, the main menu offers fish on and off the bone, whole fish to share and options from pan roasted to wood-fired. We’re ready to sample these salty delights.
Crown Entertainment Complex: Tenancy 18-19, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
(03) 9698 8888
Dinner seven nights from 6pm.
Oyster bar open till 2am and Den Bar open till 3am.
Lunch sittings to follow in April.