When the tennis rolls around in Melbourne, “service” temporarily takes on a different meaning. This year, while the tennis stars serve for aces, Mastercard cardholders and Broadsheet readers will have access to a different festival. Enter Serve – a new two-week festival dedicated to celebrating the best of Melbourne’s food, drink and hospitality scene.

To launch Serve, Mastercard and Broadsheet have enlisted some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants to offer Mastercard cardholders four one-off, ticketed dining experiences from BKK, Bar Bellamy, Yugen Dining and Supernormal. And to top it off, Broadsheet is also offering a one-month free trial of Access, giving you access to a membership program that unlocks more of your city – exclusively for Mastercard cardholders.

In addition, there will also be 10 specials on offer at other restaurants and bars across Melbourne during Serve. Get your hands on happy hour cocktails and more at participating venues from January 14 to 28.

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We’ve rounded up some of our menu highlights from the four Serve headliners.

Supernormal

Crimson neon cherries and simple katakana signage marks your arrival at Supernormal on Flinders Lane. Here, chef-restaurateur Andre McConnell has created a menu that fuses Chinese, Korean and Japanese cuisine together, alongside some delightful desserts.

For its Serve menu, expect nothing short of a typical Supernormal feast. Among the feast on offer, there’ll be Flinders Island scallops with nori cracker and yuzu kosho and lamb dumplings with aged vinegar and fermented chilli, as well as pickled Mandurah blue swimmer crab with fine egg noodles, kombu and tomato dashi.

Date: Mon January 22, 2024
Price: $95
Book tickets.

Bar Bellamy

With its affectionate winks to old-school classics, neighbourhood boozer Bar Bellamy has quickly become a favourite. Part bistro, part cocktail bar (its signature has been a saffron-infused Gibson and some other inventive Martini variations), Bar Bellamy blends French bistro classics with ’70s dinner party-style hors d’oeuvres – and that’s exactly what you’ll find on its Serve menu. There’s the bar’s staple devilled eggs (this time topped with roe), prawn cocktails, steak au poivre with pommes Anna, crepes with strawberries, and plenty more. Add a Martini or two and you’re set.

Date: Sat January 27, 2024
Price: $95
Book tickets.

BKK

Between Her Bar, Her Rooftop and Music Room you could spend a week at Pacific House and never come up for air. Among the bars, lively Thai diner BKK more than holds its own, blending signature theatrics (see the sprawling, fiery open kitchen) with a charcoal-led menu of Thai classics.

For Serve, BKK head chef Sungeun Mo is bringing a substantial spread of fresh Thai classics and roasty BKK-style dishes, including grilled scallops with makrut lime leaf, chilli and tom yum fried peanuts, banana blossom salad with coconut, chilli jam and coriander, barbeque prawn skewers, and a three-flavour fish stir-fry with capsicum and Thai basil, among other tasty mains and entrees.

Date: Wed January 17, 2024
Price: $95
Book tickets.

Yugen Dining

Below South Yarra’s unique Yugen Tea – an expertly curated tea bar run by an ex-Vue de Monde tea sommelier – is the hidden-away Yugen Dining. Here, head chef Alex Yu offers intimate omakase experiences for six diners, plus an innovative à la carte menu for everyone else.

For its Serve menu, you’ll find a typically inventive Yugen menu that drags together influences from Japan and beyond. There’s an ume Negroni to start (that’s Roku gin, Dolin vermouth, Davidson’s plum aperitif and plum wine) and dishes like the South American-leaning hiramasa kingfish with spiced pineapple and aji amarillo dressing, woodfire-grilled duck leg with cherry, salted plum, miso and kombu, and ocean trout with green peppercorn, celeriac and coconut.

Date: Tue January 16, 2024
Price: $95
Book tickets.

Serve Festival is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Mastercard.