There have been a lot of openings over the past couple of weeks.
To make it easy, here’s a handy wrap of what’s worth checking out. If you’re the type to fit in those clever in-between meals (such as second breakfast), you’ll breeze through this list. Godspeed.
Is your Instagram feed looking a bit green lately? That’s probably because it’s flooded by this brand-new St Kilda cafe, which uses matcha in about a third of its vegan dishes, from smoothies to pancakes and “chicken” burgers.
Its main draw is the creative “vegan eggs”, made from agar-agar and a soft puree of sweet potato, coconut milk and linseed protein to replicate the #yolkporn experience.
Add that Lot 3 is doing affordable, home-style food within a few steps of Ripponlea train station, and it’s already a clear winner.
Pop in for a hearty Italian sandwich (porchetta or eggplant), or just a Sicilian “ugly biscuit” with a house-made yuzu soda.
This place is so steeped in history, you can still see it; sewing machines, fabric rolls, bits of thread.
Owner Adriana Agricola bought the 50-year-old Preston dress factory she grew up in, and turned it into a bright, friendly cafe.
The menu is clever without being too chef-y. The Necchi (named after a brand of Italian sewing machine) features batons of banana sunk into a quagmire of sticky black rice, matcha foam and chia jelly.
EATING WITH BEER
See something out of the corner of your eye? That’s just the ghost of parties past. Yes, it’s weird to eat a nice dinner in a place where you’ve maybe thrown up before. But aren’t we a little more grown up now?
The chefs at this new pan-Asian restaurant have impressive backgrounds (ex-Cumulus, Longrain, Circa and so on) and are serving smoky, spicy snacks and curries – the stuff that keeps you drinking. Fortunately, along with the bandroom, it has refurbished the beer list, too. It now has a better selection.
When we first announced the loved Fitzroy pub was bought by the team from Port Melbourne’s Harry & Frankie, locals were worried it would be scrubbed of its soul and charm.
It has certainly been scrubbed clean, but there’s still Carlton Draught on tap, signed footy jumpers on the wall and parmas on the menu.
As co-owner Tom Hogan told us last month, “We really wanted to keep that country-pub-in-the-city vibe.”
The downstairs bar opened on Thursday, but the upstairs restaurant won’t open until Friday April 22.
First there was Huxtaburger, then Bluebonnet Barbecue. Now in the third instalment of the Curtin’s kitchen takeovers, South Yarra’s Leonard’s House of Love is serving its charcoal chicken and more at the Carlton pub.
You’ll find a fairly similar menu to what you’re used to south side, with decent vegetarian options. Also loaded hot dogs, cheeseburgers, charcoal-chicken fries and tostadas – stuff to keep you powering through until late.
It has even transformed the Curtin’s dining room into a mini Leonards, complete with ’70s wood panelling and an old TV in the corner.
There’s no end date for the pop-up yet, but it will stick around for at least a year before the next resident moves in.
Chapel Street has cinemas, bars and restaurants for days. But for a long time – no gelato.
Last year it got Messina. And only in the past couple of weeks it got two more.
The gelato laboratorio, lit by a neon-green sign, is churning out creative new flavours, such as avocado and lime; banana and cardamom; and saffron risotto.
An oven has also been installed to make biscotti, brownies, crumbles and sticky-date pudding to mix into the house-made gelato. On Monday, new gelato cakes, including a spiced-pumpkin gelato tart, and a banoffee pie, will be available to order.
There’s also a Nutella tap.
Joylati is scooping up the foot-traffic on the corner of Chapel and Malvern Road. It uses fresh fruit, organic milk and keeps the gelato in pozzetti (sealed refrigerated drums) to keep it super fresh. Check out the chocolate waterfall feature behind the counter (not edible, unfortunately).