Pure South Dining, the Southgate restaurant known for its uncompromising focus on high-quality Tasmanian produce, has added one of Australia’s most celebrated breakfast chefs to its team.

Jesse McTavish led the kitchen at Top Paddock and then The Kettle Black, where his menus changed Melbourne’s approach to breakfast.

From today, McTavish will be working with Pure South head chef David Hall and his team before the restaurant re-opens after extensive renovations later this month.

Pure South Dining closed in May, and since July has been running a pop-up in the former Walter’s Wine Bar site, allowing its team to experiment with new menus. When it reopens later this month, the restaurant proper may be unrecognisable to its many longtime fans.

More than tripling in size, Pure South is expanding into the space above and in front of its old site and extending its opening hours to incorporate all-day dining. From mid-December, it will open from 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends, hence McTavish’s appointment.

“When I first met Jesse, he said ‘mate, I love Pure South and what you do’. I loved hearing that, of course, so I liked him straight away,” says co-owner Philip Kennedy. “We want to provide the same standard at eight in the morning as we do at eight at night, but we don’t want to stumble into that market and make the mistakes you usually make, so we’re pretty excited to have him on board. What people really want at that time of day is something Jesse has already questioned. He’s already down the path we want to go down.”

Pure South Dining’s focus on produce from Tasmania, Flinders Island and King Island, as well as personal relationships with farmers, will remain central to the restaurant’s mission. Kennedy says the revamp is about responding to diners’ needs. “We first opened a 2004 restaurant, and now we’re opening a 2017 restaurant. In the past decade, the landscape in Melbourne has changed entirely.”

“We won’t be just special occasion and corporate dining,”’ he continues. “As well as breakfast we’ll also be about unplanned or single-course dining; meet for a dish and a glass of wine dining, pre-show. More multi-faceted.”

“I like the metaphor of the grand pub of the 1960s where you had a public bar, a saloon bar, a ladies lounge, a lounge and a dining room. It’s all the same place under the same banner, but a different mood and a different occasion depending on the room, and the same person could feel comfortable in all of them at different times and with different company.”

Pure South Dining opens on Friday 16 December, 2016, for a lunch and dinner service. All-day service will start on Saturday 17 December, 2016.

Pure South Dining
Southgate, GR2/3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank

Mon to Fri 7am–late
Sat & Sun 8am–late