Restaurant professionals Rob and Bronwyn Kabboord opened Merricote on High Street Northcote in early March. A long-held goal for both, the project was accelerated when they left Prahran’s Hotel Max unexpectedly last year. “We thought ‘let’s bite the bullet’,” says Bronwyn, who is sommelier and runs front-of-house. “Friends told us about this location and we live in the area; we really liked it.”

Designed by CBD-based studio Aer Design, the 30-seater restaurant – named after Merri Creek and Northcote – is a reflection of Rob and Bronwyn’s ethos of good, local product cooked well in a comfortable neighbourhood restaurant. “It was always about our living room,” says Bronwyn when she talks about the original concept of the place. “We want people to feel like they are in our living room, with Rob’s food and a nice little wine list.”

The wine list is Bronwyn’s baby, built around varietals people may not be familiar with or may not have tried before. “We’re selling lots of Grüner and Viognier and the Spanish Verdejo goes really well with Rob’s food.”

Like Bronwyn, Rob’s focus is on flavours or combinations that may not be readily familiar, or taking classics and redoing them with a modern twist – like chicken barigoule with artichoke and speck. For a quick bite they are making their own capicola and duck rillettes, and they have a regularly changing cheese trolley.

81 High Street Northcote
(03) 9939 4762

Tue–Sat 5.30–10pm
Thu–Sat noon–3pm