Among the industrial and creative spaces of Rupert Street in Collingwood is husband-and-wife team Ric and Mali Corinaldi’s latest venture, Rupert on Rupert.
Despite being in the works for two years, Rupert seems to have suddenly sprung up. Not interested in hype, nor the pressure that comes with it, the pair has kept quiet about its new restaurant and bar (which opened three weeks ago) until now.
“We call this Rupert’s Laneway,” says Ric of a long side area that greets visitors upon entering. Thanks to rows of skylights, afternoon sun drenches the space, bouncing off timber finishes and creating an amber haze. There is also a generous amount of plant life – trees line the walls of Rupert’s corridor, clearly a source of joy for Ric, a horticulturist by trade.
Along with Shane Smith, Ric is one half of Ficus Constructions, responsible for building Melbourne institutions De Clieu, Traveller, Madame Brussels, Allpress Espresso (also on Rupert Street) and Bar Ampere.
Helping Rupert is bar manager Radar Rad (ex-Prudence manager) and venue manager Max Finch (ex-The Beaufort). The bar here is into experimentation without pretension; there are seven beers on tap – including Coopers Pale Ale sitting next to McLaren Vale IPA– ,Australian wines on tap and a promise to always have three cocktails under $15, a welcomed rarity.
Parsnip chips and pork scratchings with spiced chili salt are a few of the smaller plates that serve as perfect drinking food. Pan-fried tofu with chili, orange, mint, coconut and house-made satay served on wood-fired flat bread brings down the house.
Corinaldi describes Rupert’s fare, taken care of by chef Megan Morgan, as, “Peasant food made for sharing.” There is a separate page of the menu devoted to pizza, a highlight of which is the Balkan Lamb – slow braised lamb shoulder, sweet onions, watercress and Bulgarian feta.
Rupert’s official launch is tomorrow night from 4pm to midnight and is open to the public.
Rupert on Rupert
73 Rupert Street, Collingwood
Fri & Sat 3pm–midnight