One of the most highly regarded chefs in the country launched his first Melbourne venture on Monday morning at the top end of the city. Mark Best, of Marque in Surry Hills, Sydney, opened quietly opened Pei Modern's doors on Friday and Saturday nights before Monday's official opening for breakfast.
Best was lured to Melbourne by the boys from the MoVida Group, Peter Bartholomew and David Mackintosh, and has opened a produce-oriented bistro with a menu built on market fresh, seasonal ingredients. “It's not complicated,” says co-owner Mackintosh. “There's very much an emergence in this style of eating overseas and we wanted Mark to have the opportunity to do this in Melbourne.”
The head chef is Matt Germanis, who worked at MoVida and MoVida Aqui, spread his wings at Pandora's Box and returned to the fold to run the kitchen for Best. The manager and sommelier is front-of-house pro Ainslie Lubbock, who has managed Attica and The Royal Mail in Dunkeld among others. “There's a fresh, natural approach to the wine list,” explains Mackintosh. “Wines that typically suit this style of food, with savouriness and structure.”
Helen Rice of Rice Design Studio has designed the interior of the former post office. “We wanted it to look like it had always been there, and we looked at designs from west coast America in the late 70s and early 80s using lots of timbers, stone, marble and glass,” explains Mackintosh. “Helen has interpreted the brief beautifully.”
Pei Modern is open daily, has a bar area that's open all day and doesn't take bookings and a dining room that's open for lunch and dinner. Feel free to book there, we get the feeling you'll need to.
45 Collins Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 8545