Three Blue Ducks
This all-day diner at surfable wave park Urbnsurf is the first Melbourne location for Three Blue Ducks, the prolific Sydney-based cafe chain that now has venues dotted up the east coast. Co-owners Mark LaBrooy, Darren Robertson, Masterchef judge Andy Allen, Chris Sorrell, Sam Reid-Boquist and Jeff Benne share a love of surfing, so they figured opening a 350-seat restaurant overlooking a two-hectare, crystal-clear lagoon was a swell idea.
Breakfast options are generally light, so you can eat before a surf sesh. The spanner-crab scramble comes with a papaya-and-bean-shoot salad and house-made sriracha, and there’s avocado hummus with grilled haloumi, pomegranate and hazelnut dukkah on sourdough.
After midday, try the burrata with charred zucchini and salsa verde; tomato-and-chilli mussels with garlicky Baker Bleu sourdough; and buttermilk fried chicken with hot sauce. For a more substantial post-surf feed, go for the loaded Provenir beef burger; the Portuguese-style rotisserie chook with fermented-capsicum glaze; or a pizza (there’s a spicy salami number with pickled chilli, smoked mozzarella and basil).
Drinks-wise, there’s a tight edit of summery cocktails. If you’re after something boozy, try the Watermelon Iced Tea (with vodka, Cointreau, watermelon, strawberry and English breakfast tea); the breakfast-appropriate Badass Bloody Mary; or an Old Fashioned spiked with Single O cold brew. There are a couple of obligatory summery spritzes too (including one made with tequila).
If you’re grabbing a drink before hitting the waves or would prefer something without alcohol, there’s a Virgin Mary; the Noperol Spritz (with Lyre’s zero-alcohol aperitivo, orange, lemon and soda); Non 5; and Heaps Normal’s non-alcoholic beer. Plus, there are a bunch of fresh juices and smoothies; a range of teas; and of course coffee (by Single O).
The open-plan space is warm, rustic and catches the sunset perfectly – it’s essentially a surf shack with tidy timber furnishings. There are plenty of picnic benches and outdoor tables for large groups, but a long timber bar overlooking the swell is the best place to watch surfers get pitted. There’s a fireplace indoors for the cooler months, too.