Cityfields, in Chadstone’s Social Quarter, is big. The two-storey spot has a ground-floor public bar and restaurant, plus separate gardens for al fresco dining. There’s also a private dining space, and the top floor with yet another dining room, bar and garden. Indeed – like its stylish South Melbourne sibling Half Acre – the multi-functional restaurant has a spot for most occasions.
That ethos extends to the menu, which includes plenty of snacks, salads, and a pasta list that might include standouts like cacio e pepe and ragu. In the classics section, there’s also a well-executed cheeseburger, chicken schnitzel and bangers and mash. Mains, such as wood-roasted chicken and porchetta, are made for sharing. Then there are woodfired steaks, from a minute steak through to the full 1.2-kilogram T-bone with bordelaise sauce for when you’re settling in for the afternoon. After that, you might go for classic desserts like crème caramel and Basque cheesecake vie with soft-serve fior di latte ice-cream. Or choose something from the roving timber dessert trolley with a selection of cakes.
As for the drinks, co-owner Adam Wright-Smith took cues from Raffles Singapore. The iconic hotel has a regal cocktail-making machine that shakes up several hundred glasses of its signature cocktail, The Singapore Sling, each night. At Cityfields, the elaborate MK2 machine – which took more than 1000 hours to build – can shake cocktails like City Sling and Ramos Gin Fizz to mousse-like perfection, quickly, and in high volumes. Booze is also sold by the glass, including a selection of Noisy Ritual wines on tap, as well as other Antipodean wines and beers.
Designers Pasquale Cook and Studio Manifold worked together on the striking look, which includes a main bar clad in a chequerboard of forest green and chocolate brown tiles and a central column of mirrors. Australian art adds extra colour and quirk, and even the lampshades mimic artworks – decorated as they are with tufty dried grass and golden leaves.
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