The five-star Le Meridien hotel on Bourke Street takes plenty of inspiration from the building’s glamorous prior inhabitants – from the MGM cinema that stood at the site in the ’50s and ’60s, to the iconic Metro Nightclub that reigned in the ’80s, and the beloved Palace Theatre, which most Melburnians would remember well.
These days the show is at Dolly, the hotel’s elevated in-house restaurant, where it feels as if you’ve stepped inside the silver screen. Large arched mirrors reflect the brown leather banquettes and fluted chrome accents. Even the marble tabletops seem to sparkle.
Executive chef Christian Graebner spent 17 years in hotel kitchens, and his menu (which is split into four “acts”) speaks to classic European fare. Start with baked oysters Rockerfeller and Tasmanian cured salmon roulade before moving onto the main event: a signature beef Wellington that draws on Graebner’s classical French training in butchery and patisserie. The grand finale? A bombe Alaska torched tableside and filled with salted caramel popcorn ice cream.
A central bar decked out with curvaceous modular lounges and matching pouffes serves cocktails created in collaboration with The Everleigh. Signatures are inspired by artists who graced the stage and screens of the old Palace Theatre. Try a Mr Miller, a twist on an Old Fashioned inspired by the musical Hair, which had a 39-week season at the Palace in the 1970s.
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