Fire up your notes app and make a record of these new restaurants, diners, bars, cafes and eateries that opened in the month of August.
Broadsheet’s city editors have picked their top spots of the past month to visit now or on your next interstate trip. We’ve done the digging so you don’t have to. Enjoy!
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Best known for its punchy American IPAs, Kicks Brewing has opened its first taproom in a revamped Marrickville warehouse to showcase its diverse range of beers. Head brewer Brendan Ibbett and wife Jess Ibbett founded the business in 2020 and have finally opened a flagship space. Jess, who is a designer, worked to transform the blank canvas into a breezy 40-seat venue with art deco lighting, blonde timber tables and plenty of plants. Brendan pulls the beers from a minimalist bar decked in black and white tiles. Expect 10 limited-release beers on tap, with options varying from month to month. While there’s no food on offer beyond bags of Proper Crisps, guests can BYO or order in from nearby takeaway joints including Lox in a Box. All beers are available to take away in Kicks’ sharply designed tinnies.
This grand 140-seat diner brings together Australian ease, French food and American go-largery from Sydney’s Nomad Group. Like Gimlet and Grill Americano before it, the restaurant brings a bigger-city energy to Melbourne. Housed in the Stock Exchange’s 132-year-old Cathedral Room, at the junction of Collins and Queen, its stained-glass windows, Gothic vaulted ceilings, limestone walls, solid granite columns are an absolute show-stopper. Mercifully, the kitchen is brand new, built without restrictions. Executive chef Jacqui Challinor nails the brasserie menu, with an ever-changing seafood platter for two, hors d’oeuvres like celeriac and horseradish tarts, or mains could be duck-neck-sausage cassoulet, calamari with herby Cafe de Paris butter or impressive steaks cooked on charcoal. Finish with a dark chocolate, espresso and caramel tart or salted honey petit choux with quince and white chocolate, and toast one of the most impressive new restaurants we’ve seen this year.
Four Sides Bar and Kitchen
Four Sides revels in having multiple personalities. In a twist that will surely delight literature-lovers, the venue is in Hyde Park (get it?). The new venture is part bar and part restaurant, serving small plates and mains alongside an extensive by-the-glass wine selection. Owned by Fabien Streit, Nazzareno Falaschetti and Baz Rampal (who also operate Bistro Francais across the road), the one-page menu is brief but intricate. Small plates include fluffy potato doughnuts filled with rich, smoked oxtail and sprinkled with Japanese furikake seasoning. Chef Streit makes excellent use of his charcoal oven, turning out tamarind-glazed pork ribs with “atchara” (Filipino papaya pickle) and charry whole squid with an Asian-inspired chilli salad and peanuts.
Twenty-four (mostly local) wines are on-tap and able to be served by the glass, thanks to an argon gas system souvenired from the venue’s previous life as a wine bar.
Brisbane began the year with the loss of Super Whatnot, one of the first (and best) small bars to open after the state government introduced small-bar licences back in 2009. But now, Antico – a small cocktail bar inspired by Italian drinking culture – has landed in its place. It’s the third opening from the Cuatro Group, joining boundary-pushing cocktail bars Death & Taxes and Dr Gimlette. Antico is a smaller, simpler venture for the team – local hospo stalwarts Martin and Wiebke Lange, and Blake and Belinda Ward – after Death & Taxes’ thousand-strong whisky list and Dr Gimlette’s Martini carts and bespoke service. The space is an homage to the hole-in-the-wall bars of Italy and New York, while the menu showcases just eight cocktails – rotating every two weeks – with a “less is more” approach. The Blood and Skye, Antico’s take on a Blood and Sand, is made with blood orange sorbet and raspberry vermouth, while the One Million Dollars is a supercharged Millionaire Cocktail with the addition of fresh passionfruit and peach aperitif.
Edward & Idas
Veteran bartender Dimitri Rtshiladze, owner of CBD cocktail bar Foxtrot Unicorn as well as Fremantle wine bar Nieuw Ruin, has launched Edward & Ida’s in Northbridge. Taking over the William Street storefront that was once home to Hong Kong cafe Hongkies Kitchen, it follows the same retro-leaning styling as Rtshiladze’s existing venues. An entire wall is crowded with vintage mirrors and framed posters. Retro tin drinks trays are mounted behind the bar. A handsome timber staircase descends into what Rtshiladze describes as a “weird cocktail bar”, a 40-seat parlour filled with taxidermy, a broken TV set and a king’s ransom worth of miniature alcohol bottles. The booze side of things is strong, and the food menu is both old-school and new-school thinking. Fillet-O-Fish gets a bougie makeover with flaky Patagonian toothfish and a properly chunky tartare, while golden crunchy puff pastry and a fruity brown sauce (both house-made) inject something special into the sausage roll.