Perhaps you have heard by now that we are the Official Lifestyle Fashion Partner of the Australian Open. Melbourne, where the Open is hosted, just so happens to be both our home town, and home to many a culinary delight. As such, we’ve put together a little list of our favourite places to eat if you so happen to be visiting for the tennis.
131-133 Domain Rd, South Yarra
One of the best places in the city for people watching, Entrecôte never seems to have a quiet moment. Hosted in a terrace house overlooking the Domain gardens, this French restaurant has become somewhat of an institution in recent years.
The memo? Steak pomme frites. Simply choose how well you want your Cape Grim steak done and it will arrive with a herby, mustard-based sauce, bottomless French fries, and a crunchy green salad tossed with walnuts and a beautiful vinaigrette.
Our insider tip: head there for the daily happy hour between 4-6pm, set up shop on the patio, (you may however be hard pressed to find a seat), and while away the afternoon with oysters and champagne.
650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
A quintessential Melbourne café in a heritage-listed former power station nonetheless. Split levels, arched windows, green walls, mezzanines and a dramatic 15 metre ceiling begets the huge seating capacity – this café can house up to 160 patrons at any one time (you will most probably still have to line up such is the on-going popularity of the venue).
Halfway between a café and a restaurant, the breakfast menu is an inventive take on the Melbourne scene; the avocado, feta eggs and fresh seaweed arrives on a crispy seed cracker rather than toast, the made-for-social-media ricotta hotcakes are covered in cream, seeds and edible flowers and the steamed barramundi is served in a Japanese broth with kohlrabi, blackbean vinaigrette and bonito sesame.
361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Found deep in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD is Tipo 00, a small haven serving the most divine Italian fare, where pasta plays the starring role. The pared-back fit-out – think a spot-lit marble pass, a bookcase full of wine and painted polished concrete – pays heed to the restaurant’s unpretentious ethos. Here it is all about simple food done unquestionably well.
First up is the house-made focaccia – equal parts soft and crunchy - served warm with fresh ricotta and baked fresh at the beginning of each service. If you wish, order from the starter menu – we can’t look past the burrata served with crumbed eggplant and the grilled octopus accompanied by witlof and orange. Otherwise head straight to the pasta menu, where you will find everything from braised duck gnocchi served with porcini mushrooms, to paccheri with confit tomato and buffalo mozzerella, to spaghettini with red mullet, saffron and fennel, pictured below.
Feast Of Merit
117 Swan St, Richmond
You’ll find Feast of Merit only a stone’s throw away from the Open, on the permanently busy Swan St, Richmond’s nucleus. The space is raw and industrial, replete with exposed brick, polished concrete, distressed finishes, repurposed timber and bare bulbs. This setting however, is made to feel cosy with warm lighting, embroidered cushions and an array of oversized greenery. Head outside and up the stairs and you’ll find its rooftop bar, an open space with a relaxed atmosphere.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the farm-to-table menu draws on inspiration from the Middle East. The evening menu is designed to share, with an abundance of options for those that don’t eat meat. Our picks? Start with some smaller bites, perhaps the fried cauliflower, served warm with yoghurt, molasses and lemon, or the shucked oysters with a spiced ezme salad, or the labneh with green olive, pistachio, mint and pomegranate. Then as the main act, try the whole baby snapper crusted with almond and tahini, accompanied by a fresh tabouleh salad.