Within the chaos that was 2020 you may need missed among the new openings on this record – or not but had an opportunity to go to them. Every of the eating and ingesting locations beneath is a brief(ish) drive from Melbourne and value constructing your weekend away or day journey round. Take pleasure in your dinner, lunch or drink with a facet of coastal views, vineyard landscapes or produce virtually proper out of the wheelbarrow – or boat.
Attica Summer Camp, Seville
Attica’s Ben Shewry has arrange Attica Summer time Camp on a Yarra Valley property as soon as house to Lillydale Property vineyard. It’s right here for a very good time, not a very long time, however he sees it as an antidote to a horrible 2020. “I wished to create one thing that was actually enjoyable and energetic and felt good; one thing that was tremendous sort,” he informed Broadsheet. “We’ve all been via this terribly tough time, however now we now have one thing higher to look ahead to.”
It’s solely an hour away from town, and the meals is reassuring and fuss-free however with typical Attica pedigree. The setting, in the meantime, is verdant and plush. Anticipate a comfy, conservatory-like indoor eating room with floor-to-ceiling home windows, views throughout the paddocks to the dusky hills and a pergola dripping in greenery.
To eat there’s charcoal-grilled rooster, and hasselback potatoes scored proper the way in which via, slathered in butter and cooked rotisserie-chook fashion. Entire King George whiting and child abalone are additionally performed on the grill, and an enormous barrel smoker seems hot-smoked king salmon and pastrami (served with scorching sauce). It’s like one of the best barbeque you’ve ever been to.
Dessert is an enormous factor right here – so massive, in reality, it’s wheeled round on a trolley. There’s Cherry Ripe-inspired ice-cream; you’re given a bath, two spoons, and informed to go for it. You’ll additionally discover Tim Tams made with 4 Pillars Breakfast Negroni (i.e. marmalade) and an distinctive lemon tart.
Tacos y Liquor, Geelong
This compact 40-seat taqueria – within the former Cupboard Bar web site on Little Malop Avenue in Geelong – is by chef Aaron Turner (Igni, The Hot Chicken Project), whose experiences of taco vehicles in LA and bodegas in NYC have formed his strategy right here. The house and the menu are cosy. There are simply 4 tacos (three meat and one veg) and a burrito (for purchasers who’re particularly hungry or ordering takeaway).
The al pastor taco is made with pork stomach, and the rooster tinga taco has shredded rooster in a tomato, onion and chipotle sauce. Vegetarians can hook into tacos filled with mushroom and huitlacoche, a fungus discovered on corn that’s also referred to as Mexican truffle.
Facet dishes embody avenue corn, chicken-fat rice with beans, and regional specialties similar to birra (a beef consommé with shredded beans). And Turner’s left the tortilla-making to Melbourne’s peerless La Tortilleria.
Because the identify suggests, drinks are the opposite half of Tacos y Liquor. Discover Margaritas, Palomas, mezcals and tequilas on excessive rotation. Beer and wine (purple and white discipline blends from SA’s Vinteloper) are on faucet, poured into rustic half-litre jars.
Tedesca Osteria, Purple Hill
Brigitte Hafner and enterprise associate James Broadway (of the now-closed Gertrude Street Enoteca) are behind Tedesca Osteria in Purple Hill, amid the Mornington Peninsula hinterland. It’s top-of-the-line – and most original – eating experiences in Victoria. Ensconced in an early Twentieth-century weatherboard home overlooking 27 acres of lush farmland, the restaurant seats between 30 and 35 diners for intimate, slow-paced lunches.
The relaxed, five-course set menu is seasonal and adjustments fortnightly, however you may nearly all the time count on contemporary handmade pasta, and seafood and meat performed in a woodfired oven. The wine record focuses on pure types by native growers (there’s additionally a biodynamic winery on-site). Cocktails are made utilizing native botanicals and rainwater.
In 2020 the fit-out was awarded Best Restaurant Design on the prestigious Eat Drink Design Awards. Uncooked timber is the main target – the jet-black kitchen bench, bar and personal eating desk are all crafted from historic river redgum.
The coastal wetlands of Connewarre, the place you’ll discover Moonah, is round 90 minutes from Melbourne. The tiny diner opened in late 2020 and is by chef Tobin Kent.
The eating room suits simply 12 visitors at a time and the utmost group measurement is 4 folks. “This enables us to create a really relaxed and intimate eating expertise that we consider could be very particular and one thing not frequent sufficient,” Kent tells Broadsheet. He additionally suggests planning about three months upfront if you wish to dine right here. The restaurant releases bookings three months upfront on the primary day of every month.
The present nine-course menu consists of hand-dived sea urchin with preserved orange and midnight pearl potatoes; crayfish tartare with fermented tomatillo and kakai pumpkin seeds; 21-day-dry-aged Nice Ocean duck with salt-marsh greens; and walnut ice-cream with wild apples and saltbush. All with panoramic views over the encompassing billabong.
Final January, Flinders Lane Euro-Vietnamese diner Coda swapped town for the surf, with a summery pop-up on the highest ground of the Lorne Hotel. In December, it opened completely in the identical spot.
Coda Lorne is a part of a three-in-one venue, with Movida on the bottom ground, the pub on the second ground, and Coda up prime. The restaurant is big: 120 seats with sweeping views of Louttit Bay and the city of Lorne – and a deck the place you may take all of it in.
The menu is totally different to Coda’s metropolis counterpart. It’s seafood-heavy and strictly Asian (the unique mixes in French strategies and elements).
You may get an Appellation oyster with spanner crab and nam jim dressing; Goolwa pippies with lemongrass, mint and coconut curry; roasted barra with jungle aromats; or Spencer Gulf kingfish sashimi with olive, tamari and chrysanthemum.
Ocean Beach Pavilion, Sorrento
This family-friendly spot in Sorrento is laid-back with out skimping on the stuff that makes going out particular: wonderful environment, an area you’ll wish to linger in, and a menu stuffed with hits.
It’s by Jerome Borazio (the “Jerome” behind St Jerome’s Laneway Pageant, in addition to Ponyfish Island and Back Alley Sally’s) and specialises in the kind of killer Asian feasts simply accessible within the metropolis, however rather less so in Sorrento.
The indoor-outdoor house – in a former brewhouse on Ocean Seaside Street – has a ton of room. There’s a spacious, coastal-inspired mess corridor; a sunny deck dotted with palm timber; and an easy-breezy lounge space (with a playground to maintain the littlies occupied).
Celebrated restaurateur Teage Ezard (Gingerboy, Ezard at Levantine Hill and the now-closed Ezard) is behind the spin-off restaurant Gingergirl. His hawker-style menu consists of steamed prawn-and-ginger dumplings with inexperienced nam jim; Wagyu beef dumplings with smoked Korean red-chilli dressing; master-stock pork stomach bao with spiced hoisin and cucumber; and salt-and-pepper rooster spare ribs with Korean barbeque sauce.
The star of the morning menu is a breakfast banh mi with pork, a fried egg, hoisin and pickled carrot and daikon. And out again is Prawn Stars, a prawn shack the place you may choose up buckets of contemporary Mooloolaba prawns – at wholesale costs – for takeaway solely.
La Cantina at Common Ground Project, Freshwater Creek
Common Ground Project is a social enterprise and group farm from the Mulberry Group (Liminal, Dessous and Hazel in Melbourne, and The Beach House in Geelong). And La Cantina is its new on-site restaurant.
It’s helmed by husband-and-wife staff Lolo Hanser and Glenn Laurie, who each labored at The River Cafe in London – one of many world’s most well-known Italian eating places.
The Italian menu adjustments with the seasons, and leans on produce grown at Frequent Floor. It’s structured historically: there’s an antipasti part of cured meats and cheeses to start out; a primi part comprised of handmade pastas; a secondi record of bigger meat, fish and vegetable dishes; and quite a few sides. Suppose pumpkin, mascarpone and ricotta ravioli in sage butter; stracciatella-starring spinach risotto; grilled lamb leg with chickpeas and salsa verde; and a easy lemon, parmesan and rocket salad.
Levantine Hill, Coldstream
This vacation spot diner within the Yarra Valley reinvented itself in 2020 after chef Teage Ezard left and the Jreissati household, which runs the vineyard, took over. It now has extra of a cellar-door vibe; gone are the white tablecloths and the cut up between fantastic diner and all-day bistro. The main focus is on meals that matches the realm and property’s wines – “Yarra Valley medium-bodied, balanced-form wines,” based on chief winemaker Paul Bridgeman; he says they’ve “that food-friendliness”.
The menu attracts on the Lebanese heritage of the Jreissati household. And Broadsheet editor Chynna Santos says the seasonal snack plate exhibits it off greatest. It would embody potato flatbread sprinkled with za’atar and sesame; chickpea crackers with hummus, black-garlic baba ganoush, and tahini labneh; or lamb koftas with polenta chips.
Every merchandise on the sharing menu is listed alongside the wine it pairs greatest with. The kingfish ceviche with bush-tomato baharat (a Center Japanese spice combine) and macadamia goes with the property’s 2013 Blanc de Blanc. The wealthy truffled goat’s curd cappelletti with raisins and pine-nut burnt butter matches with the 2017 Katherine’s Paddock Chardonnay.
Jayden Ong Winery & Cellar Bar, Healesville
For the previous decade, Cumulus Inc co-founder Jayden Ong has been making wines within the Yarra Valley. And in 2019 he was named one of many prime 12 greatest younger winemakers within the Young Gun of Wine Awards.
He and spouse Morgan Ong have simply opened the doorways to their very personal vineyard and cellar bar in Healesville. Pull up a seat within the expansive house (with an 8.2-metre centrepiece limestone bar and spectacular floral set up) or nab a spot outdoors within the sunshine.
On pour are wines from every of his 4 ranges – Moonlit Forest, One Block, La Maison de Ong and Jayden Ong – in addition to from different prime Yarra Valley producers. A tip: e book a $20, five-wine tasting led by Ong himself.
Meals-wise, the largely charcoal-fired menu is sourced from neighbouring producers the place doable. It would function friggitello peppers, lion’s mane mushrooms on bay sticks, duck meatballs with contemporary plum, or figs with curd and honey.
Love Shack Brewing Co, Castlemaine
This new brewery in Castlemaine, by two ex-Stomping Ground brewers, opened on the finish of 2020 – with a beer backyard that may maintain 300 on the rear of the artwork deco, 1850s-built Theatre Royal. However it’s additionally arrange for the colder climate forward: “We simply flip all of the faucets on inside, put the table-tennis desk out, mild a hearth out the again – it’s a brilliant versatile house,” says brewer and co-founder Conna Mallet.
There’s a bandroom and a roomy predominant bar – and faucets all through pouring Love Shack’s core vary of lager, pale ale and IPA, in addition to specialty choices, which in the meanwhile embody a basil-and-strawberry bitter and a low-alcohol purple IPA (it has simply been brewed and might be prepared in a few weeks). The menu includes round 15 totally different Roman-style pizzas from the Theatre Royal and beer-friendly bites similar to fries.
Extra reporting by Jo Rittey, Max Veenhuyzen, Tomas Telegramma, Chynna Santos and Ruby Kraner-Tucci and Holly Chamberlain.