So many fun new places opening this month. As the weather heats up so do the openings from a cult gelati store to a 24 hour diner to a hot new opening from super chef Jerry Mai. All bases are covered for your October eating pleasure.
Cult Hawthorn ice-cream store Piccolina Gelateria opened a brand new store in Collingwood this week and it’s seriously gelati heaven. Facing off against Gelato Messina just across the road on Smith Street, Piccolina has the exposed brick walls and peeling paint that give it a Collingwood warehouse feel. The new store is huge with a large open kitchen out the back for a bit of gelati making theatre and shiny silver pozzetti containing the gelati at the front counter. The gelati here is soft and creamy with natural fruit and nuts used in the flavours. I was invited to the launch and loved the smooth honeycomb, sharp mint and slightly boozy special of a strawberry prosecco sorbet. A serious contender for this Summer.
Details: Piccolina Gelateria, 296 Smith Street, Collingwood (Ph 9866 2122)
I am absolutely smitten with The Mayfair and can’t wait to eat there again. Step inside the white guaze curtains from the courtyard of the Sofitel to the space where Pei Modern used to be. There’s a proper bar area lined with crystal decanters of gin and whiskey and a dining room with white linen covered tables. I went with a group of girlfriends but Mayfair would also be the perfect place for a date night. Think classic bistro food. We ordered freshly shucked oysters, crumpets topped with sweet flakes of crab and asparagus spears with a soft poached egg serving as sauce. Mayfair Restaurant is bringing a bit of old school glam back to Melbourne.
Details: The Mayfair, Sofitel Forecourt, 45 Collins street, Melbourne (Ph 03 9654 8545)
I’m a regular at Jerry Mai’s excellent Pho Nom casual restaurants so am pretty pumped Mai has opened a more serious restaurant, Annam. The neon sign sets the party vibe as soon as you enter the restaurant. It’s an Asian hawker style menu dancing from Kingfish sashimi to dumplings to hearty dishes like braised pork hock. Don’t forget the cocktails as well. This is a fabulous restaurant for big groups with set $65 menus available like the “Chow down in Chinatown” and a few private dining room options including the brilliantly named “disco booth”. I’m eyeing this off for a Christmas catch up with friends.
Details: Annam, 56 Little Bourke street, Melbourne (Ph 03 9654 6627)
What’s not to love about a new opening from the Supper Club team? The Butchers Diner is just as good looking a place as you’d expect from this crew located in a small arched entrance at the top of Bourke street. The diner operates 24 hours (woo hoo!) and it’s pretty small so best to head here solo or just with one other. You eat at an orange laminated counter looking out at sides of meat hanging in the fridge. There’s a bit of a “dude food” vibe with beer cans, dim sims and hearty rolls. My roast chicken roll was a bargain at $10 and I loved the warm crusty bread but the chicken was completely overwhelmed by the thick mayo it was dressed in. Next time I’ll order the roast sandwich.
Details: Butchers Diner, 10 Bourke street, Melbourne (Ph 03 9639 7324)