With the party season officially underway (I always count it as starting with the Spring Racing carnival) there’s no shortage of new places to drink and eat your way through in November. There’s a juice and plant food based revamp of one of Melbourne’s top party spots and some serious restaurants are being opened by big names Shannon Bennett and Donovan Cooke.
I’ve had a few boozy nights at the Carlton Club over the years including one very memorable work Christmas party which included a giant snow dome you could run around inside. But now the Carlton Club has gone all healthy thanks to the opening of Superfluid a juice bar in the entrance. The juices at Superfluid are next level like the zesty ‘Spice it up’ which includes carrot and turmeric. Owner Tracey Lester is also introducing a plant based menu at Carlton Club and at the launch party I loved the simple vegie crudites and crisp puffed vegetable crackers. Head here for Christmas drinks with a difference.
Details: Superfluid at the Carlton Club, 193 Bourke street, Melbourne 3000.
The 90’s are back baby with the legendary Melbourne chef Donovan Cooke opening Ryne in North Fitzroy. It’s a beautiful space with whitewashed exposed brick walls and pops of Royal blue in the seating. The food is just as swish as you’d expect with pretty a a picture marron with pea panna cotta and spiked with chicken skin. Save room for dessert and the Valrhona chocolate souffle with three tastes of raspberry. Prices start at two courses for $65 up to the full shebang a seven-course tasting menu for $150. Straight to the top of my list for a date night destination.
It’s exciting times when Shannon Bennett opens a new restaurant and Ike-Jime is a bit of a departure for the super star chef who’s known for his French cooking. So it’s goodbye to the classic French bistro fare of Bistro Vue and hello to sustainably caught seafood with a Japanese influence. The immediate giveaway is in the name Ike-Jime which refers to a Japanese method of catching fish which paralyses them and maintains the quality of the fish and is thought to be more humane. Ike-Jime’s menu includes the same oysters you might have found at Bistro Vue but thee are also charred tiger prawns, mussels on toast and grilled whole barramundi. Prices reflect the high price of sustainable seafood ranging up to $72 for the barramundi. Ike-Jime’s location makes it perfect for a flashy work lunch and the prices make it even better if someone else is paying.
Details: Ike-Jime, 430 Little Collins street, Melbourne (Ph 03 9691 3838)
Walk up the brick stairs from Longrain and you’re in a soaring warehouse space with vaulted ceilings lit by flickering lanterns. This is Longsong the long awaited bar from the Longrain team offering a more casual and booze focused alternative to the excellent Thai downstairs. I headed here after the races and the place was packed with celebrities from Rachel Griffiths to Matt Preston and a lot of football types. During the day things are a bit more low key and it’s the sort of place you can go just for a drink or eat from the short and sweet menu (at this stage it’s a half page list which promises “more to come”). We ignored the fabulous cocktail list and stuck to Thai beers and smoky skewers of chicken and calamari cooked over the open fire. A great party season option and the place to see and be seen.