Food & Drink

The Feed | The Melbourne Food And Drink News You Need To Know About

By Urban List Writers – Urban List is the home of everything cool, new and trending in urban culture. We bring you the best of the city so you can live your best life.

The food news has been coming in thick and fast in Melbourne, and to make sure that you're across Melbourne's food and bev movements, we've wrapped up everything that you need to know in a handful of digestible servings.

Keep up to date below:

Welcome Back Ramen To Supernormal’s Lunch Menu

And just like that, the warm weather has disappeared and winter has arrived early. Thankfully, Supernormal couldn’t have timed the return of their beloved ramen better. A hearty bowl of bone broth, grilled chicken, prawn and chicken dumplings and a soy-marinated egg. It’s a lunch-only thing, available weekdays only from 12pm until sold out. Don’t think, just go.

Image credit: Supernormal | Jo McGann

When Deep End Pizza Meets Fancy Hanks 

Deep End Pizza is the slice shop in Fitzroy dishing 10-inch Chicago-style deep dish pizza pies. Fancy Hanks is that BBQ joint you would have heard of, with the infamous 20-hour smoked meat. Together, they bring us a smokey, slow cooked Americano chicken pizza that’s done the deed in a smoker with straight up Eucalyptus bark for hours. The sauce drizzled on top is the real deal—molasses, black pepper and tomato. Get it from Deep End on Brunswick Street from Wednesday 10 April.

Image credit: Deep End Pizza | Ryan Kindermann

Eat It: A Focaccia Stuffed With Deep-Fried Black Truffle Cacio E Pepe Croquette

That’s the magic of Zita’s Focaccia and Marameo. The teams linked up to bless Melbourne with two hefty sandos for a limited time, and we felt it was only right you knew about it. There’s the deep-fried black truffle cacio e pepe croquette number with fresh truffle and a shaving of pecorino, and the sando dubbed the Salumi Extravaganza—mortadella, prosciutto, chili salami, creamy stracciatella and fresh lettuce. A pretty penny at $19 and $18 respectively. Wrap your hands around one (we recommend both) from April 15 to 27 at Marameo. 

If you like being that friend that’s in the know before the rest, Zita’s in South Yarra will host a pop-up on Sunday 14 April from 12pm to 5pm (or sold out). 

Image credit: Marameo | Ellina Dentoom

Lemon Frangipane, Chocolate Fudge Sauce, And Everything Bagel Seasoning—Lune’s April Line-Up Is Here

The flakey buttery goods are on for Lune. This month, there’s a lemon number up for grabs called The Shaker Lemon Pie—a traditional twice-baked croissant filled with lemon frangipane on lemon curd, and finished with slivered almonds and torched meringue. Over in the cruffin department, Lune has gone ham on the sugar, stuffing a cruffin with chocolate fudge sauce and toasted marshmallow before topping with strawberry sherbet, and a bucket load of marshmallows. Other highlights include an ‘everything’ savoury croissant with chive cream cheese and everything bagel seasoning, Lune’s take on the Anzac biscuit, and a chocolate fiend’s dream with a twice-baked choccy croissant stuffed and coated in chocolate. Pre-order over here or get yourself in-store.

Image credit: Lune | Pete Dillon

Consider This Your Invite To The Dinner Party Going Down At Lumen People

Lumen People is the pared back cafe-wine bar hybrid on Victoria Street dishing up some superb plates in a space that makes your heart sing. On Friday 5 April, the team is pausing from usual programming for a special one-night-only dinner party, and you bet you're invited. Chef and Sydney-sider Laura Rheinlander (Fred’s, Six Penny, Bar Vincent) is taking over the kitchen with a focus on seasonal vegetables and fresh seafood while sommelier and industry veteran Liz Carey is taking care of the wine list. It's not a party without some groovy tunes, so ARIA award-winning DJ Stephen Charles is on the decks all night to set the mood. If you haven’t yet visited Lumen People, this is a great time to tick it off your list. With two seatings up for grabs at 6pm and 8:15pm, get booking over here.

Image credit: Lumen People | Hugh McDonnell

Four Pillars' Sticky Carpet Gin Makes A Return

Back in 2019, Four Pillars released a gin as a love letter to The Epsy and its booze-drenched floors when it reopened, and they called it Sticky Carpet Gin. Since then, it’s been widely demanded to make a return to shelves, and we’re here to tell you, it’s back. Linking up with local brewery Little Creatures for this iteration, the Four Pillars Sticky Gin 2.0 serves as a homage to Australia’s great front bars. There are a few different ways you can try this one: neat, as a classic gin and tonic, or sample it as one of the three  signature serves (Pine Lime Shot, Watermelon G&T, Frozen Hard LLBs). Pouring at Hotel Esplanade, Garden State Hotel, and Yarra Botanica for a limited time.

Image credit: Four Pillars | Supplied

It's Italian Summer Vibes All Year Round Thanks To Sopra's Spritzy Watermelon And Basil Seltzer 

Melbourne seltzer producer Sopra is coming in red hot no matter the time of year with a very, very sessionable all-natural watermelon and basil seltzer. Inside the can you'll find just fruit juice, locally distilled vodka and primo h20—a knock-out combo that the Melbourne makers use in all their drinks, serving as a commitment to preservative-free seltzer, and a damn tasty one at that.

Sopra is the lovechild of Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca and Poodle Co-Founder Emilio Scalzo, and booze pro Salvatore Valvo, who between the two, bring a wealth of wealth of knowledge into those cans of the good stuff. Order up here and in select bottle-o's and venues around Melbourne.

Image credit: Sopra | Supplied

Japan's Unofficial Tipple, Strong Zero, Is Dropping Another New Flavour Down Under—This Time, It's Double Peach

Travelling to Japan and hitting up one of those convenience stores for a Strong Zero is basically a rite of passage, and recently, Australians have been able to relive that moment right here on our shores thanks to the stuff being stocked in bottle-o's around the country. And now, your selection is upping by one with the introduction of Double Peach flavour on the shelves as of last week. 

They'll set you back $26 rrp for a four-pack and come in at 6% ABV.

Image credit: Suntory | Supplied

A Melbourne Restaurant Has Been Crowned Best Pizzeria In Australia For The Fourth Year Running 

48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar has done it again, folks. The Italian restaurant known for its 48-hour rest time technique has been crowned Australia’s Best Pizzeria at the 50 Top Pizza awards, and placing fifth overall for Asia-Pacific. The OGs behind 48h are Fabio Biscaldi and Michele Circhirillo who opened the first flagship spot back in 2015, and since have taken home an astounding number of awards, including #13 best pizzeria in the world back in 2022. Today, you can find their award-winning pizza in Elsternwick, South Yarra and even Italy. They clearly know what they’re doing.

Image credit: 48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar | Supplied

Wiggle And Jiggle, The Viral Dancing Cat Puddings Have Landed In Melbourne CBD

They jiggled their way to virality on TikTok last year, and now the dancing cat puddings have landed in Melbourne at Sulhwa Dessert Shop on Little Collins Street. There’s two wiggling away at the moment—Yoo Yoo made from Okinawa milk tea with rare cheese sauce and palm sugar, and little Yao Yao made from sweet mango pudding. 

It’s not just cat-shaped puddings on the menu, the team at Sulhwa are rolling with the cute-fluffy theme and branching out to bunnies. In March, meet Hao Hao (Okinawa milk tea, matcha jam and yuzu citron) and Hop Hop (Pandan, passionfruit mango, and white pearl) in all their jiggling beauty.

Image credit: Sulhwa | Supplied

Le Yeahllow Is The Surrealist Dessert Store Baking Mind-Blowing Cakes—Like An Edible Balloon Puppy

Le Yeahllow is all about celebrating life with memorable cake moments, and if you were gifted an edible balloon puppy cake (black tea and sour cherry flavour) for your birthday, we reckon you’d think so too. The new Melbourne CBD location is baking mind-blowing hyper-realistic cakes, meticulously decorated to delicate perfection. Keep an eye on their latest creations over on their Instagram.

A life-like balloon puppy cake in the colour pinkImage credit: Le Yeahllow | Supplied

It's Bottomless Wings And Fries—For A Modest $29pp—At Brunswick's Dedicated Chicken Bistro

Brunswick’s dedicated chicken bistro, Bird, caused quite the stir when they unleashed bottomless wings last year, so much so that they’re bringing it back for a good time and a long time. Monday to Friday, get yourself bottomless wings—New York Buffalo, Carolina Gold, Texan BBQ & Louisiana Cajun style—alongside endless crinkle-cut fries and plenty of slaw for cut through. It’ll set you back just $29 for a 90 minute all-you-can-eat sesh, and the Bird team’ll also be slinging $10 pints from local brewers like Bodriggy.  Lock in a table here

Image credit: Bird | Supplied

Fitzroy's Poodle Introduces New Weekly-Evolving Prix Fixe Menu 

Looking for a fun Sunday dining experience? Poodle in Fitzroy has just launched a divine Sunday lunch series, serving up a premium selection of shareable snacks, mains and desserts for a reasonable $60pp. The menu changes on the weekly so as to not go in completely blind, the team will take to Instagram on the Friday before to announce the Sunday prix fixe menu in all its glory.

Image credit: Poodle | Supplied

Artisan Chunky Cookie Shop, The Cookie Box, Has Arrived In Melbourne CBD

Baking some of the best cookies around town, The Cookie Box has just opened up their third shop in the middle of the CBD. Churning out perfectly chunky and chewy cookies, the new store will have all the same options you know and love using their signature baking technique—letting their cookies chill in the fridge for 48 hours before they bake fresh on the day. Pop in for the fan-favourite OG chocolate chip with gooey melted Belgian chocolate in the middle, or bite into the churro-inspired cookie filled with rich dulce de leche. Now open at 374 Little Collins Street.

Some of the best cookies in Melbourne has arrived in the CBD on Collins Street.Image credit: The Cookie Box | supplied

Sri Lanka's Famous Ministry Of Crab Is Popping Up In Melbourne Next Month

Following a sell-0ut pop-up in 2022, Sri Lanka's awarded Ministry of Crab is returning to Melbourne for a month-long pop-up in Crown's Evergreen dining space. Those who are familiar with the award-winning seafood restaurant will likely be familiar with the signature Pepper Crab, which will be front and centre alongside several dishes exclusive to the pop-up.

Led by chef and TV personality, Dharshan Munidasa, Ministry of Crab will employ the same long-standing commitment to seafood found in the original Colombo restaurant, all the while using Australian ingredients—with live Northern mud crab and Mooloolaba king prawns being just several highlights from the flawless set menu. Ministry of Crab lands in Melbourne from 28 March and untl 27 April. Book your table here

A Festival Dedicated To Cheese Is Coming To Melbourne This Autumn

In just a few months time, The Timber Yard in Port Melbourne is transforming its space for the dairy obsessed to run wild. The annual Wine & Cheese Festival is set to feature over 50 artisan producers including the likes of That’s Amore Cheese and Long Paddock Cheese, and on the vino front, Pizzini Wines and Dal Zotto. Toothpick at the ready, enjoy free tastings across the entire day, and sample some of the best drops in Australia with the nifty wine glass included in your ticket. It’s all happening on Sunday 3 March across two session blocks. Book your tickets here.

A warehouse full of people sampling some of Australia's best cheese and wine at a festival.

Rooftop Soirees Are Back At Johnny’s Green Room

Now that summer has finally arrived in Melbourne, so too has the Tuscan-infused Johnny’s Green Room 2.0. They’ve got a flashy new menu curated by celeb chef Karen Martini, revamped interiors with a retractable roof for the inevitable rain, and a cocktail list that’ll transport you straight to the Amalfi coast. Go for the refreshing Sgroppino with Pidapipo’s house-made lemon gelato. Open now.

Doncaster Has Scored A 30.6-meter Sushi Train, With Robot Waiters 

Sushi Jiro just levelled up—its new Westfield Doncaster location is home to a massive 30.6-meter sushi train and a team of five robot waiters. 

Traditional Japanese cooking exists in an air of innovation at Sushi Jiro, as guests can select their favourite sushi, sashimi and nigiri off the bountiful conveyor belt, or order through the table’s tablet. Once ordered, the goods come zooming out and pitstop at your station. 

Freshly fit-out and illuminated with LED lighting, this new location accommodates up to 80 diners, with both booth and table seating, and take-away options for those on the run. 

Brunetti Classico Is Expanding Once Again—This Time With A Sibling Store in Carlton

Cake emporium Brunetti Classico can't be stopped at the moment, with a just-opened store in Moonee Ponds, and now another in Carlton—setting up as a perfect sibling venue to the original. Brunetti Classico on Carlton's Drummond Street is angled as a grab-and-go takeaway spot, serving up Brunetti favourites along with a few exclusives—like the Roman-style Maritozzo, a sweet treat that their pastry chefs have been developing for some time. Coffee will of course be available too, along with 10 seats for those wanting to park up at the newly opened Brunetti Classico.

With Gusto Is The CBD’s New Cellar Door Celebrating Regional Wines 

Located on Little Collins Street, With Gusto brings drops and artisanal snacks from Victoria’s best wineries to the heart of Melbourne. With floor-to-ceiling wine displays and cosy tables fit for a charcuterie board, With Gusto is the one-stop shop for those hunting for a gift, a glass of vino after work, a more settled-in tasting, or an artisanal bottle to bring home. Despite its fast-paced location, With Gusto encourages guests to slowly sip and shop, tasting before committing to a bottle. Find out more here.

Messina Has Just Opened A Brand New Shop: This Time In Malvern 

Messina’s got another 40-flavour gelato cabinet and this time it’s hit Malvern’s Glenferrie Road. To mark the occasion, the beloved gelateria has teamed up with Tarts Anon to churn out a coconut pandan gelato, with generous chunks of the cult-following tart folded through. It’s exclusive to the Malvern store, from Friday 3 November, until stock lasts. 

The new store’s interiors are sleek with marble-like details, the gelato-filled pails are deep, and the decadent multi-layered cakes sit poised on a display. Messina’s hand-made ethos reigns on, with each chocolate nib and spread of Dulce De Leche crafted in-house, while the milk is sourced from their dairy farm in Victoria. Get more info here

Skinny Dog In Kew Has Just Opened A Californian-Style Open-Air Bar Above The Pub 

The beloved local in Kew famous for its hefty-sized parmas has just swung open the doors to its upstairs atrium and rooftop bar. Just in time for the summer season, the new-look Skinny Dog space features over 44 beer taps, as well as a lengthy wine list and cocktails—the famous white negroni among them.

You'll be able to dine upstairs with a full menu available covering everything from freshly shucked oysters, and pizzas, to the aforementioned 450g parma and more. Adding to the space's entertainment is a rotating array of DJs and performers, as well as pub trivia, comedy nights and more on the cards. Head over here to find out more. 

Australia's First Cheese Train Has Arrived 

Geelong just levelled up, scoring Australia's very first sushi train-style cheese train. It's called Splatters, and it functions exactly like a sushi train except under those clear kloshes is cheese, glorious cheese. Each plate will set you back between $6 and $14, or you can go in on bottomless cheese for 90 minutes at $49pp. And in case you were wondering, yep, it's licensed, so you can pair it up with a glass of something light and bright.

Warabi Has Found A New Head Chef After A Three Year Search 

After a three-year search, the double-hatted Japanese Omakase restaurant, Warabi, has found a new head chef, Hajime Horiguchi. Born in Kyoto and formerly at Minamishima, he’ll be bringing a marriage of modern twists and executions with traditional Japanese cooking principles. The menu will have a greater focus on seasonality and local produce, expect to find dishes such as the K’Gari Spanner Crab with Tosazu, Kanimiso and caviar, as well as their signature Unagi sushi. 

A Refreshed—And Refreshing—Take On Limoncello Has Just Landed On The Shelves

Seltzer and pet nats have both had their time in the sun, though summer’s next big sip is set to be neither of those, but instead a refreshed take on the limoncello. It comes from Solbevi, born from founder Stefan Di Benedetto’s family recipe and batched right here in Melbourne, the re-up on the classic Italian liquor has been spritzed and canned to create a very, very drinkable sipper coming in at a sessionable .8 standard drinks. Meanwhile, those after something with a bit more grunt can opt for a bottle of Solbevi’s classic limoncello—made for mixing yourself or over ice. Solbevi is available online now and in Dan Murphy’s stores across Melbourne from Monday 28 August.

Tommy's Booze Is The All-New Liqueur Brand From The Freddy's Pizza Fam

You've heard of Freddy's Pizza, now get ready for Tommy's Booze. The beloved Windsor Italian diner has just unleashed a range of its very own brewed and batched liqueurs. Owners Dan Leuzzi and Tom Giurioli have been honing the craft since back in 2021 using a limoncello recipe straight from Tom's Nonna in the old country, "When the first bottles turned out so well, my first thought was "we need more, we started trading free pizza," says Tom. The fruit is all hand-peeled by the team themselves before being distilled locally and now comes in three distinct flavours with Limoncello, Mandarino, and Lampone (raspberry). Head over here to secure a bottle. 

Table Theatre At Its Finest: Order Up On Crêpes Suzette From Gimlet's Late-Night Supper Menu

As if Gimlet's post-10pm cheeseburger isn't enough of a reason to pay a visit to Andrew McConnell's CBD fine diner, the supper menu has since seen a late addition worthy of any late-evening appetite. The Crêpes Suzette will see whispy, featherlight crêpes bathed in caramelised sugar, butter, orange juice, Grand Marnier and cognac, only to be set alight in the pan tableside.

The tried and tested technique has been made famous at many a grand Parisian bistro, though McConnell and co are incorporating a localised touch, freshly squeezing Mildura oranges into the sauce and serving up with Gimlet’s own vanilla bean ice cream. Gimlet's Crêpes Suzette is available after 10pm Friday and Saturday evenings—bookings are recommended

BKK's Cult-Favourite Pad Kaprao Is Now A Spicy Permanent Fixture

After becoming a cult favourite at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival this year, BKK's spicy and basil-heavy Pad Kaprao has now established itself as a permanent fixture on the menu. Inspired by a sojourn back to Thailand, to visit Bangkok hotspot Phed Mark, head chef Sungeun Mo's homage to the lesser-explored dish features the holy trinity salt, acid, heat with pork mince, a medley of different chillies, Thai and holy basil, and an umami-forward sweet sauce which is then wok-tossed together and topped with a crisped-edge fried egg. Get more details here

Southside Favourite, Moonhouse, Is Serving Up Unlimited Yum Cha On Weekends

Within less than a year, Commune Group's charming Chinese bistro, Moonhouse, has cemented itself as a southside staple, and there are plenty of reasons to pay this spot another visit. Having just appointed a new Executive Chef, Scott Lordm and Head Chef, Chris Cann—alumn of New Quarter, Sunda Dining, Cumulus Inc, and Cutler & Co respectively—the new menu is looking promising with the likes of beef a tartare with a Sichuan spin and a vibrant roast duck pancake topping the list. 

Should you need any more convincing, Moonhouse will be putting on unlimited yum cha on weekends for a very modest $59pp. On the menu are 12 share dishes on repeat during your sitting, with highlights including but certainly not limited to chilli fried chicken wings, vegetable spring rolls, pork and wombok dumplings, chicken and ginger sui mai, Char Siu pork buns and seared scallops with XO butter. Those wanting to go all out can tack on unlimited booze at an extra $49pp which covers off several exclusive beers and plonk. And you absolutely should.

Book in here

A Bakery From The 'Burbs Has Taken Out Gold For Australia's Best Pie 

Country Cob Bakery is no stranger to awards season in the pie space, having taken out several gold medals for the likes of their beef pepper pie, mushroom pie, and a seafood pie across several classes. And at the Baking Association of Australia's 2023 awards, they've taken home the big one, Australia's Best Pie.

This year's win however was awarded to one of their more inventive pies, the fish amok, a bold and vibrant Cambodian fish curry number that continued to impress judges over the three-day comp. You can try the fish amok pie for yourself at Country Cob's Boronia, Springvale and Kyneton stores, or order up online here.

This Cookie Boutique In Brunswick Is Serving Up Biscoff Shots On Top Of Your Cookie, Straight From Their Biscoff Fountain

A lot to unpack here, but first things first, yep, Cookie Culture Co. has a free-flowing Biscoff fountain in their shop. It's fired up on the daily for those looking to add an extra punch to their cookie, cupped into a shot glass and drizzled all over your baked lump of heaven. You can take a closer look at Cookie Culture Co's cookies and their wonderous Biscoff fountain here, or head direct into the shop at 93 – 97 Lygon St. Brunswick East.

This New Coffee Subscription Service Brings Australia's Best Specialty Coffee And Craft Roasters To Your Door

Coffee drinkers across the UK and USA have gone bananas for it, and now, is bringing the country's best craft roasters and specialty coffee right to you. The subscription model is a clever bean, which first identifies your preferences via a nifty quiz, then, it's up to you on how much and how regularly you want your coffee landing on your doorstep. There are currently 18 of the country's best roasters and 65+ individual roast profiles ripe for the picking from the likes of Allpress, Proud Mary, Seven Seeds, Padre and more. And will even offer up expert advice and guidance on how to make the most of your selected brew. Begin, or continue, your at-home coffee journey here.

La Colmena Is The Tiny 'Pasteleria' Inside Prahran's Market Serving Up Decadent Spanish Baked Goods 

One of the lesser-explored pastry styles in Melbourne, the Spanish-influenced La Colmena is an artisan-style 'Pasteleria' inside the Prahran market. Led by Spanish-born Cristina Jimenez who shifted to Melbourne back in 2009, the tidy baked good outfit has been a lifelong dream, first testing and trialling her self-taught skills before completing a full pastry education at Le Cordon Bleu.

With a slew of regional specialities like the showstopping Glaseados, which hails from the southeast of Spain and features stacked layers of buttery puff pastry with patisserie cream, a thick Italian meringue and a flamed caramelised yolk top. Other highlights include the Doblegats with chocolate cream, the quaint Miguelitos and the almost escargot-esque, Ensaïmades. Find out more about La Colmena here

Check out more of Melbourne's best below:

Image credit: Yakimono | Supplied

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