If you’ve even vaguely had your ear to the ground in Melbourne, you’d know that restaurateur Chris Lucas has been making moves across the city, announcing at least several new restaurants to his quiver. Yakimono and Grill Americano are soon to open, though perhaps Lucas’ most anticipated opening is SOCIETY, which is set to welcome guests within the coming month.
Positioned tactfully near some of Lucas’ other soon-to-open venues at the iconic 80 Collins, the diner is the lovechild of Lucas, chef Martin Benn and hospitality stalwart Vicki Wild. The space’s crown jewel is of course SOCIETY, which takes form as a dining room and lounge, where Benn will lean into his deep-seated love of Japan with a menu nodding to the cuisine of the land of the rising sun. Expect yuzu & roast chicken jellies, also Albacore with shiso and rhubarb, and share dishes like Blackmore Wagu Beef Rib Cap served with wasabi butter, sweet onion & Japanese pickle.
Just a few weeks after opening, however, the trio will unveil a second space in the venue, Lillian Terrace. Lillian Terrace is best looked upon as a homage to Benn’s English heritage where the menu will revisit the celebrated chef’s Euro-leaning cooking style from earlier in his career. Early whispers of the menu suggest you won’t go wrong no matter your selection, though we can’t go past the idea of the soy-glazed roast duck leg with grilled cucumber, caviar lentils & apple.
Across SOCIETY, it truly is an all-star show with a wine list curated by Loic Avril who’s come from the Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. The on-display cellars will be just one magnificent showpiece for the venue, where guests can peruse before making their choice, while two by-the-glass menus will show off a full gamut of varietals. Should you want something with a touch more kick, Orlando Marz, World Class Bartender of the Year, has designed an extensive martini list.
The space itself comes from Melbourne-based architects Russell & George who were briefed with creating a ‘deep connection to the city’. Like the diverse architecture in Melbourne, you’ll see this in the considered mix of art deco, mid-century, art nouveau and brutalism across the space. Keep an eye out for the SOCIETY Lounge bar, created from a single section of Marble and with more than enough room for each and every Martini on that list.
Keep up to date with all the Lucas news and check out Grill Americano.
Image credit: supplied