Are your dignified New Year’s resolutions still intact? Have you been exercising regularly? Avoiding burgers and too much alcohol successfully? Well, that’s very impressive. You probably shouldn’t read this.
No, really. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It seems like there’s a new café, bar and restaurant opening every week here in our humble city of Melbourne, so to kick 2016 off right (and those NYE resolutions to the curb), here are the top openings to watch out for this year. January, sorted.
Red Spice Road
One of Melbourne’s favourite Asian restaurants is getting a makeover this month – a million dollar makeover, to be exact. Red Spice Road will be unveiling a completely new interior, kitchen and menu on Tuesday, 19 January. With promised new additions to the existing dining menu, we can see the queues forming already.
What do you get when you combine a rundown apartment building, raw bar, and French wines? French Saloon, apparently. Set to open above Kirk’s Wine Bar on Little Bourke Street early this year, French Saloon’s bright, vintage space is promised to boast fresh seafood, modern French fare and one of the best wine lists in the CBD.
Agostino Wine Bar and Cellar
How many wine bars can Melbourne handle? One more will be fine. Agostino Wine Bar and Cellar will be a quaint, 60-seater space next to long-time local favourite King & Godfree grocery store. This is the kind of wine bar where you’ll happily spend the night sipping on a rich red with friends, or nabbing the whole bottle after a particularly long Monday.
After one of St Kilda’s favourite local restaurants, Stokehouse, was closed in 2014 because of a kitchen fire, Melbourne foodies have been waiting impatiently for its return. Never fear, Stokehouse’s new $12 million dollar rebuild will be unveiled in 2016 - and with it comes their infamously addictive bar menu. Located overlooking the ocean, Stokehouse’s edgy new building design is set to become an icon in St Kilda’s landscape.
Expected to open this summer, the adorably named Trippy Taco is expanding from their Fitzroy store to a permanent location on Acland Street. Initially a food truck that Melburnians clearly couldn’t get enough of, Trippy Taco’s St Kilda restaurant will boast their signature vegetarian/vegan Mexican menu. Are you thinking burritos on the beach? Yeah, same.
Paul Wilson’s Restaurant
One of Melbourne’s top chefs, Paul Wilson, is set to open a yet-to-be-named eatery at Prahran Market. Created by the man who helped establish The Botanical, Circa and Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, we are keeping one very close eye on this unnamed baby. Once Wilson opens his doors, don’t be surprised if you don’t see us for a while…
If you thought that maccas soft serve was the pinnacle of soft-ish frozen-ish desserts, think again. Pierre Roelofs’ soft serve pop-up shop is the prequel for his highly anticipated permanent dessert bar in Melbourne’s CBD. Open all weekend from 12-6pm outside Green Park Dining, Pierre is making Melbourne believe vanilla soft serve is suddenly very, very interesting. Topped with flavours like the Milli Vanilli (vanilla meringue, jellies and pound cake), toppings will rotate weekly.
127 Brunswick Street
There’s almost too much to see and eat at 127 Brunswick Street – a five level space home to three outdoor areas, two restaurants, a rooftop bar and a coffee window. Guess that means you’ll just have to come back regularly?! From the team behind Ichi Ni and Ichi Ichi Ku izakayas, choose between Japanese tapas, a stretching sushi bar, or a breakfast diner your first time around.
Royal Stacks is coming to the CBD, and if it’s anything like Dani Zeini’s previous diners, we have a feeling Melburnians will be willing to invite another buger into their life. From the dude who brought you the Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Truck Stop Deluxe and Easey’s, Royal Stacks will feature burgers, waffles, donuts and a frozen custard machine. Just in case you haven’t ruined those New Years resolutions quite enough.
Bowling diners over with punchy, vibrant south east Asian flavours, Tenpin Kitchen is the latest face just a stone's throw away from Port Melbourne beach. Featuring a Thai-Vietnamese-Indonesian share-style menu, try their chilli-packed Duck Larb (it'll blow your sea hair right off) or a refreshingly light shredded chicken and mint salad. It's a darn good post-swim meal.
Image credit: 127 Brunswick by Brodie Chan for The Urban List
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