Melbourne, what a year it’s been. You’ve surprised us with your rooftop train carriage burger bars, delighted us with cocktails that look more like chemistry experiments than drinks, and well and truly bamboozled us with degustations that number their courses in the high teens. Hell, if we were asked to pick only one as the best restaurant in Melbourne (or café, or bar for that matter), we would be well utterly stumped.
Which is why December’s Mini Edition instalment showcases a massive TEN amazing venues that have opened within the last 12 months. Did your favourite make the grade? Read on to find out Melbourne’s best new openings of 2015…
#10: Square & Compass Brings Us All The Brunch Bliss
With links to Barry, Pillar of Salt and Touchwood, Square and Compass in East Melbourne was bound to serve up a delicious brunch. This newcomer wowed us with twists on breakfast favourites and perfectly poured coffees—a must for any self-respecting Melburnian brunch fan.
#9: Chocolate For Days At Mork Chocolate Brew House
Combining the highest grade chocolate to be found in the three thousands, and with incredible seasonal drinks and snacks, all within a stunning North Melbourne Venue, Mork Chocolate Brew House turned the cocoa up a notch this year. Whether it’s iced, molten or in a good, old fashioned block, this chocolate emporium never fails to disappoint.
#8: Vegetarian Fine Dining?! It Can Only Be Transformer
Transformer’s veggie, vegan, and FODMAP-friendly menu made this Vegie Bar co-owned eatery one of our favourite new restaurants in Melbourne this year. Creative, delicious dishes, a succinct wine list, and one of the most incredible plant-covered restaurant interiors we encountered this year…How could we ignore this brand new gem?!
#7: Our Top Cocktail Wonderland, Bar Exuberante
Listers, grab your imagination (and your credit card) and head to Bar Exuberante before it vanishes - which it promises to do before the year is out. Hidden behind a discreet doorway out the back of Richmond’s rum dive, Bar Economico, the fantastical bar served us some of the most tantalising cocktails of 2015.
#6: The Southside’s Two Wrongs Is So Right
Mouth-watering food from an ex-Cutler & Co chef, drinks by a bartender who’s mixed drinks in all four corners of the world, and a venue that’s, quite frankly, intimidating even by our standards? It must be Two Wrongs - South Yarra’s latest evening venue to combine epic cocktails with luxurious food.
#5: Lume = The Degustation That’s To Die For
Ah, Lume. This South Melbourne restaurant knocked our food-centric socks off with its beautifully crafted interior, impeccable service, and sixteen-course degustation menu that changes almost daily. If you’re looking to break the bank on one 2015 food experience, make it Lume. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
#4: Rotisserie Chicken Kings At Belleville
Great vibes, an awesome CBD warehouse venue, and rotisserie chicken that we could eat every day ‘til we’re pushing up daisies. Belleville, the latest venue from the team behind Furdy Durke and Section 8, is our top venue of 2015 for gathering your mates, grabbing some drinks, and feasting on a cacophony of dishes from Melbourne’s vibrant cultural mash-up. Bravo, boys.
#3: Cakes Too Beautiful To Eat At Bibelot
Chez Dre’s dessert-only venue feels like walking into a Paris-end-of-Collins-Street jewellers. The delicious morsels, lit up like glittering jewels in glass cabinets, are our top sweet treat of 2015, making Bibelot one of our favourite new additions to Melbourne this year.
#2: The Most Beautiful Breakfast Goes To Mammoth
This weekend, don’t start the day with anything less than one of the edible flower-topped breakfast bowls at Armadale corner café, Mammoth. With one of the most creative chefs in the early-morning kitchen, every dish here is a cracker.
#1: Easey’s Skyhigh Burgers Are A Must-Eat
When we heard that Jimmy of Jimmy’s Burgers was opening a rooftop burger palace, we just KNEW it was going to be good - and Easey’s Burgers, the latest addition to Collingwood’s patty frenzy, did not disappoint. Listers, if there’s one meaty stack you’ve chomped on this year, it should definitely have been in one of Easey’s rooftop train carriages. And don’t scrimp on the mac’n’cheese.
Can't wait to hit up all the events this month? Well why not WIN somethin' while you do?! Simply Instagram and tag @miniaustralia and #theminiedition when you are at any of the 10 of 2015's best new restaurants, bars and cafes, and you’ll be in the draw to win high tea for 2 to the value of $150 at Bibelot.