Old-school Melburnians will probably remember The Cliveden Room on Wellington St. It was a place for the A-Listers—your Barry Humphries, Bert Newtons and Jeff Kennetts—an exclusive fine dining restaurant with an even more exclusive clientele.
Well The Cliveden has just re-opened its doors, and the concept has pivoted slightly. There’s still that nod to up-market cuisine, it’s just been given the buffet treatment. The Cliveden is now one of Melbourne’s premier all-day dining and buffet institutions—a massive 1000-square-metre space seating 202 patrons. It’s all part of the Pullman Melbourne on The Park's $6 million makeover, and after a glance at the new space, you can see where the money went.
The new space is lighter, brighter. No more wood paneling or stuffy waiters. Executive chef John Ross has built a "a new way to buffet", centred around artisan produce and beautiful presentation. Instead you’ve got mixologists up at the oversized bar, stirring up Bloody Aussie Negronis with with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, Maidenii sweet vermouth and Red Økar Amaro, served on a sphere of ice with burnt orange zest.
Food-wise, you’ve got five unique buffet menus, including European and Mediterranean cuisine, fresh seafood, a roast and carvery, and weekend brunch bar. If buffet isn’t really your speed, there’s also afternoon share plates, charcuterie and a high tea (launching in September).
The Cliveden’s set to be a bit of a game-changer, especially for those looking for a post-footy bite that’s more refined than a Punt Rd schnitzel. It’ll be buzzing for a while, but with 202 seats, getting a table shouldn’t be too tricky.
Image credit: The Cliveden