Now that the P word seems to be less prevalent in the day to day, it's exciting to be out eating and drinking and loving the industry which gives us life. This means a number of things for us. Firstly it's hard to think that just 12 months ago, our industry was at the edge of disaster - and sadly for some, disaster hit. Recovery has been incredibly hard, challenges have been seismic in their magnitude, and far too many of our friends have succumbed.
Borders are set to open over the coming weeks allowing us to be travelling and eating and drinking. It's time to visit venues, start paying whatever they are asking (provided you get what you expect in return) and remember, the industry's survival is now up to us, the diners.
But in the meantime, some new and recent openings for you to spend the money you saved during lockdown cooking at home or eating deliveries from your favourite venues.
Let's start in Fed Square in Melbourne. Mabu Mabu in Yarraville, from Torres Strait Islander chef, Nornie Beri now has a partner venue Big Esso in Fed Square, an all day diner focussing on indigenous food and a cultural experience. The drinks list is mostly Australian, you'll hear music connected to culture and you'll have an ace time. Make sure you book!
Eleven Dining and Bar Adelaide is the newest offering from Masterchef contestant Callum Hann and Themys Chryssidis. Hann adds this venue to the Sprout Cooking school, and has old friend chef Dan Murphy at the helm. On one side is Adelaide's version of a fine diner, while Eleven Bar is a place to hangout from your morning coffee to pre and post dinner tipples. It's a bright welcoming space with a local leaning drinks list with a few surprises.
If in Noosa over the holidays, check out Alba, the new venue from Sri Lankan chef Peter Kuruvita. PK was the name behind the restaurant at the Sofitel on Hastings Street (formerly the Sheraton). Alba is all at once a cafe, providore, pizzeria, and relaxed all-day bar that evolves into a stylish restaurant and cocktail bar as the day progresses, and opens in Alba Close at the Noosa Springs Golf Course and wellness precinct on December 16.
Brown Street Grill is a new venue from Perth stalwarts Stuart & Phoebe Laws, located in Bright Tank Brewing in Brown Street in the heart of Perth. The open-concept kitchen is decked out with some serious tools of the trade — a Mesiano wood fired pizza oven, a WA-first, and custom built charcoal grill from JAGRD located in Bakers Hill with the instinct to produce honest, tasty food. They continue their commitment to excellent WA produce with a cracking wine list to boot.
While we are talking breweries, Merewether Beach in Newcastle has a new offer from Northern Beaches team of Modus Operandi brewing. Co-founder Grant Wearin grew up close by, and with his partner Jaz has converted a former panel beater's into a stunning beer lovers dream with a commitment to sustainability run on 100% green energy. Menu is a little bit Mexican, a lot seafood and mostly share plates to nibble on over a beer. Massive steel tanks dominate the space, as do 36 taps changing offerings very quickly.
Our mate Massimo Mele will open Peppina in December in The Tasman Hotel in Hobart’s Parliament Square. Mele's menu is expected to reflect his Italian heritage as well as his love of local Tasmanian produce. He has a great pedigree in venues both locally and internationally, most recently as food director at Launceston's Grain Silos. Peppina is the name of Massimo's Nonna, and will open end of 2021.
Keep up to date at Massimo's website https://massimomele.com/
While not exactly new, we dare you to sink into the daybeds at Ebb & Flow at the Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin. The cocktails offer a tropical twist on classics, while the the plant-based menu is exciting and interesting, with all-day breakfast on the weekends and live music at sunset on Tuesdays. The venue has been open for more than a year but like the rest of the industry, has been challenged by the last 2 years.