If you’d rather gain calories via posh puddings than lose calories (and sleep) on the dance floor, Noir Bar is for you. Occupying what was once Swan Street Social, in the space above Noir restaurant, this sleek little dessert bar – open from Wednesday April 8 – will be turning out nifty French treats from 5pm until 1am, Tuesday-Sunday. Chef Peter Roddy will be assisted in the kitchen by head pastry chef Jerome Soubeyrand (ex. Dinner by Heston, Hélène Darroze, Daniel Boulud). Expect pretty plates featuring more pink than a bunch of ballerinas on a hen party: raspberry parfait with crisp meringue and rose cream, for example. Noir Bar’s philosophy is ‘reworked classics’, and this extends to the cocktail list, which champions sweeter digestif styles to match the sugar-hit confections. If all this sweet talk is giving you toothache, fear not – there will also be craft beers and wine.
There are few problems that dumplings cannot fix. Which is why we’re delighted to hear that Din Tai Fung is opening its first non-NSW outpost in Melbourne’s Emporium in June this year. This will be the Taiwanese brand’s biggest Australian restaurant, with space for 235 lucky bottoms.
You can expect Din Tai Fung’s signature crowd-pleasers: the glass-enclosed dumpling kitchen, xiao long bao, rainbow-bright Dumpling Gems in seven flavours (pictured above) and chefs who operate with a Heston-like fanaticism for detail. The pastry for each xiao long bao dumpling must measure between 4.8 and 5.2 grams; when stuffed, it must weigh between 20.8 and 21.2 grams; the cooking time for each dumpling is precisely three minutes, not a second less or more.
In addition to micromanaged dumplings, diners can enjoy more hearty offerings, such as braised beef soup and crispy crumbed chicken with egg-fried rice. There’ll be fruity cocktails, there’ll be a mango slushy tower dessert and plenty of wine options to match the Asian flavours.… Read more
Breakfast purists, this one’s for you: Richmond’s Crompton Coffee, which opens in early April, will offer hungry pilgrims an indecision-free menu of delicious artisanal bread, topped with the kind of fancy slathers that you won’t find in your own fridge or cupboards (hazelnut cacao butter, for example). The café’s approach to caffeine is equally minimalist: pick from black, white or filter. Start your day the easy way.
Stay tuned for the opening date and hours.
Like a phoenix from the flames, the great Aussie milk bar is making a triumphant return – led by Matt Wilkinson and Ben Foster of beloved Nicholson Street café Pope Joan. Going by the name of Jack Horner, it’s a milk bar of the future that has existed in Wilkinson’s imagination for a long time. “It’s been a two-year study – working out how the CBD is changing and what the milk bar represents,” says Wilkinson. Taking inspiration from the traditional English corner shop and the San Fran deli, Jack Horner will feature a gourmet deli counter, tuckshop-style canteen, mini bottle shop as well as all your traditional milk bar basics: lollies, toilet paper, magazines and milk. “It’s basically a shop that we’d want to use ourselves – you can pick up some tasty, wholesome takeaway food, plus grab some shopping,” explains Wilkinson.
We’re particularly excited about the four hot dishes a day (made and displayed in Le Creuset pots, of course), as well as the house-smoked salmon, ham off the bone and fresh salads – courtesy of Pope Joan’s head chef Travis Welch.… Read more
Last month, a beautiful thing happened. Gradi’s world champion pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco made our cheese-dreams a reality by creating the world’s first 99-cheese pizza. And you thought five-cheese pizzas were intense. The dairy dream was inspired by the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (out on DVD), which features one of these beauties.
Such was the excitement – there was even a Change.org petition to keep this lactose legend on the menu – that the 99-cheese pizza is now going to become a temporary fixture at both Gradi at Crown and 400 Gradi.
Johnny created a 94-cheese spread that is topped with the additional five cheeses at the end, and this will stay on the menu until the batches of his secret concoction run out. STARTS NOW!… Read more