All the new Melbourne Restaurant, Café & Bar openings we’ve been excited about in June 2022

• SMALL ROOM, BIG ATMOSPHERE: Maurice Terzini and Joe Farghetto open the highly anticipated wild Italian dinner Cucina Povera. Behind the Icebergs and Mister Bianco respectively, they are back to their Italian roots, channeling the garages of their youth – their families made wine, salami hung, and they spent a long time doing it.

• First look: Hareruya, a sunny Japanese restaurant with full-rim bento boxes and mochi-wrapped gelato. The door to the cylinder rises at 10:30, and it pays to get in early to secure your ready-made picnic lunch and Japanese-inspired gelato – from the owner of popular Melbourne cafes Le Bajo and 279.

• From Their Farm to Your Table: Team Tanaka goes full circle at Fenton, the new neighborhood bistro. A few doors down from cherished Carlton Grocery, this warm and welcoming new place that cares about the community – nearly everything you’ll find on your plate is grown by the people who run it.

• If Hobbiton is reimagined as a luxury wine country destination, the Hubert Estate in Yarra Valley will be. The multimillion-dollar renovation of St Hubert’s winery rises from the ground in a Lord of the Rings style, making it an essential weekend trip – just an hour from Melbourne. There’s an elegant restaurant by a former chef in Tonka and Mamasita, a cellar door with views of Days and an Aboriginal art gallery. But a lot will come.

• First Look: Osteria Renata is an elegant Italian restaurant – with “pasta pastries” – by the Park Street team. Look out for the leafy olive green facade on High Street in Brahan. Then step into the light-filled space for cacio e pepe gnocchi fritti, extravagant rock lobster pasta and plenty of European charm.

• Inside Look: Follow the scent of woodlice to find Mr. Miyagi in Big Smoke – here for a good while, not for long. The South Side favorite crossed the river and drove to QT Melbourne’s Hot Sauce Laneway for six weeks: visit a list of never-before-served dishes (including theatrical salmon served in a smoky get-together). The same fun twists on Japanese cuisine.

• NOW OPEN: Premium sashimi and nori martinis at Ototo, the new underground izakaya in Akaito. The space was once an extension of fine Japanese dinners on Flinders Lane, but now it has its own identity — and its own menu. Follow the luminous red thread downstairs for Asian snacks and cocktails.

• On the site of the old Press Club, the new Indian restaurant Elchi draws the line between classic and contemporary. With sumptuous dishes such as fragrant Muslim chicken covered with 24 karat gold leaf.

• First look: Flatbread is the hero – not the sidekick – at Northcote’s fiery new Spitjack restaurant. Chewy, seared and hand-rolled, loaded with your choice of flame-cooked meat or vegetables. Plus, you can have the epic Sunday roast once a month and the dramatic “burnt custard” dessert.

• On an industrial side street, Fieldwork is a new neighborhood bakery and coffee shop. It’s a brand new office coffee roaster – just opposite Moon Dog OG in Abbotsford.

• NOW OPEN: Queensmith Barreto is a new – but delightfully old – espresso and wine bar to town. Swing in early for a coffee and pastry, or after 3 p.m., there’s a $13 cocktail and free snacks at the bar. Also on the menu: gooey cacio e pepe toasties with four different types of cheese.

• First look: Bento boxes and chirashi bowls are ready at the shiny new Pan-Asian grocery at Melbourne Pantry. You can also find made-to-order wagyu cheese toast, delicate Japanese cheesecake and choux buns baked fresh daily. He’s the latest from the team behind the innovative Zero Mode Box Hill restaurant.

• First Look: Dive deeper into this new pizza joint – where chunky pancakes and cheesy Chicago-style reign supreme. You probably haven’t tried any of these things in Melbourne before. “It’s a very decadent option, once in a while, but one that’s definitely going to get people’s attention.” Want to avoid cheese zombie? There’s also New York thin crust (choose the clam pie) and Detroit deep dish.

• The New Bell of Bellarine: Inside the beautifully restored Portarlington Grand Hotel in Victoria. Call this 134-year-old coastal gem, check into one of the 18 elegant new rooms (some with balconies overlooking the bay), then head downstairs to the charming bistro for a pot filled with the town’s famous mussels.

• Capture the sky at Melbourne’s stylish new CBD bar – with a ‘floating’ outdoor lounge – 40 stories high. The Sky Bar has uninterrupted 360-degree views across the city, sumptuous snacks like foie gras macaron and braised venison croquettes, and a moody adjacent restaurant if you really want to push the boat out.

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