5 new restaurants you need to try

Sojourn Restaurant

Alice Piper

Posted November 15, 2021


Whether it’s for a light supper or a hearty meal, these five new restaurants in Melbourne have you covered.

Woven into the cultural fabric of Melbourne is undoubtably our world-class dining scene, where hatted chefs and edgy up-and-comers continually push the boundaries of what it means to eat good food and have a wonderful experience. 

Whether it’s sipping vino and eating pasta on Lygon Street, dining at a hatted Japanese restaurant in the city or heading further out and simply seeing what you find, Melbourne is full of incredible eateries with the atmosphere to make a night memorable. 

And with the city roaring back to life, there is no better time to get out and about. From November 15, you may be able to claim 30 per cent back on your bill when you spend between $50 and $500 in Melbourne’s cafes, restaurants and bars between Monday and Thursday. 

To help you explore the latest and greatest in Melbourne dining, we’ve rounded up five new restaurants that will leave you so satisfied, you’ll wonder why it ever took you so long to discover them.  

Best new restaurants in Melbourne

Yakimono restaurant

Chris Lucas' new Japanese restaurant, Yakimono on Little Collins Street. Image: Supplied 


 

Yakimono
80 Collins Street, Melbourne

The brainchild of Chris Lucus, the neon glow off Collins Street is hard to miss as you make your way to Melbourne’s newest Japanese masterpiece.  

With food cooked over charcoal, Lucas took inspiration for Yakimono after living in Japan for three years – combining his love of both traditional and modern Japanese cuisine and turning it into a new era of dining. 

Of Yakimono, Lucas says “all rules go out the window... while still drawing on rich cooking history.”  

You’re in for a real treat mixing different types of Japanese cooking with the culturally-rich laneways of Melbourne. 

Sojourn
New Chancery Lane, between Little Collins St and Bourke St, Melbourne

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Little Collins Street at Sojourn, a new two-level outdoor dining space, as you spend the afternoon dining on sharing plates of the best produce Victoria has to offer. 

With a focus on everything ‘local’ to Melbourne, as well as community, the space has been created to enhance your leisure and dining experience – is there anything better than that?

Sojourn's Sous Chef Callum Nugent says "It's bold, creative, fun and all about local suppliers."

“I love how we change the menu to suit what our suppliers in Victoria can offer and finding niche pockets where we can explore new food and new ways of creating dishes to offer to our customers."

And when you’re ready to wind down after lunch, head to the rooftop bar on level two and enjoy inventive cocktails, and some of Victoria’s best beer, wine, and spirits. 
 

Sojourn Restaurant Rooftop Bar

Enjoy innovative cocktails at Sojourn's rooftop bar, right in the heart of Melbourne.


 

Robata
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

From the same group that gave us Pastuso, Palermo, San Telmo and Asado, Robata takes up residence in Gazi’s former home on Exhibition Street. 

Unlike the other San Telmo Group restaurants, Robata is less focused on South American flavours, and more focused on chargrilled meats with a Japanese twist. 

The name itself derives from robatayaki, a technique used to chargrill meats, and literally means 'fireside cooking’ - so you can expect to find everything from chicken, wagyu, pork belly, prawns and shiitake, all grilled over a binchotan.  

When you book, see whether you can get a table looking into the kitchen to see the chefs at work – the view will make the night even more memorable. 

Mrs Singh, 
88 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

An Indian inspired wine bar, this cosy Flinders Lane favourite which opened just as Melbourne entered lockdown, is the work of Jessi Singh, the creator of Dhaba at the Mill, Horn Please, Babu Ji, Daughter in Law and Don’t tell Aunty. 

With a focus on smaller plates of food and sharing, the cheesy flatbread is a must, as well as the lobster roll and tuna crudo. 

But the best part of Mrs Singh must be the roaming champagne cart – and you can even purchase any of the 220 wines on the menu to take home with you.  

Chancery Lane
430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Adorned with dim lighting, checkerboard tiles and a back wall full of spirits, Scott Pickett’s recently opened Chancery Lane is an intimate French-inspired restaurant headed up by chef Rob Kabboord (former head chef at Sydney’s Quay restaurant).  

Sit in elegant surrounds as you nibble on a refined seafood platter of rock oysters, scallops, clams and scampi, before moving onto caviar, truffle and French-inspired gnocchi made with choux pastry. 

With a location so convenient, and décor so sophisticated, this is one restaurant sure to be popular with Melbourne diners for years to come.   

So, let your tastebuds lead the way as you get out and explore the culinary scene of Melbourne, starting with these five restaurants. 


Related reading