Melbourne laneway restaurant pairs top design with local produce

red apple on plate at sojourn

Blanche Clark

Posted October 13, 2022

Discover the Melbourne CBD laneway restaurant where the building and tableware are as cool as the cuisine

Melbourne’s laneways are home to some of the CBD’s best eateries and bars but arguably one of the boldest is Sojourn in New Chancery Lane. Along with its eye-catching electric blue exterior and rave-worthy cocktails, the use of locally produced tableware adds flair to the delectable dishes.

RACV City Club Executive Chef Jason Camillo and his team strive to give the restaurant and rooftop bar a unique identity – one that celebrates Melbourne’s food scene and embraces local produce and design. 

The hyper-real Apple Pie Moonshine dessert, which is served on a blue plate made by the R.L. Foote Design Studio in Clifton Hill, perfectly illustrates this synergy of making and plating.

Camillo worked with artist Ryan Foote to create plates that reflected Sojourn’s distinctive blue-steel building, which was designed and built by local firm Curious by Design in 2020.

Sojourn embraces local businesses by collaborating with R.L.Foote Design Studio
Executive Chef Jason Camillo uses a mallet to tap the hardened clay from its mould, revealing it's shape
Like Sojourn's bold exterior, the crafted tablewear features a bright blue colour

Keen for his team to further appreciate Sojourn’s close ties with local businesses, Jason arranged for seven staff to make jugs at R.L. Foote Design Studio to match Sojourn’s plates.

“It is all about that local content, especially being in Melbourne, being in a laneway and being Sojourn itself,” Camillo says. “It’s about being bold, and that’s why we go to someone like Ryan Foote for the plates, because they are bold; they are that bright blue colour that matches Sojourn, and he’s a local producer as well.”

Ryan, who specialises in bespoke flatware for restaurants, took the seven kitchen and hospitality staff through the slipcasting process. This involves pouring a liquid clay body (known as the slip) into a plaster mould and allowing it to form a layer on the inside walls of the mould. The remaining slip is poured out and the hardened clay object is tapped out of mould when dry.

“What’s really cool is the staff say, ‘That’s my dish that I actually made,” Camillo says.

If you order Sojourn’s signature dish, you’ll see how well the blue plates and hand-made jugs complement the free-range confit duck legs with tamarind chilli glaze. The produce for this dish is sourced locally and includes Great Ocean Ducks.

Sojourn caters for CBD workers, friends catching up over cocktails or those who want to try some of Victoria’s best produce. The Southside Fizz cocktail, which is also served at Bourke Street Green, is popular, as the Gin Sour mocktail, which reflects the growing interest in non-alcoholic drinks.

Conveniently located in a laneway near RACV Club, Sojourn is part of what makes Melbourne’s CBD so vibrant.


Experience the bold and creative menu at Melbourne's Sojourn

Discover a club with everything to offer, and a little extra
Find out more →