Little Bites: The lowdown on Melbourne’s food scene

The Cliveden. Photo: Supplied

The Cliveden. Photo: Supplied

Your weekly look at the coolest food news, events and openings across Melbourne.


The site of a former fine dining celebrity hangout, The Cliveden is now home to velvety mocha and punchy passionfruit martinis, as well as five curated buffets from executive chef John Ross.

John’s menus include European and Mediterranean cuisine, fresh seafood and comforting roasts.

The Cliveden

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Barbecue master Fancy Hank’s is giving away 100 free sandwiches on September 4.

Lucky patrons will have the choice of five sandwiches. They include the brisket sandwich with chopped brisket, cheese, Hank’s barbecue sauce and coleslaw, and the buffalo-style cauliflower sandwich with fried cauliflower, hot sauce, cheese and vegan ranch dressing.

Fancy Hanks

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Coming roughly a year after its Little Collins Street flagship launch, Empire Steak’s second venue is staking its claim south of the river. The steak sandwich specialist’s menu includes The Smoko, which has porterhouse steak, cheese, bacon, mayonnaise and smokey barbecue sauce.

To celebrate the launch, 150 free The Opener sandwiches will be given away on September 6 (one per person). There’s a catch, though – you must be able to sing (or state) the first verse of Advance Australia Fair.

Empire Steak

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Head along to Garden State for a Clase Azul tequila degustation. It will be an intimate dining experience in the venue’s balcony dining room.

Indulge in a menu designed by Garden State Hotel head chef Ash Hicks, with the food paired with Clase Azul spirit tastings and a carefully curated cocktail on arrival.

Clase Azul Degustation

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Fans of Shanghai cuisine are in for a treat because David’s Restaurant is holding a one-off event on September 21. Guest at the Flavours of Shanghai dinner will feast on five courses, including honeyed jamon with wonton skin and brown-sugar buns.

Flavours of Shanghai Dinner

  • David’s Restaurant, 4 Cecil Place, Prahran
  • September 21, 7pm
  • Cost: $100 per person or $140 with matched beverages

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Now spring has sprung, it’s time to celebrate in style. Chandon S Chic Easy will come to life in a restored 1925 Melbourne W-class tram. Chic Easy is on a national tour, with its first stop in Melbourne on October 7-8.

The modern take on a traditional speakeasy will offer a range of fun experiences, from cocktail making to artisanal bread baking.

Chandon S Chic Easy

Photo: supplied

Photo: Supplied


The Gluten Free Expo at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on October 7 and 8 will feature a huge collection of gluten-free food providers, food trucks, experts and celebrities.

Sample gluten-free beer, Greek street food, pizza and pasta. There will also be cannoli and chocolate-filled doughnuts, as well as plenty of goodie bags to give away and taste testers.

Gluten Free Expo

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied





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