From “sangas” to all-day Mediterranean, here are Southbank’s best new venues

Jack Hayes

With Southbank’s ever-growing pool of cafes, bars and restaurants continuing to expand, Southbank News has picked three up-and-coming venues to add to your “must try” list.

First, in what will come as welcome news to many Southbankers needing a new all-day local, is Chessell and Clarke, a slick Mediterranean-style breakfast and lunch bar on the border of Southbank and South Melbourne.

Located on the corner of Chessell and Clarke streets, the peach hues and marble interiors of the Flack Studio-designed space provide a perfect vehicle for what is an exercise in simplicity.



Leading the menu are dishes like swordfish spiedini (skewers) wrapped in guanciale, gnocchi with honey-roasted parsnip, and Turkish eggs with yoghurt, brown butter, and semi-dried tomatoes.

Chessell and Clarke is another product from co-owners Murat Ovaz (previously Yagiz, South Yarra) and Serge Thomann (i Carusi I, St Kilda), steered by head chef Frank Berardi (previously The Melbourne Club).

“I wanted to create something a little bit different to what I’m used to and partnering with Frank allowed us to create something unique centred around a full-day Mediterranean restaurant,” Mr Ovaz told Southbank News.

“There is nothing complicated on the menu. It’s modest, fresh, quality ingredients are priced at a point that doesn’t break the bank given the tough economic times.”

“Our dishes are an interpretation of the food from my homeland and its surroundings; combined with Frank’s Italian training, we have created a menu that celebrates a myriad of cultures. We heavily focus on herbs, spices and fresh ingredients cooked simply and served generously.”

Over the coming months, Chessell and Clarke will branch out for weekend and dinner dining, focused on a wine bar-styled menu with a wine list featuring picks from local boutique wineries and international regions including Italy, Turkey, France and beyond.

Next on this list comes Southbank’s newest entrant to the Melbourne sandwich craze in Olmate’s, a new “sanga and coffee” in the Arts Precinct.

Sitting at 20 Kavanagh St, across the road from the ABC, you’ll find this almost hole-in-the-wall serving menu highlights like Roast Beef Sanga with rogan josh dipper or the roast cauliflower Turkish roll layered with date and tamarind chutney, pickled onions, rocket and green chilli sauce.

Olmate’s is a partnership between industry veterans, Annie and Andreas Martinu (founders of Reverance Coffee Roasters), and Martin McEvoy and Nicholas Tan, with guidance from Palermo head chef, Michael Dalton.

“As we head into the cooler months, Melburnians will appreciate this mighty combination of flavours warding off the autumn chill,” Ms Martinu said.

From the coffee machine, the team unsurprisingly pours cups of Reverance coffee, along with a selection of craft beers from Hop Nation, Balter and Bodriggy.

The last venue on this list is one you won’t find walking the streets of Southbank.


Photo credit: Born Social


Strato Melbourne will take you 139 metres off the street to its 40th-floor restaurant and cocktail bar.

As part of the Oakwood Premier Melbourne hotel on Normanby Rd, Strato Melbourne offers up a pretty unique vantage point to enjoy the best from renowned producers from places like King Island and Mount Zero.

Standouts on the menu include Blackman Bay Oysters with ponzu dressing, char-grilled tuna, picked carrot, cucumber and wasabi, and Black Angus rib eye with caramelised onion puree and tarragon jus. •

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