Winter Feasting at Southgate Restaurants
Where to go in Winter? Southgate is the place to be with a plethora of attractive dining and bar options! You can move from place to place as we did on our media progressive dinner to experience the highlights of Southgate.
Winter nights come alive at Southgate with Pure South Dining opening their new P.S. Bar + Kitchen downstairs, a risotto masterclass from the experts at Melbourne’s risotteria Tutto Bene, a German meat festival at Hophaus, a celebration of all things whiskey at P.J.O’Brien’s, daring new cocktails at Waterslide Bar, opera nights at La Camera and more. As Bill Lawry would say, "It's all happening!" Winter is synonymous with hearty dishes, rich velvety flavours and warm beverages. The chefs at Southgate are showcasing the best of the season with new menus that hero their favourite winter ingredients.
Stylish setting at Metropolis at the start of our progressive dinner in Southgate, with a welcome champagne. Awesome views and finery, perfect for any function.
We then moved on to ENA Greek Street Food. Watermelon granita with ouzo, a refreshing cocktail with some punch!
Comfort food overdrive in this Avgolemono lemon and rice soup.
Pickled octopus salad was both tasty and rustic.
Zucchini fritters with Napoli sauce; fun to visit and enjoy these dishes as share plates.
Roasted beetroot and fig wrapped in a tasty prosciutto; a flavour hit. Let's be honest ENA Greek Street Food were extremely generous in giving us so many dishes on our progressive dinner!
Salted cod fritters. this is Greek street food at its best and distinctive in Melbourne.
Following its recent renovation and expansion over two levels, the new Pure South Dining has reopened to critical acclaim. Executive Chef David Hall and Head Chef Sam Prance-Smith are famous for their expertise in the fare of Tasmania and its islands. They share some of the most versatile and understated winter produce. Nothing comes close to a soft, melt-in-the-mouth, slow-cooked beef cheek dish and Pure South’s King Island beef cheek is exactly that. Also favoured in the Pure South kitchen are Jerusalem artichokes for their versatility, with the chefs preferring these steamed or fried to enjoy the natural sugars and nutty flavours. They also recommend simple roasted parsnip with smoked maple syrup, which adds a lovely earthy, sweet element to any dish and is the perfect accompaniment to a roast dinner on a wintery Sunday afternoon.
David also says Celeriac is “quite an underrated winter vegetable but definitely one of our chefs’ favourites. They prefer to salt bake these whole to really enhance the flavour.”
We are big fans of Pure South; one of our favourite dining destinations in Melbourne. It was a joy to visit the new P.S. Bar & Kitchen for our main course. A masterclass from executive Chef David Hall demonstrating Cured Kingfish was a highlight.
Cured kingfish with teriyaki dressing was a tasty beautiful dish.
Ham hock croquettes! Rustic earthy goodness.
Chargrilled octopus with chorizo and pesto. Knowing Pure south they can probably identify the fishermen who caught the octopus and where he caught it!
Deep fried chicken!
Then it was off to Tutto Benne for dessert. Lemon tart is a specialty with lemon curd, lemon custard and a meringue top. Indulgent but also not too heavy.
Our final stop was Waterslide Bar; featuring a new winter cocktail menu. This bar pays homage to a giant waterslide of old in the Southgate precinct.
Red Rock Venues' new Group Executive Chef Graeme McLaughlin has led kitchens at some of the best restaurants in the world including Heston Blumenthal's Three Michelin starred The Fat Duck UK. Graeme brings his wealth of international expertise to oversee some inspired menu evolutions at modern German eatery HOPHAUS, to spruce up Irish pub grub at P.J.O’Brien’s and to jazz up the grazing and dining menu at riverside hotspot BearBrass when it reopens after a major expansion in late June. Graeme’s Jagerschnitzle is a hearty winter dish that heroes the humble mushroom. Although available most of the year, winter offers a huge variety of mushrooms with a wonderful variety of texture and depth of flavour: roasted, raw, grilled or even braised. Graeme’s says “I enjoy Swiss brown mushrooms beautifully sautéed in a pan with brown butter, garlic and fresh parsley. They work wonderfully with roasted fish or meat and their natural occurring umami increases the flavour of much of what they are paired with.”
Southgate’s riverside restaurants and bars have programmed a hive of winter events to celebrate all the good things about the colder months. Melbourne’s risotteria Tutto Bene is divulging the secret to perfecting risotto at home with a special masterclass, while Hophaus are hosting a festival of meat and a German inspired Christmas in July.
La Camera continues their ever-popular special events with a Jazz & Shiraz night, The Three Sopranos opera night, and a quirky Italian Yum Cha event. Waterslide Bar has just launched its own lager, the Wirth Bros lager, in partnership with Thornbury Brewing Company. The lager is a tribute to Wirth’s Circus, which was once Melbourne’s main source of revelry in the very same location by Princes Bridge. Wirth Bros lager has a clean, crisp and malty profile. The bar is also launching a daring new winter cocktail menu on 1 June, with cheeky names fit for every persona.
There are special events for World Whiskey Day at P.J.O’Brien’s and World Gin Day at Waterslide Bar, while P.J.O’Brien’s is also hosting Irish whiskey masterclasses in June and July and their annual OYSTERFEAST with all the oysters you can eat on 31 August.
Southgate is home to fifteen diverse restaurants, bars and eateries with cuisines ranging from German to Tasmanian to modern European. A range of boutique retailers including vintage fashion, books and stationery can also be found within the precinct.