The latest news & views
Scott Pickett heads southside.
“THE boys might have to have a bit of a shave – we don’t want to scare the Toorak ladies.” So says Scott Pickett (above) with a hearty laugh.
The chef, long associated with Melbourne’s inner north with Estelle Bistro (left) and ESP in Northcote, and Saint Crispin in Collingwood, has locked in plans for his first venture south of the river. “But we’ll still take a bit of our cool and edge southside,” he adds.
It’s an ambitous expansion. His fifth restaurant will open on Domain Road in South Yarra next year, taking over two levels and 600sq m of what will be a 12-room boutique hotel next door to The Botanical. A 120-seat ground floor restaurant, where fire, flame and smoke will provide the leitmotif to the menu, will be complemented by a basement bar and function space, where Pickett hopes Botanical Gardens wedding parties will gravitate to.
“Long-term, I’d always thought about doing something southside, but it had to be with the right partners,” he says. Property development company The Tallow Group is behind the expansive new digs, while Projects of Imagination is drawing up plans for the restaurant which Pickett hopes will be ready in mid to late 2017.
“It will just be a really good local restaurant, like what we do with Estelle Bistro, but a bit more polished, slightly more refined. But still fun and relaxed,” he says.
Can’t wait until then? Next month, he’s opening Pickett’s Deli and Rotisserie at the Queen Victoria Market. The day-through-night operation will serve “the perfect roast chicken” and handmade pastas along with roasted meat rolls.