RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH
MANY VISITORS TO MELBOURNE will find themselves exploring the boutique stores and cafés of Chapel Street, something of a mecca for the fashion conscious and those in search of a little retail therapy in conjunction with a well-poured latte. However, for those willing to continue a little further down toward the Southern end of Chapel Street, a mecca of an entirely different sort awaits—one focused more on a range of interesting dining venues and eclectic bars.
Nestled in amongst this distinctly Melburnian array of restaurants and bars is Shukah, the latest addition to chef Garen Maskal’s family of restaurants, and joining his popular modern Armenian inner-city eatery Sezar and original Hispanic diner Black Toro.
Shukah encourages the sharing of both food and conversation in equal parts. The ideal place to start at Shukah could be with a chilled Yan Yan Armenian Lager, paired with the smoky house-made hommus with brown butter and flatbread. The version of this Middle Eastern favourite produced at Shukah is sufficiently moreish to ensure many may seriously contemplate ordering more before they continue to explore the menu. The mezze of four vegetable dishes consists of four bowls of frequently varying vegetable dishes, served with delicious flatbread, continuing the sharing, grazing style of dining encouraged at Shukah. Kingfish sashimi with avocado, cucumber and black lime is delicately flavoured, while the charred octopus and kipfler potato with pistachio and olive salsa and labne is equally delicious, as are the toasted Manti (dumplings) with lamb, garlic yoghurt and sumac. Tempura oysters arrive with preserved lemon and chilli, while grilled haloumi is accompanied with barbecue zucchini, hazelnut, raisin and lemon, and succulent harissa braised beef kebabs with smoked garlic and pickled peppers are also exceptionally hard to resist. Barbecue lamb belly with smashed cucumber, sesame and yoghurt provides another meat fix, while the appeal of the falafel kebabs with pickled eggplant and tahini will not be limited only to vegetarians.
For anyone wise enough to avoid the understandable temptation to overindulge on the smaller dishes at Shukah, the wild green and feta borek with fennel and spiced onion jam may be the next step on their culinary adventure, or perhaps the barbecue short rib with roasted sweet corn and faro, the succulent meat falling away from the bone. Roasted barramundi is served with a pea and broad bean tabouleh and mango amba (pickled condiment), barbecued baby chicken with sumac pickled onions, green harissa and yoghurt is further proof of the inherent value of the large charcoal grill Shukah inherited from the previous proprietor. Lovers of perfectly cooked meat will find it difficult to choose between the Wagyu striploin with tomatoes, red pepper and bone marrow salsa, the crispy pork hock with walnuts, dates and apple salsa verde, and the substantial braised lamb shoulder with pomegranate and chick peas.
If the decision making proves difficult, Shukah makes it easy with their “Let us feed you” banquet at $58 per person, with the option of matched wines at only another $39 per person. A “Happy Lunch” tasting menu is also available Friday to Sunday at $35 per person, and could be the perfect way to commence an exploratory stroll along Chapel Street. Shukah is a relaxed, enjoyable and very welcome addition to the burgeoning dining scene along the lower end of Chapel Street, and increasing awareness of its appeal means reservations are advisable.
Shukah, 104 Chapel Street, Windsor. 9521 3858. shukah.com.au
delivering a fantastic customer experience. Set on picturesque Albert Lake, Hidden Jade is modern dining at its best.
Ground level, 9 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake. 9682 5566. hiddenjade.com.au
n LUCKY CHAN. Chinese. Lucky Chan offers guests authentic Cantonese cuisine, specialising in sustainably farmed live seafood, as well as offering the choice of à la carte. Signature dishes include the sauteed scallops and king prawns with imperial sauce, but you may also be tempted to choose a lobster or large crab from their live seafood tanks. Their wonderful food is beautifully complemented by an extensive list of quality Australian and Oriental wines.
The Riverside at Crown, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank. Lunch Mon–fri 11am–3pm, Sat–sun 11am–4pm, dinner Sun–thu 6pm–11pm, Fri–sat 6pm–12am. 9696 3966. luckychan.com.au
SAKÉ RESTAURANT & BAR MELBOURNE HAMER HALL. Japanese.
Saké serves a renowned mix of modern and classic dishes with a distinct local flavour. Flowing with the seasons the menu utilises the finestquality produce available. Located in the revitalised Hamer Hall at Arts Centre Melbourne and overlooking the breathtaking Yarra River and CBD, this venue is set over two levels including an outdoor dining area on the riverfront.
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Lunch Mon–sun 12pm–3pm, dinner Sun–wed 5pm–10pm, Thurs–sat 5pm–11pm. 8687 0775. sakerestaurant.com.au
SOUTHGATE. Around The World.
Discover a unique collection of riverside restaurants, cafes and bars at Southgate Melbourne, located along the banks of the Yarra River. With exceptional city skyline views, Southgate is a dining destination sure to impress. Find fantastic casual dining at Bluetrain, Bavarian favourites at Hophaus, Cantonese cuisine at Red Emperor, modern Italian at Tutto Benne, contemporary Australian at Pure South Dining and so much more.
Banks of the Yarra River, Melbourne. 9686 1000. southgatemelbourne.com.au
SOUTH WHARF MUNICH BRAUHAUS. Bavarian.
Munich Brauhaus is a traditional Bavarian bierhaus, where guests can dine, drink and party like Oktoberfest never ended. The state-of-the-art waterfront venue seats over 900 people and is a bier lovers delight. Try the venue’s very own signature Munich Lager, as well as a series of exclusively imported Bavarian Biers, while the menu includes suckling pig, sourced locally from Riverlea and cooked over a charcoal spit.
45 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf. Sun–thur 11.30am–late, Fri– Sat 11.30am–1am. 1300 686 424. munichbrauhaus.com