What’s On – Friday 26 May to Thursday 1 June 2017

Get warm and cosy during the last official days of Autumn as we welcome Melbourne’s winter in June!

CBD/Docklands

  • Craft Hatch (Sat 27 May) – enjoy the best in handmade, ethical, original and Melbourne-made craft.
  • Magic Mary  (Sun 28 May) – 5 tantalising takes on the Bloody Mary at Magic Mountain Saloon.
  • Queen Street Plaza (Sat 27 May – Sun 28 May) – A place to sit, eat, have a drink and enjoy free family entertainment right in the heart of the city.
  • Snow Travel Expo (Sun 28 May) – There is a real snowplay zone for the kids, presentations in the Snow Lounge and helpful people from dream snow destinations.
  • Slide, Skate and Chill (Thu 1 Jun – 31 Aug) – undercover riverside ice rink and toboggan slide.
  • Aladdin the Musical (Fri 26 May – Sun 22 Oct) – Disney film turned into lavish musical. Read the review.

NORTH / NORTH EAST

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

EAST

  • Melbourne Tram Museum (Sat 27 May) – Visit a Melbourne icon at this quirky museum. FULL REVIEW.
  • Rocky Road Festival (Fri 26 May – Wed 31 May) – 31 different flavours, a host of Rocky Road infused temptations plus a world record beating block that every visitor can try for free!

WEST

HOT: Mr Lawrence, 67 Beach St, Port Melbourne

mr lawrence melbourne

Mr Lawrence in Port Melbourne has moved from the London Hotel and relaunched at a new site that was previously occupied by Tenpin, Mr Lawrence’s sister venue.

mr lawrence melbourne

I am invited to experience the relaunch of Mr Lawrence and I leave very impressed by the delicious Middle-Eastern inspired food and friendly service at the new venue. It is a much bigger space than its previous incarnation, with two storeys of dining and bar service on both levels. 

mr lawrence melbourne

Firstly, the view is stunning, with tall windows revealing the wide expanse of Port Melbourne beach. Upstairs the balcony twinkles with lights from the cruise terminal and Spirit of Tasmania.

mr lawrence melbourne

In keeping with its beachside location the interior is airy and light with touches of the Middle East in the artwork, lighting and cutesy figurines.

mr lawrence melbourne

I try a selection from Mr Lawrence’s ‘modern mezze’ menu with spices and ingredients influenced by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African cuisines.

mr lawrence melbourne

Highlights include crunchy Eygptian felafels with labne…

mr lawrence melbourne

…house smoked trout shredded with potatoes to make a Lebanese-style potato salad…

mr lawrence melbourne

…light-as-air .filo parcels filled with haloumi and feta accompanied by date jam and chermoula salmon with fennel and spinach tagine and fat mograbieh. Both the salmon and the boureks are the best dishes on the night for me

Having said that, leave room for the Moroccan Mess, a twist on the traditional Eton Mess. It’s a Pink Troll hairdo hiding a sweet mass of strawberries, rhubarb, double cream and smashed meringue.

Finally, the professionalism and generally chilled out nature of the staff is notable. Everyone is friendly without being overly familiar and the service is attentive without being fussy. Plates are brought to the table with a simple ‘this is the hummus’, not with long-winded flowery explanations, and water/drinks top ups are done regularly. It makes for a delightfully relaxed evening and rates Mr Lawrence as one of my favourite places to eat in Port Melbourne.


Mr Lawrence, 67 Beach St, Port Melbourne

Open 7 days for lunch and dinner

12pm–late

HOT: Sebastian’s Food and Wine, 303 Hampton Street, Hampton

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

Sebastian’s Food and Wine faces the railway crossing at Hampton and is a popular haunt with commuters, families and nearby worker for all day breakfast or lunch.

You can choose to hang out at the outdoor pavement tables or step away from the buzz to sit in the leafy courtyard instead.

We try the Marrakesh salad ($16) with roasted cauliflower, poached egg, lentils, almonds, dates, spinach, chickpeas. I opt for a slab of grilled haloumi ($3.50) as well. It’s a crispy, healthy mix though the tahini-lime dressing could do with more oomph as it’s barely discernible.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

The freekeh salad continues in a similar vein ($18) with freekah, tabouleh, grilled haloumi, broccolini, roasted cauliflower. The pickled grapes are an unusual addition and give an interesting sweet/sour tang to the bowl.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

The Straight Outta Hampton burger ($14) is straight out of a burger textbook. The wagu beef patty does lift it beyond the norm but otherwise it’s a fairly standard stack of lettuce, tomato, pickles, barbecue sauce and mustard.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

The buttermilk hotcake is an artist’s palette on a plate. The fluffy pancake is one single tall stack with stone fruit, berries and edible flowers.

Sebastian’s Food and Wine

While Sebastian’s Food and Wine doesn’t push any boundaries it is a convenient and reliably good option for local Hampton folk.


Sebastian’s Food and Wine, 303 Hampton Street, Hampton 03 9533 475

7 days a week from 7am – 4pm
Sebastian's Food & Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HOT: Burn City Smokers, 31A Vernon St, South Kingsville

burn city smokers

American barbecue specialists Burn City Smokers have been using the prep kitchen for their successful catering business in South Kingsville for over a year. But it’s only recently that they’ve launched an eat-in and take away venue at the front – Burn City Test Kitchen.

To begin with they’re starting slow at the Burn City Test Kitchen. The menu and hours are flexible depending on feedback (particularly from locals), what produce is available and the needs of their busy catering arm.

At the moment you can try out a limited menu of small bites, burgers, larger plates and sides, along with drinks, on Friday nights, Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch till late afternoon.

burn city smokers

The dining room is small and sparsely furnished though still cosy with lots of timber touches.  The decor is rustic and retro, with a lot of space for hot sauce!

burn city smokers

burn city smokers

We try the pig head’s terrine ($10), full of the same porky goodness you’ll also find in the smoked pulled pork burger ($16) with apple sauce, mustard and crispy sweet potato fries.

burn city smokers

The bangers and mash is a huge plate of comfort food perfect for wintery climes.  Think thick smoked beef sausages, onion gravy plus a mash spiked with seeded mustard.

burn city smokers

The highlight is the beef short rib. For only $25 you get a huge hunk of 12 hour slow cooked smoked meat, falling gently off the bone, and a pile of deliciously charred honey carrots. It’s easily a meal for two people, especially if you pair it with some fries or broccoli salad with chilli and almonds ($7 each).

There’s only one dessert at the moment – a waffle. We were too full from our meat-a-thon to try it but will definitely return for it on our next visit to Burn City Test Kitchen.


Burn City Smokers, 31A Vernon St, South Kingsville

Fri:    5-10pm
Sat:   12-10pm
Sun:   12-6pm
Mon-Thurs: Closed

Hours may vary, best to call ahead/email to check

Steve 0438 372 461 / Raphael 0402 159 484

Reservations: info@burncitysmokers.com.au

HOT: Van Gogh and the Seasons, National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

van gogh ngv

Van Gogh and the Seasons is the largest Vincent van Gogh exhibition ever held in Australia. It is exclusive to Melbourne as part of the popular annual art series  ‘Melbourne Winter Masterpieces’.

van gogh ngv

The exhibition is curated by Sjraar van Heugten, renowned Van Gogh expert and former Head of Collections at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. It’s the first time an exhibition of Van Gogh’s works has explored the artists’ connection to the seasons.

van gogh ngv

To get a feel for what you’re about inside Van Gogh and the Seasons watch the 9 minute video installation narrated by David Stratton and David Wenham. The film was commissioned by the NGV and includes footage shot in the Netherlands and France interspersed with Australian locations to capture scenes of all the seasons.

van gogh ngv

The rest of the galleries are filled with almost 50 Van Gogh masterpieces arranged into Autumn (probably the artist’s favourite season), Winter, Spring and Summer.

van gogh ngv

The colours and paintings start off quite muted at first and the highlight works in my view are within Spring and Summer.

van gogh ngv

van gogh ngv

There Van Gogh’s famous use of colour and vibrant brush strokes are much more evident.

My favourite work is ‘The garden of the asylum at Saint-Remy’. If you look at the painting side on you can actually see the shimmering 3D effect created by the thick, vigorous application of paint.

van gogh ngv

One of the most prized and well-known works is ‘A wheatfield, with cypresses’, a coup from the National Gallery in London as it rarely leaves that gallery.

van gogh ngv

At the exhibition gift shop don’t miss the display of stunning limited edition shoes created by Wittner. The four shoes in ‘The Art of Style‘ collection are inspired by Van Gogh and the Seasons and will be available to purchase at selected stores (Melbourne Central, Block Arcade, Chadstone, Collins Street) and online from Monday 1 May.

van gogh ngv

van gogh ngv

There are 124-136 pairs of each design and 20 maximum of the most popular sizes eg 38.  To ensure you get your hands on a pair pre-order online now.

van gogh ngv

NGV has also produced a children’s book to accompany the exhibition ($19.95) and I LOVE these Vincent Van Toe socks ($21.95)!

van gogh ngv

van gogh ngv

Van Gogh and the Seasons is also accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, an extensive program of talks, tours and events and NGV Friday Nights, featuring live music, food and performances.


Van Gogh and the Seasons, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

28 April – 9 July 2017.

Open daily, 10am-5pm.

Adults $28, Concession $24.50, Child 5-15 years $10

HOT: Hawthorn Common, Level 1, 302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Hawthorn Common

Welcome to the Closed Loop. Hawthorn Common is a cafe which is all about living sustainably so everything is made from scratch on site and any food waste is processed to compost.

Hawthorn Common

The spacious dining area, particularly the umbrella-shaded deck, is the perfect place to while away a sunny day. 

Hawthorn Common

The menu is focused on local and seasonal ingredients. I try the spanner crab omelette ($20) a fluffy eggy plate studded with chunks of crab. It’s adorned by snow peas and wild, bitter sprouts picked straight from the garden which are a bit tough and weedy for my liking. I suggest to the waiter that maybe a quick blanch would make them more palatable?

Hawthorn Common

As a healthy indulgence I try the pavlova pancakes ($16). The two pancakes are wholemeal and thus denser than an American-style hotcake. It comes with a circle of tangy passionfruit curd, fresh fruit and shards of delicate meringue. It’s a gorgeous dish, both to look at and to eat.

Hawthorn Common

At Hawthorn Common they make their own bread and roast their own coffee on site so you’re able to take them home.

Hawthorn Common‘s health conscious ethos and the stylish and relaxed environment make it a great advertisement for sustainable living. 


Hawthorn Common, Level 1, 302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn (03) 98192200

Monday — Friday 7am — 4pm

Saturday — Sunday 8am — 4pm

Hawthorn Common Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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