Taxi Dining Room will be given a makeover with 'new furniture, layout, lighting and graphics'.
Taxi Dining Room will be given a makeover with 'new furniture, layout, lighting and graphics'. Photo: Melanie Faith Dove

Hilary McNevin and Roslyn Grundy

Taxi Dining Room is about to undergo an identity change. The Federation Square restaurant will close for four weeks on January 27, immediately after the Australian Open finals, and reopen as Taxi Kitchen.

Chef Martin Webb, who six months ago became food and beverage director of Taxi and its adjoining businesses, Transport Public Bar and Transit cocktail lounge, says the restaurant will have a complete identity change and while nothing structural will be altered, the interior will have "new furniture, layout, lighting and graphics", says Webb, who made his name at the Conran Group in London, heading up restaurants such as Quaglino's.

Chef Tony Twitchett will staying on as head chef and, with Webb, will work on a new menu that's "less fussy, more affordable, accessible food".

Collingwood-based studio Eades & Bergman, who have been behind a spate of hospitality projects, including Bomba Bar, Mr Miyagi and Meatball & Wine Bar, will oversee the design changes, which include expanding the restaurant bar to provide another 25 seats.

Opened by Paul and Jo-Anne Mathis in 2004, Taxi Dining Room was named Restaurant of the Year by The Age Good Food Guide 2006. It was sold to the Sovereign Hotel Group in 2006.

Webb hopes to reopen as Taxi Kitchen on February 28, in time for the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.