Neil Hamblen (left) and consultant chef Justin Wise.
Beastly business: Neil Hamblen (left) and consultant chef Justin Wise. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Hilary McNevin and Roslyn Grundy

The new city dining room Meatmaiden opens Wednesday; it's the second business for Neil Hamblen and Nick Johnston, owners of Richmond's Meatmother. Following on from the success of the carnivorous formula of the Swan Street venue, Hamblen and Johnston took on what was the short-lived Little Hunter. The room already had good bones for a meat-focused restaurant (boom-boom), but the 100-seat dining room now has a softer, dark-rose coloured fitout, and a bar area for a quick bite.

Consultant chef Justin Wise has established a menu that uses much of many beasts on the grill and in the smoker. House-made beef jerky, smoked lamb ribs, pulled pork shoulder and pasture-fed porterhouse punctuate the menu.

Six beer taps will rotate with local and imported craft beers, and there's a tidy wine list from sommelier Jane Semple.

Meatmaiden, basement, 195 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, 9078 7747, meatmaiden.com.au; open lunch & dinner Tues-Sat.