Melbourne might have come late to getting its brunch on, but when the bug bit, it bit hard. Now we're going one step better. At forward-thinking venues you can sink into bottomless booze at the kind of hour your mother warned you about.
Le Bon Ton
The mimosa is emblematic of the New York brunch. A mixture of orange juice and sparkling wine it's a yin/yang situation in a glass as well as a source of debate over the definition of "cocktail" (see also: shandy). At the New Orleans-styled den of iniquity that is Le Bon Ton, you can get $49 bottomless sparkling cocktails every Sunday from noon until 5pm. Add oysters for $1 a pop and 50 cent chicken wings and you've got the perfect southern-style package.
51 Gipps Street, Collingwood; 03 9416 4341 lebonton.com.au
It's a great big huzzah for the folks from Richmond hipster glam-pub The National Hotel, who have just introduced a pan-Asian brunch that sees bottomless sparkling cocktails and oceans of Bloody Mary being served from noon until 3pm every Sunday afternoon over summer. Don't let the words "Asian tapas" detract you from enjoying snackage including salmon tartare, prawn spring rolls, pork bao and xiao long bao. This grand old pub enjoyed a mighty makeover a few years ago and now boasts one of the best beer gardens in the `hood. For $50 a head for all of the above, you can enjoy it that little bit more.
344 Victoria Street, Richmond; 03 9429 8811 thenationalhotel.com.au
Saigon Sally, may she rest in peace, was always a good-time party place and BKK, her replacement following a neon-led nip and tuck, is keeping true to the spirit if not the nation. The Vietnamese Sally was all about the free-flowing brunch bubbles but the slicker, Thai-er BKK has replaced those fickle affections with - drumroll - bottomless Aperol Spritz. Launching every Sunday at noon, BKK's $69 a head bottomless brunch involves dishes like grilled pork skewers with sticky sweet soy glaze, and rice noodles with prawns, and shredded chicken in a sprightly green mango and prawn salad. Drinkage goes beyond the orange aperitif that spells summer to embrace fizz and beer as well. How truly democratic.
2 Duke Street, Windsor; 03 9533 2342 bkkrestaurant.com.au
House of Lulu White
Brunch is not just for weekends at South Yarra's House of Lulu White. In fact, you can boozily brunch seven days a week at this former house of ill repute doing its best to remain a house of ill repute, only for better reasons. You can book for tables of six or more people (or walk in if less), so rustle up some friends to get into the Lulu White spirit with bottomless espresso martinis, Bloody Marys and mimosas. The party-pooper fine print reads that you also have to order food from the menu. At $30 per person for 90 minutes of cocktails, it sounds like a good idea wrapped in a dare. Just remember – South Yarra train station is a short walk away.
4 Yarra Street, South Yarra; 03 8679 6755 houseofluluwhite.com.au
Fargo and Co
A glam Sunday brunch in Richmond, of all places? It's possibly in breach of Yarra City Council edict 9.2.2, but newcomer Fargo & Co is simply dripping with excuses to get dressed up in best shoes before getting stuck into a bottomless supply of mimosas and prosecco while a DJ spins tunes on the al fresco rooftop terrace. You'll feel like a million bucks at this former State Bank building – or maybe even a trust fund baby, depending on how many of those mimosas you consume in the three hours from 11am to 2pm. Food, you ask? Well, they have a menu that swings from granola (like you would, ha) to corn, manchego and chive croquettes with smoked salmon, and crisp cornflake chicken with waffles and maple syrup, which sounds much more the speed of the dedicated bottomless bruncher.
216 Swan Street, Richmond; 03 8609 7270 fargoandco.com.au
Get thee to the CBD for bottomless Sundays at Gingerboy where the fine tradition of yum cha collides Hadron-style with an LA-style brunch. For $70 a head you get a two-hour session of bottomless drinks and edible pan-Asian fun including mushroom-filled dumplings with chilli jam, spiced eggplant curry puffs, Szechuan pulled pork spring rolls and roast duck bao. The mimosa changes its flavour profile weekly, and the sparkling is the charming Airlie Bank NV chardonnay pinot noir.
27-29 Crossley Street, Melbourne; 03 9662 4200 gingerboy.com.au
Watch this space…
Set your alarm clock for late December, when Angus & Bon opens at the former Prahran Post Office on Greville Street. The venue finds Liam Ganley (Lemon Middle and Orange and Freddie Wimpoles) teaming up with executive chef Declan Carroll (Rockpool) for a New York-style joint focused on its wood grill – which naturally lends itself to bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday. From noon until 2pm, the drinks will include bellinis, mimosas, Aperol spritz and Bloody Marys at $39 a head. Giddy up sometime after Christmas.