Melbourne's waterfront hotel Crowne Plaza has undergone a multimillion-dollar refurbishment and now features three new hospitality venues and $15 valet parking.
Chef and creative director Matthew Butcher, who cut his teeth under Gordon Ramsay, Shannon Bennett and Ryan Clift (Singapore's Tippling Club), officially opens Yugo, Dive Bar and Pow Wow on February 26 with Scott Eddington (ex-Belles Hot Chicken and A1 Canteen in Sydney) as head chef.
The hero, Yugo, is a 90-seat restaurant serving French-Asian fusion, Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm. Dishes include prawn and ginger dumplings with black pepper sauce, decadent French-onion broth ramen with black garlic, and a handful of mains cooked on a Josper grill with bottomless fries and salad.
Los Angeles-based interior designer Amy Kim is behind the fit-outs. Yugo is all teal accents and curves with a futuristic centrepiece: a 12-person private dining room contained in a glass box that becomes opaque at the push of a button.
Next to Yugo, Dive Bar is open daily and the place to hit the jukebox, down a hotdog (French-style with mustard-mayo, bechamel and pickled onions, or Japanese with kewpie mayo, bonito and bulldog sauce) and sip a smoked apple Sazerac. The dimly lit space is highlighted with pops of pink velvet and a perspex pool table. The only dessert here is a $30 birthday cake covered in 100s & 1000s and sparklers, whether it's your birthday or not.
Pow Wow, open from 6.30am daily, is the casual grab-and-go option designed for laptop-toting workers. It features "quiet zones" and serves portable brekkie items, salads and sandwiches. The lunchbox, rotating every two weeks, features something sweet, a couple of savoury pieces and a sandwich or roll, similar to the ones Butcher once designed for Bennett's Cafe Vue.