Melbourne's not short of great wine bars, but it is relatively new to the concept of the cave a manger: Parisian establishments that sell wine to-go but also allow guests to drink in if you order some food. Waygood, a new spot from the Punch Lane crew, is out to change that.
Opening on the Swan Street site that was Saint Urban, the new Richmond local is offering a tidy line-up of small plates plus larger mains, and a frequently changing selection of 80 or so bottles to drink there or take home.
After reflecting on Saint Urban's future during the pandemic, owner Martin Pirc decided changes were needed and knocked out several internal walls, zeroed in on warm yellow tones and urban-rustic cool, and asked his executive chef across his venues, Nuno Gabriel, to come up with a new menu.
Casual and ever-changing, right now it features wintry comforts like sage and ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms and silverbeet, classic Punch Lane-esque fare such as duck rillettes with cornichons and toast, and a few surprises, too. Spiced and smoked pork on pepper leaves, for example, and cauliflower schnitzel with romesco.
The wine list is an edit of small or family-owned Victorian labels, with a smattering of Australian and European thrown in, all leaning towards biodynamic or low intervention. Corkage is $25 per bottle but there are also nine options available by the glass or 500ml carafe.
Locals are well looked after with a twice-weekly 3121 special (a nod to Richmond's postcode) that gets you the plat du jour and a glass of wine or a beer for $31, or the meal on its own for $21. Outdoor dining is pet-friendly.
A tight brunch menu of three dishes – thick-cut bacon and eggs, chia pudding and kimchi fried rice – runs until 3pm on Saturdays. And with leisurely hours like that and the option to throw in Fairbank's Ancestrale pet-nat from the wine fridges, it seems like an excellent idea.
Open Tue-Thu 4pm-11pm, Fri noon-late, Sat 10am-late.
213 Swan Street, Richmond, 03 8456 0933, waygood.com.au