Melbourne weekend hit list September 5-6: Moon Dog pizza and Son in Law eggs

From left: Luca Flammia, Francesco Rota and Matteo Neviani inside Trattoria Emilia.
From left: Luca Flammia, Francesco Rota and Matteo Neviani inside Trattoria Emilia. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Welcome back...

Trattoria Emilia

The reinvention of Gills Diner into a trattoria honouring the cheese- and meat-rich Italian region of Emilia-Romagna is complete. Trattoria Emilia is now open, serving gnocco fritto​ fried pastry pillows with cured meats and pâté, and dishes such as Roman slow-roasted lamb in wine, anchovies and artichokes. Chefs Luca Flammia​ and Francesco Rota (ex-Tea Rooms of Yarck) are on the pans. Terrazzo touches, oak tables and marble finishes have enhanced the dining room and front-of-house Matteo Neviani is on the floor. 

Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat 8am-10pm, 360 Little Collins Street, Melbourne (enter via Gills Alley), 9670 7214,

Drink ...

Pizza at Moon Dog Brewery Bar.

Moon Dog Brewery Bar (now with pizza) 

What do you get when you combine Melbourne's most eccentric brewers with an equally out there but thoroughly skilled pizzaiolo? You get a pizza party to be reckoned with. Ioreth Tudor, the man behind A Boy Named Sue and Collingwood's Lazerpig, has been installed in a permanent caravan outside Moon Dog Brewery Bar, where he's turning out the likes of a smoked haddock, dill and creme fraiche pizza to go with your smoked IPAs and classic rock. 

Thu-Fri 4pm-11pm; Sat noon-11pm, 71 Duke Street, Abbotsford,

Drive for brunch ...

Just-right lunch: The debrecziner at Das Kaffeehaus in Castlemaine.

Das Kaffeehaus


Castlemaine, otherwise known as North Northcote, may have just out-northsided its muse with the arrival of Das Kaffeehaus: a Viennese-style breakfast barn in an old woolshed. Even if you're not into pork sausages and 'kraut for breakfast (it's not the stuff of Instagram dreams), there's a lot to be said for a cafe that tops its coffee with cream clouds and chocolate wafers. 

Mon-Fri 6am–5pm; Sat-Sun 8am–4pm, 9 Walker Street, Castlemaine, 5470 6270,


Son in Law's namesake son-in-law eggs.

Son in Law

A minute ago this was Lebanese cafe Bayte, but things change quickly in Collingwood. The Johnston Street space is now Son in Law, a Thai canteen by the team behind Chapel Street's Ayatana (RIP). You know the deal: punchy snacks to the tune of namesake dish (crisp shelled, soft centred eggs with chilli jam), fishcake sliders and a solid fish curry, all lit up by neon. 

Tue-Fri 5.30-11.30pm; Sat-Sun 11.30am-11.30pm, 56 Johnston Street, Collingwood,


If you're one of the thousands who registered for the Fat Duck and failed to get in, your number may be about to come up. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which is being constructed at Crown on the site of the now-departed Duck, is due to open on October 20. Emails have started going out, inviting pre-registered guests to book. Check your inbox. 


Vanilla and buttermilk panna cotta with poached quinces.

Vanilla and buttermilk panna cotta

Neil Perry wants to make you panna cotta. Listen to Neil Perry. And perhaps sub in some seasonal blood oranges for poached quinces. Recipe here.