Melbourne hotels are lifting their in-house dining game, and you can't blame them when competition in the boutique city accommodation game is so stiff. Six high-end hotels have launched in the past six months, all sporting serious restaurants and bars designed to draw in non-hotel customers.
The Quincy Hotel on Flinders Lane opened earlier this year, but its main restaurant, Salted Egg, opened on April 24. Captained by chef Adam Woodfield, the restaurant, rooftop bar and room service menu will all have a pan-Asian offering to tie in the hotel's Singapore origins.
"People can't go overseas right now, so we're bringing that international experience to them in their own city," says manager Christian Price (ex-Red Spice Road).
Breakfast incudes bubble teas, banh mi and ginger egg tarts. The bar leading into the main restaurant, reached by a giant golden staircase, features snacks such as son-in-law eggs (deep-fried, soft-centred eggs with yellow bean sauce), and smoked eel betel leaves.
DIY duck spring rolls are tipped to be a hit in the restaurant, which blends Thai and Vietnamese influences. The menu is a la carte, but tasting menus are available.
Room service meals are delivered in tiffins – stacked metal containers popular for delivering lunch in India. The sets might include roti, rice, spring rolls and betel leaves. The room service menu will also feature a club sandwich made with panko-crumbed chicken on soft shokupan (Japanese milk bread).
Quincy Hotel, 509 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, quincymelbourne.com
Across town in South Yarra, the new Ovolo hotel has also launched its headline act: Lona Misa, an entirely vegetarian offering starring chefs Shannon Martinez (Smith and Daughters) and Ian Curley (Kirk's Wine Bar).
The Ovolo hotel group committed to becoming entirely vegetarian in late 2020. Martinez is a strong pick to front the restaurant, having risen to fame for her cunning way of replicating favourites for meat-abstainers.
Breakfast looks like organic egg with a wedge of tortilla and white beans braised in saffron sofrito. There is a play on Brazilian seafood stew, moqueca, her Spanish blood sausage, morcilla (sans blood), and even a bar snack of imitation pork crackling.
Ovolo Hotel, 230 Toorak Road, South Yarra, ovolohotels.com