Share plates on the menu in Geelong

New venture ... Matt Dempsey at Gladioli.
New venture ... Matt Dempsey at Gladioli. 

Gladioli’s Matt Dempsey has planted a new bulb, with Tulip restaurant and bar planned to bloom in Geelong in mid-October. The restaurant, a joint venture with Graham Jefferies (formerly Pettavel and Wildflower), will focus on casual share dishes using local, seasonal ingredients using interesting techniques.

The pair feel the time is right for Tulip, with more professionals moving to Geelong and Pakington Street becoming the city’s hip strip.

They will take over the site of the former Cafe Boticelli in September, with Adam Kane Architects overseeing a complete refit featuring polished concrete floors, exposed brick walls and an oak bar with about 15 seats.

Jeffries, who Dempsey rates “the best chef I’ve worked with by quite some distance”, will run the day-to-day operations.

“For a point of difference our wine list of around 150 vintages will be exclusively Victorian,” says Dempsey, who will continue to run Gladioli, the restaurant named "best regional" in the 2013 Age Good Food Guide.

Tulip is expected to open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner daily.

-Gail Thomas