South Melbourne's Lume changes direction again

Lume's new chef Elijah Holland continues the ambitious vibe.
Lume's new chef Elijah Holland continues the ambitious vibe.  Photo: Supplied

Chef John Rivera has left South Melbourne's Lume, ushering in what will be the third era for the fine diner since it opened in 2015.

It's been a wild ride for the restaurant. Initially considered challenging for its bold ideas (ageing cow's udder like blue cheese, for one), Lume grew to acclaim under chef Shaun Quade.

In early 2019, Quade installed the surprisingly young Rivera as his successor, but just one year into serving his Filipino-leaning degustation, Rivera has handed the chalice to 27-year-old chef Elijah Holland.

Blue mussels and beach mustard.
Blue mussels and beach mustard. Photo: Supplied

Holland has ticked off some big-name restaurants and roles in his travels. He was forager for Noma Australia; and has done stints at restaurants Quay, Jonah's and Aria as well as run pop-ups. As with his Lume predecessors, his ambition is writ large.

With a heavy focus on native flora and fauna (rosella, wallaby, saltbush and mountain pepper feature), he offers a short or long degustation from four up to nine courses costing $125 and $195 respectively (rising to $175 and $245 from March 1).

From wild spruce yeast and beef fat to start, a dry aged lamb "T-bone" with saltbush and rosella, native fruits to end and pairings including a whisky highball and wild kombucha, Lume still seems set on challenging its diners, whoever's on the pans.

226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne,, 03 9690 0185. Tue-Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm.