Lygon Street To Welcome Back Local Icon

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One of Melbourne’s bustiest food strips will welcome back a local icon in May 2015 as The Astor on Carlton’s Lygon Street reopens with an innovative new restaurant and bar concept.

Opening  within  The  Astor  will  be  The  Roving  Marrow  dining  room,  which  was  formerly  Percy’s Bar and Bistro run by four–time Carlton premiership player Peter ‘Percy’ Jones. The Roving Marrow is a significant part of the transformation by restaurateur Darran Smith and head  chef  Hayden  McMillan  and  will  pair  produce-­driven,  contemporary  European  cuisine  with interactive, yum cha ­style service.

With over 30 years’ experience between them, working in top restaurants around the globe, Smith  and  McMillan  will  deliver  a  unique dining experience  that  aims  to  break  down  the  formality of fine dining and bring the fun back to food.

Head  chef  Hayden  McMillan  is  a  young  gun  of  New  Zealand’s  epicurean  scene,  having  previously worked with renowned New Zealand chefs Michael Meredith and Simon Wright and  was  made  head  chef  of  Auckland’s  Tribeca  restaurant  very  early  in  his career.  Most  recently  returned  from  San  Francisco  where  he  headed  up  the  Waiheke  Island  Yacht  Club pop  up  for  the America’s Cup,  McMillan  wants  The  Roving  Marrow’s  approach  to  food  to  come  from  a  completely  different  place  than  what’s  commonly available  in  upmarket restaurants.

“There are no rules that exist for what we are doing which allows us to be really expressive and dynamic with how we present our food. The menu will be thought-­provoking but not pretentious and provide strong interaction between chefs, waiters and diners.”

Architect  Thomas  Jacobsen,  the  mastermind  behind  Sydney’s  North  Bondi  Italian  and  the  Beresford  Hotel,  has  designed  The Astor’s  interior  and  focused  on  preserving  the  hotel’s original  character  with  a  modern  refresh.  The  result  is  a  moody atmosphere grounded  in  dark wood with rich finishes in brass and mirror that are hardwearing and age gracefully.

The Astor will be open for lunch and dinner service at The Roving Marrow or customers can stop by just for a drink at the front bar where an inspiring collection of wines, cocktails and ten draught beers will be on offer. Ruldoph Bertin, French expat and former Iceberg’s Dining Room  and  Bar  Sommelier  is  behind  the  venue’s  extensive  wine  list,  matching  the  restaurant’s mandate – high quality and locally sourced wine, with a smattering of European influence.

Just as much thought has been infused into the cocktail list with the recruitment of award winning  bartender  and  owner  of  Sydney’s The  Barber  Shop,  Mike  Enright,  who  has  been  tasked with crafting a lively selection of mixes.

Joining the wine and cocktail lists is a carefully curated tea menu which aims to honor the traditional role tea plays in yum cha service as a palate cleanser and digestive but with an unexpected twist. All tea styles will be covered, including a cold brewed kombucha iced tea, and The Astor’s exclusive house-­‐blend black tea created in collaboration with tea specialist Heirs + Graces.

With an impressive fine dining pedigree earned managing Sydney’s most notable hot spots including Merivale’s Hemmesphere and sushi e, Icebergs Dining Room and the Hilton’s Glass Brasserie,  Managing  Director  Smith  is  confident  that  the  all-­‐star  lineup  of  industry  talent  behind the transformation of The Astor will put the hotel in a strong opening position.

“We understand that Melbourne’s dining scene is extremely competitive so we’ve worked hard  to  build  a  team  of  hospitality  specialists  that  have  come  together  to  help  create  a  considered yet inventive dining destination,” said Smith

The  Astor  will  open  in  May  2015

418  Lygon  Street,  Carlton

03 9347 7419

theastorcarlton.com.au

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GRAM magazine is a monthly compilation of how a city experiences all things food and drink. It does away with traditional magazine formulas, offering instead a snapshot of articles, opinions and reviews, published online by local food bloggers. It has been created to give its readers access to varied, unbiased and unedited opinions about eating and drinking throughout the city, from independent and local sources.