We all know that Melburnians are spoilt for choice when it comes to world-class food, drinks and entertainment. So if you’re like us and choosing only one place to wine and dine is out of the question, we have just the solution. Progressive Dining at Southgate is where diners make their way to three (or more) different venues over the course of one night. It’s similar to a pub-crawl for foodies (minus the hangover). While there are many great options to setup your own fantastic dining trail at Southgate, here’s our current favourite combo.
Hophaus for pre-dinner drinks & snacks
Located on the first level of Southgate, Hophaus is a modern bar and eatery with magnificent views of the Yarra River and our beautiful city skyline. A contemporary twist on the great European Beer Halls, you can expect to find a rotating list of delicious German, Czech and Belgium beers as well as some other classic tipples.
The Hophaus team are known for throwing fantastic Euro parties every Octoberfest (complete with steins of beers!), as well as being a popular post-work drinks haunt. Not a beer fan? The menu has a short and neat cocktail menu (try a classic Negroni or innovative passionfruit & white chocolate Caipirinha), and a selection of wines from around Australia.
We recommend Hophaus as a fun venue to kick start your progressive Southgate dinner experience with a few delicious beers or cocktails, and a tasty snack. Once you have had your fill here, it’s time to move onto your next dining experience!
Dinner at Waterfront Southgate
Nestled on the promenade level of Southgate is one of Melbourne’s most Iconic seafood bar and grills – Waterfront. With expansive views of the Yarra river and mesmerising city lights, it’s the perfect spot to soak in the stunning Melbourne skyline and watch the world go by over a main course and some delicious drinks.
While Waterfront are experts at the grill, they are most well-known for their exquisitely sourced seafood. Dedicated to a “sea to plate” style of eating, the team visit markets and speak with producers daily to select the very best oysters, pristine shellfish and the freshest seafood. This is most evident in their raw seafood menu which is a must-try. We recommend starting off with some fresh oysters and their market-fresh sashimi platter of tuna, salmon, kingfish & prawns for a taste of what we’re talking about.
My plus one and I had some great conversations with the waiters who were always very approachable and happy to guide us through their suggested pairings of wine or cocktails. We found the maple cask burbon variation of their Old Fashioned to be absolutely highlight and one of the best versions of the classic cocktail we’ve tried. It was also great to see a keen focus on locally produced wine, with plenty of smaller vineyards featured on the curated menu.
After our sashimi it was time to try a main course. Our dining neighbours highly recommended the Western Australia Goldband Snapper Red Curry, which came with soft jasmine rice, coriander and crispy shallot. The spice level and depth of flavour in this dish was superb. We also tried the fresh Waterfront Seafood Linguine, which was full of perfectly cooked prawns, mussels, calamari, clams, garlic and chilli. Both meals were sublime, and really showed off how talented these chefs are. Feeling nice and full, it was time to visit our last stop of the night.
Dessert at Cups N Cones
Squeezing in more food after such a fantastic meal wasn’t easy, but luckily we always have a second stomach when it comes to dessert. Serving delicious house-made artisan gelato, sorbets, crepes and waffles, Cups N Cones is a casual takeaway gelato joint with over 18 different flavours to try. We recommend grabbing a scoop or two and sitting by the banks of the Yarra River to soak in some city lights. If like us, eating all of the things is your favourite way to dine, then the convenience and atmosphere of Southgate will be a great fit for you. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy each course and venue.
– The Plus Ones Team
Southgate has plenty of great restaurants, bars and shopping, with most venues open daily. We recommend booking your individual progressive dining experience online and leave at least 2 hours to enjoy the atmosphere and food within each venue.