Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
26. Nov, 2011
The Wheeler Centre’s a pretty classy joint. They host a jammed-packed calendar of literature talks, events and discussions throughout the year, and all that’s thirsty work. Well, now the bookworms have a place to unwind after the latest launch, downstairs at The Moat Bar and Cafe.
Sitting snugly beneath the centre, the Moat is designed as an extension of the Wheeler’s aesthetic and mojo (though it’s more fun because you can drink.) Inside the subterranean space walls are lined with kitsch bookshelf wallpaper, real bookshelves are lined with teacups and a huge image of a moth drinking tea is painted above the open kitchen.
It feels cozy, the type of place you could easily drop the word ‘juxtapose’ in conversation while sipping a cognac. Plus there’s something nice about dining below street level and seeing all those legs walk past.
Owners Paul Bonet, Emma Jeffrey and Rosie Avitable ran Breadwell before deciding on The Moat, and they’re aiming to make the new space reflect what’s upstairs while keeping its own identity.
That means they’ll be high teas, an in-house poet who’ll will compose custom poems (presumably for absinthe) and a book exchange. I’d also expect the odd guest speaker at the Wheeler to drop by too (hot tip: Neil Gaiman’s talking on Dec 16).
And there’s food and drink too. Emma Jeffrey (ex-Matteo’s, Fenix, Reserve) has built a menu around Italian and Middle Eastern influences. Options range from the no-nonsense Meatballs in Napoli ($18) and Farmers Plate of ham hock broth, cucumber and apple relish, cheese and bread ($17) to the fancier Moondarra Wagyu salami, goats cheese custard and beetroot cured watermelon ($18). Breakfasts arrive next week.
Drink-wise, the coffee comes from the eco-friendly dudes at Espresso Syndicate and there’s the usual beers, wines and hard liquor.
One of the neatest aspects of the Moat is the astroturf-lined outdoor ‘beer strip’. It’s rumoured tennis tournament are planned, though I’d like to see beer pong and putting. We’ll see what the bookworms decide.
The fashionable folk of The Millinery Association of Australia are all set to wow you with Spring-ready headwear at this positively ‘MAArvelous’ event.
Our chat with sculptor Laura Woodward on her show Composing New Worlds that explores the ways we position ourselves in the world.
if you are one of the smart people who appreciate comic book art and would love to have a go at it yourself, then look no further than Comic Art.
A whole festival of pinot noir. Just let that sink in.
Get fit to daggy '80s hits with Jazzercise!
All the tacos in Melbourne are going to be in one place at the Mission Mexican Festival at Federation Square, the best hung over Sunday of your life.