05 Apr What’s Good Wednesdays: Casey Wall
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants Right Now, According to Melbourne’s Best Chefs and Pros, Every Wednesday.
You’ll know if a Melbourne hit list is worth your time if it has Wall’s Double Patty Smash Burger, Pressed Rib Sandwich, and Wednesday Night Fried Chicken Dinners listed. Now, that list better have his latest venues, Bar Liberty and Drinkwell, on Fitzroy’s Johnston Street.
“We’re a very tongue-in-cheek bar and bistro,” says Wall, nowadays spending more time as Head Chef at Bar Liberty and one of the four hospitality heavyweights behind the new space. Wall hatched the plan for Bar Liberty with his Rockwell & Sons co-owner Manu Potoi (and one of our two hosts for Hood Food Guide: Collingwood), 2015 Sommelier of the Year Banjo Harris Plane, and ex-manager of Attica Michael Bascetta. After spending their fair share of time in fine dining, these boys wanted to open a place where they could let their personalities loose.
Wall’s love for high quality, accessible, comfortable venues that skip the bullshit and trends extends to both his venues, the venues he took you to in his Hood Food Guide episodes and now to his What’s Good Wednesday List.
Discover the Melbourne venues that are the real deal minus the trends and food bloggers – check out Chef Casey Wall’s five best Melbourne restaurants right now in his What’s Good Wednesday List.
1. Abbotsford – MOON DOG BREWERY & BAR (Beer + Pizza)
Perfect For: Day Drinking / Al Fresco / Cheap Eats
WHY: “The pizza van there has the best pizza in Melbourne – the guy who started up Lazer Pig moved on to Moon Dog. It’s like hanging out in someone’s basement bar – op shop furniture and what not. If you took someone on a first date here, you’ll get a good sense if they deserve a second one. Get down and support Josh Olchens and Carl Van Buuren, legends from a long line of European royalty.”
GO-TO DISH: “The ‘Don’t Hide The Salami’ is the one I almost always get, or the ‘Jamon San Diego’. And always beer.”
2. Collingwood – NIGHTHAWKS (Bar)
PERFECT FOR: Group Catch Up / Talking Shop
WHY: “Nighthawks is an awesome Melbourne bar, the vibe reminds me of a local New York bar a lot. It’s not trying to be anything other than exactly what it is, which is super fucking refreshing in this city.”
GO-TO DISH: “Just beer. All I drink is beer.”
3. Richmond – PHO CHU THE (Vietnamese)
PERFECT FOR: Cheap Eats / Getting Cultural / Health Kick / Hangover Cure
WHY: “I probably eat here more than anywhere else. Anytime I can pump salty liquid back into my body after a big night, I’ll take it. It’s the best Pho on Victoria St and in Melbourne for sure. It’s always consistent.”
GO-TO DISH: “Get the Chicken Pho with all the chicken offal in it – heart, liver, breast meat, leg meat and crispy chicken skin.”
4. Melbourne CBD – FLOWER DRUM (Chinese)
PERFECT FOR: Feeling Lux / Fine Dining
WHY: “It’s completely different to every other fine dining restaurant in Melbourne. The service is insane, there’s just nothing like it. A lot of the other fine dining restaurants are all in the same vein of each other and driven by trends whereas Flower Drum is still doing what they’ve been doing for 30 + years and still doing it really, really well.
GO-TO DISH: “Make good friends with Jason so he hooks you up with this gluttonous Rice-stuffed Quail that’s off the menu.
5. North Melbourne – BEATRIX BAKES (Bakery/Cakes)
Perfect For: Brunch / Treat Yo’Self
WHY: “I hit up Beatrix’s ALL the time. The best cakes you can get in Melbourne for sure and pretty inexpensive, too. A lot of people go there just for take away – it’s one of those “everything is good” places so you don’t have to think.”
GO-TO DISH: “They change the sandwiches up every day so I always get one of those. Then I get two pieces of cake, a cookie, and anything else I can fit in my hands. They do this awesome espresso granite – I always get those on warm days.”
That’s Chef Casey Wall of Rockwell and Sons, Bar Liberty, Above Board and Drinkwell, and this is What’s Good!
Access the local venues that Australia’s best chefs and pros dine at. Hit Hood Food Guide up: