02 Nov What’s Good Wednesdays: Jesse Gerner
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants Right Now.
Each Wednesday, Hood Food Guide catches up with our favourite local chefs and pros to find the Melbourne restaurants they’re loving right now.
This week we hit up Jesse Gerner, Executive Chef and part owner of Bomba, Bomba Rooftop, Green Park Dining, Añada, and Casa Mariol to see what he’s filling his fork with lately. With a love for venues offering something different and not trying too hard, along with a penchant for great booze, Jesse’s recommendations consistently hit the mark.
When he’s not bouncing around each venue or sampling the new alcoholic concoctions coming through Casa Mariol, he’s taking his guests to Spain day and night with special one-off menus, partnerships with Melbourne’s Catalan Society and, in all seriousness, hiring teams of taste testers to rifle through his new Spanish menus. He’s just hired a ‘Rooftop Cocktail Taste Tester team of six’. Next? Spring Menu Taste Testing Team and Summer Cocktail Session Team. See if you can beat us in applying here.
When does he even find time to eat out? We don’t care, as long as he tells us where to go. So here it is, Jesse Gerner’s What’s Good Wednesday.
1. MINAMISHIMA – Japanese
Perfect For: Impressing someone
“You’ve got 25 years of sushi skills right in front of you as you eat. You’ve gotta sit at the bar and watch these guys cut fish up, it’s pretty next level. Seeing aged tuna belly that’s a nine score wagyu is crazy. They’ve brought something new to Melbourne.”
2. ONE NOODLE FRIENDSHIP – Chinese
417-419 High St Preston
Perfect For: Being lazy / Sunday detox
“There’s not much to look at the venue hidden in an arcade, but damn it’s awesome. We get it take away and destroy it at home with the kids – great comfort food on a Sunday from super nice people that tastes incredible. Watching them hand make every noodle with a big grin is exactly what I need on a Sunday, especially if I’ve had a couple the night before. No surprise Matt Lane rates it as close to the best Chinese in Melbourne. It doesn’t get fresher than Bill’s produce. ”
122 Russell St Melbourne CBD
Perfect For: Talking shop / business meetings
“If I’m talking shop with someone, I go to Embla. They’ve got a banging wine list you won’t find elsewhere. The food is always great, like the Fermented Chilli with Raw Snapper, which looks like a Carpaccio. They have a wicked wood fired oven with some serious heat – they halve their King Prawns and roast them at really high heat, crisping the shells up. They do prawn crisps basically – delicious. If there’s anything that makes a meeting go better, it’s this place.”
4. DI STASIO – Italian
31 Fitzroy St St Kilda
Perfect For: Dinner with parents, and carb loading.
“For me, it’s a pre-sailing ritual. Di Stasio has amazing service. I don’t think I’ve ever had a lunch there I haven’t liked. They offer beautiful, simple Italian cooking that instantly puts you at ease. I go there with my navigator before we head out to race the boat. It’s a ritual – If we don’t Di Stasio, we don’t win.”
5. CIBI – Japanese
45 Keele St Collingwood
Perfect For: Trying something new / buying foodie gifts.
It’s a combo place. Cibi offers some super unique plates, bowls, knives, homewares that you just can’t get anywhere else. 90% of my mates are in hospo so it’s a no-brainer for gifts. Japanese whisky glasses are the go-to. There’s even stuff for kids like wind-up Japanese robots.There are loads of Japanese bits and pieces, but if I go on the weekend, their Japanese breakfast is unmissable. Traditional one is what I normally get– a little bowl of Pickles, Crispy Salmon, sort of like a smooth Potato Salad, a Sweet Egg Omelette, Rice and Seaweed.
That’s What’s Good!
ICYMI: Watch Jesse’s tours of Northcote’s best eats: