“Leave all preconceived ideas at the door”

Complicated? No. Average? Hardly. Simple, yet refined? Absolutely! This description applies to Prahran’s latest and greatest wine bar offering, the 35-seat Bar Bianco. The creation of the shared aspirations of Owner Glen Bagnara, formerly of East Melbourne’s Hemingway’s Wine Bar, General Manager Philippe Perrey, of Pantalino Bar fame, and Executive Chef Marvin Tan, this warm and cosy spot invites you to enjoy a simultaneously sophisticated, unpretentious and relaxed wining and dining experience.  The beautiful and organically curvaceous bright-white Art Deco building in which Bar Bianco is housed, provided the inspiration for the wine bar’s name, as the word “bianco” in Italian means “white”. Comprising a portion of Hawksburn Village’s immaculate Hawksburn Place Residences, the modestly sized interior boasts mosaic marble floors, dark-stained timber joinery and forest-green leather accents. A particularly innovative touch – and reminiscent of your favourite spy thriller – is the wall of wine that doubles as a secret door, granting access to the adjoining apartment building. Design elements aside, Bar Bianco is a vehicle through which the lead staff serves what they, themselves, love to eat and drink. There is somewhat of a catch, however. Before entering, customers are urged to “leave all preconceived ideas at the door”, as Bar Bianco’s aim is to both surprise and delight.

Chef Tan’s menu can be characterised as concise, ever changing and evolving, one that celebrates the ultimate in seasonal and local ingredients. It consists primarily of small-to-medium-sized plates that are designed to share and to be wine friendly. If your food-and-wine-pairing skills are a bit rusty or are altogether non-existent, do not fret. A sommelier is available to offer expert advice and guidance. So, precisely what culinary treasures can you expect to find that will undoubtedly tantalise and overwhelm your five senses? Well, as of Wednesday, 7 April, 2021, you can indulge in Coffin Bay and/or Sydney Rock oysters served with mignonette, a carrot “steak” made of heirloom carrots and accompanied by capers and jus, bone marrow dressed with oyster, chimichurri and baguette and ox tongue prepared with pear, shiso and a shallot glaze. Perhaps you fancy a Fremantle octopus dish, complete with a smear of black romesco, nori and Yarra Valley caviar. This is a particularly interesting dish, as many will be unfamiliar with black romesco. Traditionally red in colour, Bar Bianco’s version is achieved via a perfectly balanced squirt of squid ink. Remember, prepare to be surprised. Most of the savoury elements of the menu revolve around the hibachi, or Japanese charcoal grill. As such, these elements contain a tinge of charcoal-grilled goodness in every bite. A cheeseboard coupled with a chocolate crèmeux (blueberry tapioca, Geraldton wax and Nasturtium) – the sweet tooths have not been forgotten – provide the perfect and satisfactory finale to your shared dining experience. As well, you may be delighted to know that Chef Tan, upon delivery, approaches your table to explain each dish in detail – a truly memorable touch!

Bar Bianco

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Bar Bianco

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Bar Bianco

Eat at Bar Bianco

The Bar Bianco wine list was written by Bagnano and Perrey and contains a combination of both Australian and international producers, with an emphasis on classically styled wines and a particularly strong nod to Italian varietals. Some of the wineries on offer include the Mornington Peninsula’s Scorpo, the Yarra Valley’s Toolangi and South Australia’s Longview. Unlike most, if not all, dining establishments you may have visited prior, Bar Bianco is proud to showcase an extensive list of Italian amari, or herbal digestifs, the perfect punctuation to a perfectly moreish meal. If cocktails get your pulse to racing, mixologist Alex Roe has personally curated a drinks menu that includes such standouts as The Lucky Luciano, named after the Italian-American gangster, and the Carsaro, a mouth-watering combination of Diplomatico Reserva rum, Amaro Nonino, Maidenii dry vermouth, lime juice and Demerara sugar syrup. Thirsty yet? Serving as the conduit between your table and the kitchen and bar, is a professional, committed, knowledgeable, attentive and welcoming staff. It suffices to say that all of the boxes have been confidently ticked. Make your way to 508 Malvern Road, Prahran, and treat yourself.  

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