As a food-loving Melburnian, how would you respond to the discovery of a local restaurant commandeered by a chef whose CV includes stints at award-winning eateries Matilda, Vue de Monde, New York City’s other-worldly Eleven Madison Park and Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred Number One? To state the obvious, you would most likely be more than a touch interested. Fortunately for you, such is the case for South Yarra’s newest comfortable and elegant neighbourhood bistro and bar. Omnia Bistro and Bar is located at the base of Capitol Grand, a luxurious six-star residential property situated in the heart of the city’s most fashionable suburb at the corner of Toorak Road and Chapel Street. Native Glaswegian chef Stephen Nairn utilises this central location and the energy pervading it to offer a menu which celebrates an array of favourite European dishes, incorporating traditional flavours and techniques. Furthermore, this traditional cuisine is juxtaposed against an impressively innovative and modern interior, culminating in a dining experience that is simultaneously familiar and fresh.

The brainchild of a joint venture between Architects EAT and Curious by Design, Omnia’s physical space is nothing short of impressive. The flood of light which accompanies afternoon and early-evening dining is compliments of the floor-to-ceiling windows lining the Chapel Street-facing façade. Within this bounty of light dance an assortment of hanging greenery and emerald-and-grey-blue tones and a collection of paintings and bronze sculptures by Melbourne artist David Bromley. Continued investigation of the interior will reveal an impressively large and semi-circular marble bar and a dimly lit, cosy barrel room that has been handsomely decorated with lamps, chandeliers, plush leather booths, wooden floorboards, exposed-brick walls and banquette seating. For the more adventurous, Omnia even offers guests the opportunity to saddle up to the open-air kitchen counter so as to absorb all of the excitement and electricity of an afternoon lunch service or an evening dinner service. Choose this seating option and feel your appreciation of the care, attention to detail and passion with which the menu is brought to life, rise and rise and rise. It is a beautiful feeling. With such an array of versatile gathering spaces, Omnia caters for all guests depending on their mood and desired level of involvement. This creates a more personalised connection to the space, thereby increasing the likelihood of a comfortable, relaxed and enjoyable meal.

Speaking of the meals, you may be itching to know of what they specifically consist. Before the specifics are revealed, however, it is worth noting that the menu changes seasonally and makes a concerted effort to support Australian farmers, growers and producers. It is also worth remembering that European flavours and techniques dominate. It is now time for a quick peruse. Dinner entrées may include Tasmanian sea urchin, kohlrabi and fennel pie; Scotch egg, quail egg, tomato relish, pork and fennel; duck liver parfait, Madeira gelée, pear chutney and Parker House rolls; or possibly a broccoli, gruyere and black truffle tart. Once the appetite has been sufficiently ignited, enter the mains. Choosing a main is never easy, but returning for another meal is. If need be, even, close your eyes and point. A whole flounder with beurre noisette, lemon and capers; choucroute garnie, dry-aged pork belly, spicy sausage and sauerkraut; and the dry-aged honey-roasted duck for two dressed with charred navel orange, Tokyo turnip and sauce à l’orange are three of the six mains on offer. Finally, comfort level permitting, treat yourself to a truly indulgent grand finale of liquid-centre cheesecake with grapefruit sorbet.

Rest assured there is a sommelier on hand to help you navigate the 200-bottle wine list featuring both new-world and old-world varieties. With an additional nod to its European roots, Omnia also offers an enticing collection of champagne. If you prefer cocktails to bubbles – or in addition to bubbles – the cocktail menu is imbued with “bespoke botanical-inspired beverages, with flavours ranging from floral notes to earthy tones”. AND, Omnia’s cocktails are lovingly made by no other than the 2018 World Class Global Bartender of the Year, Orlando Marzo. In this respect, alone, this is a one-of-a-kind venue. Interestingly, “omnia” is a Latin word which roughly translates into English as “everything”. Everything, indeed, it has…and, seemingly, a little bit more. 625 Chapel Street is where you want to be.

Omnia, South Yarra

VISIT OMNIA

Omnia, South Yarra

VISIT OMNIA

Omnia, South Yarra

BOOK OMNIA

Omnia, South Yarra

DINE AT OMNIA
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