Just opposite the MCG on Wellington Parade, The Cliveden Bar & Dining has opened its doors as the latest part of Pullman Melbourne on The Park's $6 million makeover. Steeped in history, the new all-day operation sits at the East Melbourne address made famous in the '80s and '90s by The Cliveden Room — a fine dining icon and one-time haunt of the A-listers of the era, like Barry Humphries and Bert Newton.
Today's iteration has a culinary focus that's equally sophisticated yet thoroughly modern, as executive chef John Ross showcases "a new way to buffet" centred around artisan produce. Within an enormous, 202-seat restaurant space, diners are invited to enjoy five unique buffet menus, running from a European and Mediterranean dinner offering spanning dishes like Spanish chicken pie and confit duck, through to a seafood-heavy Sunday brunch buffet complete with egg station. That's in addition to a lineup of share plates, charcuterie and a soon-to-launch high tea selection.
Meanwhile, the bar situation is an exciting proposition in itself, not least of all for the 116-seat designer lounge area. Headlining the drinks list is a range of buzzworthy signature cocktails like the Bloody Aussie Negroni, which is crafted on Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, Red Økar Amaro from South Australia and Maidenii sweet vermouth. The wine list tips its hat to top Victorian talent from across The Yarra Valley and Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas, backed by a curation of European varietals and a solid selection of craft beer and cider.