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A Dive Bar, Cafe and French Japanese Restaurant Have Opened Inside the Crowne Plaza

You'll find coffee at Pow Wow, gruyère ramen at Yugo and Froot Loop cocktails and mac 'n' cheese toasties at Dive Bar.
By Libby Curran
March 03, 2020
By Libby Curran
March 03, 2020

The newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Melbourne is keen to remind you that the days of boring lobby bars and hotel restaurants are long gone. So much so that it's just unveiled not one, but three sparkling new venues. The Spencer Street site's now home to Japanese French restaurant Yugo, lunch and coffee joint Pow Wow, and the aptly named Dive Bar, all helmed by Creative Director Matthew Butcher, who's worked alongside industry stars like Gordon Ramsay and Shannon Bennett.

Sporting an edgy fit-out of teal blue, black and white stripes, and brass accents designed by LA designer Amy Kim, Yugo has plenty of swagger. At the restaurant's heart, a private dining room sits in a glass box, its see-through walls able to be instantly frosted for privacy.

From the open kitchen come dishes staring flavours and techniques from both Japan and France, like the beef tartare with pickled daikon, chicken live pâté with umeboshi, a French onion ramen starring gruyère cheese, and a vegan tonkotsu. For dessert, expect the likes of yuzu curd, matcha ice cream and sourdough crumpets with honey and sansho pepper.

Pow Wow works as both a cafe and co-working space, sporting a bright, Cali-inspired look and plenty of pastel colours. Here, you might team some laptop time with bites like an omelette wrap or bacon and egg roll, or lunch on the likes of a quinoa salad bowl or spiced pork cuban sambo. There are on-the-go food packs for breakfast and lunch, too, and a drinks list that runs from coffee and kombucha to a rosé from Geelong winemakers Anti-Heroes.

And booze-focused sibling Dive Bar is the cool kid of the bunch, its moody interiors laced with hot pink and neon, and a jukebox sits in one corner. The bar is slinging boutique brews, Japanese whiskies and lavish cocktails like the Breakfast of Champions — a blend of vodka, banana, blueberry, Froot Loops and coconut milk. Bar snacks might see you downing a fried chicken sub with ranch dressing, a Japanese hot dog with bonito, a mac 'n' cheese toastie or some kewpie-matched waffle fries.

Find Yugo, Pow Wow and Dive Bar on Level 2, 1-5 Spencer Street, Melbourne.

Published on March 03, 2020 by Libby Curran


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