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Now Open: Freyja Is Melbourne's Sophisticated 'New Nordic' Restaurant With Michelin Cred

With two chefs from a Michelin-starred restaurant in its kitchen, this 130-seat diner is fusing traditional techniques with modern Scandi flair.
By Libby Curran
June 10, 2022
By Libby Curran
June 10, 2022

Melburnians have scored a taste of 'new Nordic' cuisine, with the much-anticipated Freyja opening its doors in Collins Street's historic Olderfleet building this week. And, with two chefs from a Michelin-starred Norwegian restaurant in the kitchen, it's a sophisticated taste indeed.

Unfolding across two levels of the heritage-listed site, Freyja is plating up an innovative food offering that fuses traditional Scandinavian sensibilities with contemporary techniques. Bringing it to life is chef Jae Bang from Norway's Michelin-starred Re-naa, (also El Bulli, New York's Daniel), joined by Daniel Gordon (Lee Ho Fook) and fellow Re-naa alum Aaron Caccia.

The fitout of the 130-seater bears similar respect for both the modern and the traditional, with slatted timber ceilings and exposed brick played against eye-catching blue marble, metallic finishes and dramatic artworks by Mathew Gillett. Descend the spiral staircase and you'll discover another subterranean dining space with seats for up to 65 and two semi-private rooms.

Parker Blain

On the menu, traditional practices like pickling, smoking and curing are given a reawakening, heroed alongside native Australian ingredients and a touch of contemporary flair.

Expect creations like school prawns with mustard greens and egg on cayenne smørrebrød; waffles served with Yarra Valley Caviar trout roe in smoked sour cream; and a custard of squid, dashi and oat that's finished with a bacon consommé and Tasmanian truffle.

Beef tartare is spiked with nasturtium, Tasmanian mountain pepper and quandong; and duck breast is matched with finger lime and mostarda (a spiced fruit condiment). And there's a seven-course degustation menu if you really want to dive in deep.

Parker Blain

Freyja's bar offering is making plenty of its own noise, with sommelier Ugo Pasetti (Rockpool Group, Grossi Florentino) heading a global wine program that's heavy on ​​organic and biodynamic drops. Craft beer fans can look forward to sipping Northern European favourites like Omnipollo, Lerving and Amager, and there'll be a rotation of inventive signature sips, too.

Also located in the Olderfleet building, beneath street level, is sibling bar Valhalla — a moody, Nordic-inspired cocktail lounge that's primed for post-dinner nightcaps.

Find Freyja at 477 Collins Street, Melbourne. Initially, it'll open for lunch and dinner, Monday to Friday, with only dinner bookings currently available (5–11pm).

Images: Parker Blain

Published on June 10, 2022 by Libby Curran
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