Maker & Monger
This cheesy haven inside Prahran Market is part-shop, part-cafe — and all cheese.
UPDATE Wednesday, June 2: One word: cheese. Maker & Monger is selling the stuff to-go during lockdown, delivering cheese in both 150-gram and 250-gram wedges, along with four of its cult-favourite cheese toasties, which you can finish off at home (so they're extra hot, not soggy). Order delivery over here.
Already the stuff of sweet, cheesy dreams, Prahran's go-to dairy destination Maker & Monger has taken things to the next level. From humble beginnings as a Euro-style artisan food cart, launched by renowned cheesemonger Anthony Femia in 2015, this operation has just moved into a new, bigger, permanent store at the Prahran Market. And it's a deadset cheese wonderland.
Having made a name for its silky Swiss raclette and all-American cheese toasties, Maker & Monger is celebrating its roomier digs with an expanded specialty offering, complete with dine-in menu, a booze list and a monster, seven-metre-long cheese cabinet. The brass- and marble-clad space sits just around the corner from Femia's former site, with a look and feel that's largely inspired by the cheese heartland of the Swiss Alps.
Here, a custom-built maturation room acts like a natural cave, used to house and mature a curation of boutique cheeses from both near and far. You'll spy dreamy dairy creations from across France, Switzerland and England, and exclusive batches from some of Victoria's own micro-dairies — all available to take home cut-to-order, as well as starring throughout the food menu. Meanwhile, fresh iterations of mozzarella, burrata and ricotta are whipped up on-site in collaboration with That's Amore.
The kitchen's celebrating this bespoke cheese selection alongside produce fresh from the adjoining market, with a series of daily menus. Breakfast might mean bites like a labneh-topped bruschetta, or perhaps the new cuban toastie featuring free-range Berkshire pork shoulder, ham off the bone and melted Marcel Petite comté. Come afternoon, it's all about the aperitivo offering, pairing cheesy delights with a range of natural wine, vermouth and, down the track, sake.
If you're looking to expand your cheese knowledge, the store will also host regular masterclasses and wine events, including a monthly Italian feast helmed by Femia's mother Maria.
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