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Melbourne’s best restaurant openings of 2021



Melbourne's best restaurant openings of 2021

Opening a restaurant is a test in the best of times – and 2021 was not the best time.

The sheer number of outstanding openings this year is testament to the tenacity of the Melbourne hospitality industry. And as restaurants remain under tremendous pressure – now faced with widespread staff shortages – we’re raising a glass to everyone who helps create the magical dining experiences our lockdown-even dreamed of.

We’d like to name the new restaurants that impressed us the most in 2021 – whether it’s showcasing a cuisine we should be more familiar with, cleverly reimagining a cuisine we thought we’d (with the utmost respect for traditions), or simply move on from a time when failure seemed like it could very well be inevitable.

Here are nine of the best to show your support. See you there.

Al Dente Enoteca

Carlton’s new pasta haven opened on Nicholson Street in early 2021, but was unable to serve liquor for months due to liquor license delays. But now it’s all systems, and there’s a lot to love. Most importantly, Al Dente is a success story with a visa holder – and lockdown. It was originally a pasta delivery service founded by Italian-born chef Andrea Vignali when he was fired from his job at the Grossi Florentino institution in Melbourne during lockdown. Now a chic, full-fledged restaurant serving popular key crab ravioli and tortellini with fillings such as cacio e pepe or duck, plus house-made pasta and sauces for take-out. But it’s not all pasta: find beautifully executed scallops that will have you ordering seconds, and a standout torta sabbiosa.


Southeast Asian flavours, native Australian ingredients and old techniques intersect in this highly anticipated new CBD restaurant, by a star chef who knows the formula: Khanh Nguyen, the man behind Sunda. In sultry, shady environments, enjoy playful riffs on classics – such as banh mi, Peking duck and mi goreng. But not in a way that feels gimmicky, thanks to “precision, technique and a clear respect for the source material” as pamphlet editor Chynna Santos put it so perfectly. There’s also an unexpectedly extraordinary duck sausage sanga, for which Nguyen drew inspiration from both Vietnamese nem nuong (grilled pork sausage) and Bunning’s snags.

Chancery Lane

With chic deep green marble, dramatic arched windows and candelabras throughout, Scott Pickett’s latest European Old World elegance brings to a landmark CBD building. It hits you the moment the doors open and your eyes adjust to the dim lighting in the historic Normanby Chambers on Little Collins Street. (Pickett says it was inspired by “those gorgeous bistros in the backstreets of Paris”.) Led by Merricote’s Rob Kabboord, the kitchen turns out to be extravagant charcuterie platters; soft ricotta gnocchi; and luscious grill-for-one and grill-for-two options. Also on the menu: some types of caviar, with buckwheat blini and classic herbs, available by the gram or can.

Di Stasio Pizzeria

This is easily the pizza place of the year and a grand tribute to Carlton’s Italian heritage. And it’s the first foray into pizza for Rinaldo “Ronnie” Di Stasio and Mallory Wall – the prolific couple behind Cafe Di Stasio in St Kilda and the inimitable Di Stasio Citta. There are nine pizzas on the check-off menu, from one classic margherita to another with lobster, lard, fior di latte, and herbs. And the fior di latte soft serve is an indispensable meal replacement. As with Citta, it seamlessly blurs the line between restaurant and art gallery; the green-tinted interior is dotted with works by Reko Rennie and Shaun Gladwell. But wander outside on a gravel path to find a ‘secret garden’ with a 17th-century Italian stone fountain. It may be a completely different restaurant — or a different country — but it’s definitely one of the best new places to have a spritz this summer.

farm daughters

Four years in the making, Farmers Daughters is ex-Pastuso chef Alejandro Saravia’s three-story love letter to Gippsland – smack in the middle of Melbourne in the burgeoning 80 Collins district. Here, the celebrated, locally established Peruvian chef puts his roots aside to showcase his obsession for the products of the Victorian region and the people behind it. On the ground floor is a casual, grab-and-go deli serving pies and home-cooked meats. Next up is the suave restaurant powered by a smoky “campfire kitchen,” with delicately roasted Alpine trout and sugar loaf cabbage. And at the top is a soothing, greenhouse-like oasis on the roof with a “very dirty” Martini.


This is a next level museum restaurant. At the recently reopened Australian Center for the Moving Image (Acmi) in Fed Square, celebrity chef Karen Martini serves an elegantly understated diner that serves up uncomplicated, “brave” dishes throughout the day that have a European feel, but tie in with some of the trendy. is in Melbourne. That means a sandwich, of course – it’s a white bread number with crumbled fish, crunchy iceberg and a layer of tartare, which Martini regularly ate for lunch during the lockdown. (The delectable Filet-o-Fish is one of the best new sandwiches in town.) Other highlights include Noma-edged potato focaccia, red pepper Gilda pintxos, and a spring paccheroni (with peas, ricotta, and mint oil). Go with a group large enough to occupy the sprawling back table.

Mabu Mabu Big Esso

With her cozy Yarraville cafe Mabu Mabu, chef Nornie Bero has been making native food more accessible to Melburnians for years – salt bush, strawberry gum, wattleseed, lemon aspen, pepperberry and other native ingredients through eggs, tacos and fried chicken. But she now has a second, larger platform for her indigenous food advocacy — in Fed Square, on the land of the Wurundjeri people. Bero hails from the island of Mer in the Torres Strait, and her new all-day dining restaurant and bar, Big Esso, is all about the food she grew up with. Expect tamarind pippies, buckets of grilled shrimp and fried crocodile (it’s more similar to fried chicken than you might think) with saltbush and pepperberry. A small shopping area sells products from Mabu Mabu’s indigenous partners, as well as homemade hot sauces, spices, spice mixes and teas to take home.


Perseverance in the face of a fire, pandemic and burnout has finally brought Sydney’s smart, deliberate cooking, Nomad, to Flinders Lane. “It was brutal to say the least,” says Chef Jacqui Challinor. With owners Al and Rebecca Yazbek, she has recreated the heart of Nomad in Melbourne. The menu is still focused on flames. Production remains local. There are half a dozen of the original Sydney’s signature dishes (including the kingfish ceviche with avocado, finger lime and cilantro crackers). But the rest of the menu is devoted to new dishes and hybrid versions of old favorites using Victorian produce, which Challinor is undeniably obsessed with. In the former Ezard space, the refined decor keeps its bones but emphasizes the open kitchen and adjacent charcuterie display (Nomad is known in Sydney for its own charcuterie program).


Turning four years of anticipation into action, Chris Lucas’ Society emerged as the culinary delight we expected. But when it opened in August, we had less than a week to experience it before lockdown 6.0, when chef Martin Benn and partner Vicki Wild announced their departure. Although the team at the top looks a little different, the show goes on. In the lavish dining room, intricate Japanese-inspired dishes are served under crystal-clad chandeliers, or you can settle down at the angular marble bar with a caviar-pretzel martini. And in November Yakimono burned next door. Big, bold and dashing, it’s “Lucas’ take on Tokyo, in Melbourne – with the volume up,” as Sofia Levin wrote. It is inspired by Japan, powered by fire and designed to linger late at night.

Honorable Mentions

After seven years in South Yarra, French brasserie Entrecote has found a new, more mature home. In addition to the signature dishes, there is now a roaming caviar and vodka trolley, a raw seafood bar, supper menu and cocktails from the mastermind behind Romeo Lane. And Borneo-born chef Esca Khoo — who has broken his teeth at some of Australia’s finest restaurants — sees the future of Asian-Australian dining at Miss Mi, where his heritage, upbringing and culinary experiences converge.

Coming soon

Shannon Martinez’s major vegan hub is slated to open in December, which will include a restaurant, deli, grocer and cafeteria-style station (with a vegan carvery). It is the new home of Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli, in a space double their combined size. By a master of plant-based cooking, the scope of this project says a lot about the upward trajectory of vegan eating in Australia.

Additional reporting by Chynna Santos, Stephanie Vigilante, Sofia Levin and Quincy Malesovas.

Want a reminder of the best restaurant openings of 2020? Find our list here. And of course, we’re not all about the new: here are our guides to the best Japanese, Italian and Thai restaurants in Melbourne.


Amazon’s best deals on toys: PAW Patrol, Blue’s Clues, LEGOs, slime kits and more




Amazon's best deals on toys: PAW Patrol, Blue's Clues, LEGOs, slime kits and more

Parents, no pressure, but Christmas is almost two weeks away.

If you’ve forgotten about holiday shopping, don’t panic. Amazon continues its “epic daily deals” promotion this week, and on Wednesday, December 8, the site will be putting a spotlight on kids’ toys. Amazon has discounts on all kinds of creative and fun toys, from educational toys for toddlers to slime making kits. The best part? If you order today, Amazon promises it will arrive before Christmas.

Here are the best deals we’ve found on toys for toddlers to big kids.

toddler toys

Best Amazon deals on kids toys

Melissa & Doug Blue’s Directions & You! Wooden letterbox playset on Amazon. (Amazon)

Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set with Elsa, Belle, Cinderella, Mulan and Playtime Puppy ($89.99, originally $159.99)

Melissa & Doug Blue’s Directions & You! Wooden Letterbox Playset (27 Pieces) ($16.19, originally $26.99)

PAW Patrol Marshall’s Wooden EMT Caddy (14 pieces) ($21.99, originally $37.79)

Blue’s Clues & you! Wooden Tickety Tock Magnetic Clock (31 Pieces) ($13.49, originally $21.49)

Princesses, dolls and dollhouses

Best Amazon deals on kids toys

Disney Frozen 2 Elsa’s Fold and Go Ice Palace on Amazon. (Amazon)

The Memory Building Company Musical Ballerina Jewelry Box for Girls & Little Girls Jewelry Set ($25.49, originally $39.99)

Disney Frozen 2 Elsa’s Fold and Go Ice Palace, castle playset, toys for children from 3 years ($20.49, originally $52.99)

Disney Frozen 2 Frozen Finale Set, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven Dolls with fashion doll clothes and accessories ($36.99, originally $73.99)

Disney Princess Fashion Doll Castle, dollhouse 3.5 feet high with 16 accessories and 6 furniture (exclusive Amazon) ($49.99, originally $104.99)

Disney Princess Rainbow Reveal Ariel, color-changing doll ($10.49, originally $20.99)

Remote controlled cars

Best Amazon deals on kids toys

Transform Robot RC Cars on Amazon. (Amazon)

Mostop Remote Control Crawler High Speed ​​Tank Off-Road 4WD RC Car ($66.30, originally $85.99)

Transform Robot RC Cars ($19.52, originally $39.99)

Hosim 9155 46+ KMH 4WD High Speed ​​RC Monster Trucks ($110.48, originally $129.98)

Cheerwing 1:16 remote control car ($92.99, originally $119.98)

NQD 1:14 Remote Control Big Monster Car ($33.98, originally $39.99)

BEZGAR HS101 Hobby Grade 1:10 Scale Remote Control Truck ($84.99, originally $109.99)

LEGO sets and creative toys

Best Amazon deals on kids toys

LEGO Classic Large Creative Storage Box on Amazon. (Amazon)

LEGO Classic Large Creative Storage Box 10698 Build Your Own Creative Toys, Building Kit for Kids (790 pcs) ($37.99, originally $59.99)

ROKR 3D Wooden Puzzle Clock – 166 Piece Self Assembly Building Model Set ($34.99, originally $49.99)

CENOVE Toddler Toys Gifts For Girls 3 4 5 6 Years Old Flower Gardening Toys ($32.29, originally $49.99)

LEGO Star Wars Shadow Troopers ($30.33, originally $38.99)

Shapemags 100 Piece Set 100 Piece Magnet Building Tiles Magnetic Blocks ($28.55, originally $39.99)

Crystal grow kit for children ($21.19, originally $29.99)

LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase 10713 Building Kit (213 Pieces) ($15.99, originally $19.99)


Best Amazon deals on kids toys

Shemira Shooting Game Toy on Amazon. (Amazon)

Gdaytao outdoor games for kids with 3 tumbler doctor, outdoor toys for kids and adults, outdoor sports ($19.99, originally $39.99)

Shemira shooting game toy ($30.59, originally $35.99)

2 in 1 Foam Blaster Popper Guns Sets Moving Target ($25.99, originally $45.99)

Kids Toy Rocket Launcher – Shoot up to 100 feet ($18.69, originally $29.99)

Jenga Game Wooden Blocks Stacking Tumbling Tower Children’s Play From 6 Years (Exclusive Amazon) ($15.99, originally $19.99)

Twister Ultimate: bigger mat, more colored spots ($12.49, originally $19.99)

slime packs

Best Amazon deals on kids toys

Original Stationery Galaxy Slime Making Kit with Glow in The Dark Stars on Amazon. (Amazon)

Original Stationery Galaxy Slime Making Kit with Glow in The Dark Stars to Make Glitter Galactic Slime ($19.50, originally $30.15)

Glow in Dark Glitter Slime Making Kit ($24.94, originally $29.95)

Unicorn Slime Kit ($22.99, originally $38.99)

Elmer’s Collection Slime Kit Supplies Includes Glow In The Dark Magical Liquid Slime Activator ($12.47, originally $16.99)

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Weather folklore: Do major weather events happen in 7-year cycles?




Weather folklore: Do major weather events happen in 7-year cycles?

SAVANNAH, Georgia (WSAV) — The weather is cyclonic: churning areas with high and low pressure systems bringing tropical cyclones, tornadoes, thunderstorms, coastal flooding, ice and snow storms, and even extreme heat around the world.

Weather patterns change. We see this every day, but usually longer, decadal changes are caused by ocean and atmospheric interactions. One of the more famous cycles is called ENSO (aka El Niño-Southern Oscillation).

There are two phases of ENSO: El Niño, the warm phase, or La Niña, the cold phase. We talk about this cycle during hurricane season with how El Niños or La Niñas can affect tropical systems.

South Carolina Emergency Officials held a press conference last week about preparing for the winter weather. They said that while severe winter weather is rare here, it masquerades as the ice storm of 2014. This 7 year old example reminded me of weather folklore – weather comes in 7 year cycles.

ENSO events take place in the Pacific every 3-7 years, with El Niño or La Niña lasting up to 1 year. This is where the folklore of the 7-year cycle comes from. Every event brings with it a change in weather patterns.

El Niño vs La Niña

Normally in the Pacific, trade winds along the equator blow from east to west, bringing warm water to Asia with cold water upwelling to replace the missing warm water off South America. El Niño and La Niña patterns try to change this normality and eventually change global weather patterns.

As an El Niño develops, the trade winds weaken. This allows warm water to be returned to the east instead. In a La Niña pattern, stronger-than-normal easterly trade winds are able to push even more warm water into Asia. This leads to a stronger upwelling of colder, deeper ocean water being brought to the surface.

Warm water near the equator affects not only where the jet stream sits, but also the weather patterns it propels. During an El Niño, warm water causes the Jet Stream to move further south, making the southeast wetter and cooler than usual.

During a La Niña pattern, cold water pushes the Jet Stream further north, making the south warmer and drier than usual. It could trigger a more severe hurricane season.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, La Niña conditions are currently developing in the Pacific Ocean.

7-year weather cycles: 2021-2008

Now let’s test whether the myth of the 7-year cycle is true. I looked back from 2021-2008 to see if there would be correlations for winter storms, extreme heat, coastal flooding and severe weather over a 3-7 year period and then compared it to a possible El Niño and La Niña pattern at the time.

From 2008 to 2021, there have been only 2 instances of a 7-year weather pattern. Around July 4 earlier this year, we were dealing with Tropical Storm Elsa. 7 years earlier, in 2014, we were tracking Hurricane Arthur around the same time. The other example was the winter storms of 2018 and 2011, both of which occurred in early January.

Most recurring events occur every 3-4 years, with the exception of severe spring storms that happen in April almost every year.

Winter Storm January 3, 2018 La Nina
Winter Storm February 11-13, 2014 Neutral
Winter Storm January 28-29, 2014 Neutral
Winter Storm January 10, 2011 Major La Nina
Winter Storm February 12-13, 2010 El Nino
Extreme heat 25-31 May 2019 Neutral
Extreme heat August 2016 Neutral
Extreme heat July – August 2010 Early La Nina
Floods on the coast Nov 3-11 2021 Early La Nina
Floods on the coast December 22-24, 2019 Neutral
Floods on the coast November 28, 2018 Early El Nino
Floods on the coast Sep 25 – Oct 7, 2015 Reinforcement of El Niño
Severe Wx / Heavy Rain April 23, 2020 Neutral
Severe Wx / Heavy Rain April 19, 2020 Neutral
Severe Wx / Tornadoes April 13, 2020 Neutral
Heavy rain June 10-12, 2019 Neutral
Serious Wx April 19, 2019 El Nino
severe thunderstorms Apr 3, 2017 Neutral
severe thunderstorms June 17, 2016 Neutral
severe thunderstorms April 25, 2015 Early El Nino
severe thunderstorms Apr 19, 2015 Early El Nino

El Niño and La Niña cycles create larger-scale weather patterns. It does have some impact on our day-to-day weather, but we see more of their impact in colder or warmer temperatures and wetter or drier patterns over a longer period of time.

Hurricane-season storms thrive when we’re below a La Niña, as this pattern leads to weaker wind shear and less atmospheric stability. The record-breaking 2020 hurricane season started under neutral conditions, but as we saw last year, storms increased rapidly as conditions in La Niña strengthened towards the end of the season.

While swirling areas of high and low pressure cause different weather patterns in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry, the weather is still unpredictable weeks to years in advance. With winter storms happening here every 3-4 years with a La Niña setup under a La Niña, does that mean we’ll be getting one soon? I think we just have to wait.

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AND vs TT Live Score Dream11 Prediction Lineup EuroCup 2021-22 MoraBanc Andorra vs Turk Telekom




AND vs TT Live Score

Another great battle is coming up to keep everyone entertained. The battle between MoraBanc Andorra (AND) and Turk Telekom (TT) will deliver some brilliant moments that will amaze everyone in the world. So EuroCup 2021-22 is already entertaining everyone by introducing some great fights between great teams.

AND vs TT Live Score

There are several teams that play with full courage and try their best in every match to get the title of the league. Here we provide AND vs TT Dream11 prediction that helps every fan to get some important details of both teams and all players in both teams.

AND vs TT match details

  • Match: MoraBanc Andorra (AND) vs Turk Telekom (TT), EuroCup 2021-22
  • Location: Poliesportiu DAndorra
  • Date and time: Thursday, December 9, 2021, 12:30 PM IST

Speaking of the teams’ performance, MoraBanc Andorra (AND) is in 5th position on the points table. In the league, the team plays all the matches very well and shows that they are perfect to win all the matches they will play in the same league. Let’s also tell you that they played 5 matches in which they got 3 wins and 2 defeats.

On this side, Turk Telekom (TT) is a very good competitor for AND in the ensuing match. All the players of the team are ready to face the toughest battle against all competitors in the tournament. The team played a total of 5 matches in which they took 3 wins and 2 defeats.

It will actually be very interesting to see what will happen in the upcoming match. Both teams are great to play against and take out to improve their stats in the league.

AND vs TT Probable Lineups

MoraBanc Andorra Possible play 8: Clevin Hannah, Codi Miller-Mcintyre, Drew Crawford, Oriol Pauli, David Jelinek, Babatunde Olumuyiwa, Conor Morgan and Victor Arteaga.

Turk Telekom May Play 8: Alex Perez, Aaron Harrison, Anthony Clemmons, Aubrey Dawkins, Dorukhan Engindeniz, Samet Geyik, Octavius ​​Ellis and Jajuan Johnson/Melih Dogan.

When we talk about the teams’ chances of winning, MoraBanc Andorra (AND) has more chances to get a very big win by playing the Turk Telekom (TT) match. The ensuing match will be truly amazing for all fans to watch as both teams try their best to hold onto the trophy by beating the competitor. Here we will update AND vs TT Live Scores that help everyone to know more about the live results during the match

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