New Gastropubs Open in Melbourne

High-end pub grub is all the rage in Australia, it would seem. Foodies will want to visit The Merrywell when it opens at the Crown Melbourne next month. With the kitchen led by Scottish-born Grant MacPherson and American Sam DeMarco, the menu is a mix of Brit-grub favorites like "piggies in a blanket," seafood shepherd’s pie and scotch eggs with American "dude food" such as wood-fired Jack Daniel’s pork chops, cool burgers and Sammy D’s chicken lollipops.

Overlooking Melbourne’s Yarra River, guests can choose from a modern day burger bar downstairs and the “Top of The Merrywell” restaurant upstairs, complete with an outdoor heated terrace.

Over at the Crown Metropol, Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar is the new showcase restaurant. Formerly maze by Gordon Ramsay, the renovated venue has rustic tones and relaxed communal table setup. The menu, too, is less formal than its predecessor’s: Executive Chef John Lawson creates "fresh, innovative" reworkings of classic British comfort fare. (Think roasted scallops served on wild rice and spice or Gippsland duck breast teamed with cherries and foie gras.) Bon apetit, mate!

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