the insider’s guide to eating/drinking in the yarra valley with kelvin shaw

Ever wondered where those in the biz head to for great eating/drinking? We’re often asked so we headed to our #youngexcellence for the lowdown and the insider’s guide to eating/drinking around the Yarra Valley with chef/owner of Altair Restaurant Kelvin Shaw.

Where do you go for coffee before work/after work/not at work?

If it’s a work day Round Bird Can’t Fly in Lilydale is definitely my favourite coffee stop, it’s a great spot to grab a bite as well. If it’s a day off I don’t mind travelling for coffee and you can’t beat One Origin on Glenferrie Road in Malvern, Alan Chan makes arguably the best coffee in Melbourne, his blends and attention to detail is second to none.

Favourite places for breakfast and brunch?

After a long week I love a lazy late morning breakfast, locally my favourites are Little Drop of Poison in Eltham, a small café with amazing character. The food packs a punch with big flavours and their list of craft beers and natural wine is brilliant. Leaf & Vine in Ringwood, is another local favourite, hidden away but always bustling with people, Pete & Bec have created something very special. If on a brunch road trip I’m forever trying to find an excuse to get to Spotswood and The Duchess of Spotswood Cafe, ‘Pork Jowl, Truffle & Eggs’ need I say more?

Favourite restaurants in your home state for special occasions?

Living just outside of Melbourne I am absolutely spoilt for choice, Amaru in Northcote has become a favourite there approach to using native ingredients is fascinating and flavour combinations are brilliant. IDES in Collingwood is another that offers something totally innovative an amazing culinary adventure, Peter Gunn really provides something special.

Best bars to head to after work and on your days off?

For after work drinks it’s hard to beat Siglo Bar the wine list is amazing and the view from the roof sensational, Siglo has an amazing vibe and is open to late. Other city favourites include Whisky & Alement and Bar Americano both provide high standard drinks and service and unbeatable atmospheres. Go Go Bar is another of Melbourne’s late night watering holes and with food offerings from Chin Chin’s bar menu available it’s hard to resist.

Where do you go for fresh, seasonal produce and market bargains?

I love a trip to Springvale for the fresh produce on offer is always amazing and with such a range of South East Asian ingredients every trip is a learning experience. The Queen Vic Markets is another favourite spot, whether it be meat, seafood, fruit & veg or smallgoods, there is always so much to explore not to forget a quick stop into books for cooks on the way home. Since its new facelift the Warrandyte Riverside Market held the 1st Saturday of the month has some great produce offerings on hand and on the banks of the Yarra River it is hard to pass up.

Where have you had the best interstate dining experiences?

The Sydney dining scene has provided many memorable meals The Bentley Bar & Monopole are personal favourites, Brent Savage has a unique style that continuously leaves you craving your next visit. While in Tasmania, Stillwater in Launceston has such a well-rounded setup amazing food, service and atmosphere, a truly memorable dining experience. And on our many trips to the Barossa we can’t visit without stopping into Appellation at the Louise.

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