Not to be surpassed by Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast or Adelaide as the best locations for Father's Day, Melbourne dishes up even more interesting places and activities to make dad feel special. Here are more ways I found to spoil dad on Father's Day in Melbourne.
Start Father's Day off with a culinary history of Victoria to tickle dad's tastebuds and give him a sense of the simple joys of eating and drinking. Gusto! presented by the State Library of Victoria and curated by Tracey Judd Iva features gastronomic treasures from the first Australian cookbook published in 1864, to an actual World War I army biscuit.
This free exhibition located in the Keith Murdoch Gallery will answer dad's questions on the early days of agriculture, indigenous food and the impact of immigration on cultural food diversity. He will also learn about the celebrity chefs, cookbook authors and reality TV cooking shows that have popularised cooking and dining. Today Victoria's rich culinary heritage provides an extraordinary range of food choices. The question that now remains is where to feed dad.
Short of a trip to Tokyo, the traditional taste of Japan can be found in Wabi Sabi Garden. Dad can enjoy authentic and fusion Japanese cuisine, homemade by an all-Japanese team of chefs who use the best fresh fish daily from the markets. The interiors reflecting furnishing of the Showa Era, a mini Zen garden, a massive lantern-filled tree and an old-fashion fireplace add to the Japanese experience.
This 2010 Victoria's Best Japanese Restaurant Award winner led by Head Chef Atsushi Kawakami is well known for its 500 days grain fed thinly sliced Wagyu wrap, One bite Lobster, Oyster Tempura and Black Cod. For a truly Japanese-style Father's Day, manager Saori Kawasaki informed me that he has prepared 2 Izakaya courses at AUD60 for 7 share plates without desert and AUD70 including dessert. Bookings are essential. 17 Wellington Street, St. Kilda, VIC 3182 Bookings phone (03) 9529 8505
Gelato galore at Trampoline / Images courtesy of Trampoline
Instead of the conventional Father's Day cake, Trampoline offers the sweet, tasty, fun and lickable option with flavours that jump out at dad and family. 100% Aussie made, owned and multi-award winning, all Trampoline Gelato is made fresh onsite daily, using only the best all natural real ingredients, including farm-fresh milk from their local Gippsland farmers, smooth Callebaut couverture chocolate, crunchy Sicilian pistachios and Bourbon Madagascan vanilla beans. Unlike conventional ice cream which contains 10% to 18% fat, Trampoline gelato is healthier for dad, containing only 6% fat and less air, leaving more room for all the good stuff, like fresh fruit and nuts.
The bestselling flavours according to Katie Malempre, the Marketing Communications Manager are Chocolate in all its varieties (Classic Chocolate, Choc Therapy, Choc Crackle, Choc Nougat, White Choc and Raspberry etc), Hazelnut Roche, Spotty Dog, Mango Sorbet and Vanilla Bean.
For Father's Day, Trampoline is offering all dads a free 3-flavour Midi Cup with every Midi Cup purchased. This offer is only valid on Father's Day only and is limited to one per dad or grandad. Midi Cups are priced from AUD6.30 but may vary slightly from store to store. If you can't get dad to leave the house, there's still the option of Trampoline's After Dinner Tins filled with 1.6L of up to any four flavours or Mini Choc Dippers of bite sized balls of gelato stuck on a mini cone, dipped in couverture chocolate and decorated to look all fancy. Trampoline Gelato has 10 stores in Melbourne so check online for your nearest store to enjoy a lickable Father's Day.
You can't go too wrong bringing beer, meat and dad together on Father's Day, especially in a heritage building. Part of Melbourne's old docking and shipping precinct, Woolshed Pub @ Central Pier is a slice of the Dockland's redevelopment. Heralding its previous incarnation as a wool storage facility, Woolshed Pub's expansive open spaces and lofty ceilings are the perfect bones for a beautiful dining and entertainment venue that helps you transport dad back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Incorporating original features including the carefully restored ceiling beams and fixtures combined with advanced contemporary design, dad and family can enjoy a unique part of Melbourne's history.
Woolshed Pub @ Central Pier / Image courtesy of Atlantic Group
Chef Catherine Kalka puts a contemporary and family-friendly spin on the warm and inviting traditional pub fare by offering a widespread selection of fresh fish dishes, in-house dry aged-meat, seasonal and homemade desserts in the bistro from lunch till late seven days a week. General Manager Duncan Laidlaw recommends The Salt and Pepper Duck with a glass of Pinot. This Father's Day, the good folks at Woolshed Pub @ Central Pier will offer all dads a bottle of James Squire Jack of Spades Porter and a special gift to go with their meals.
Start Father's Day with a stroll down Southbank and head into the Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market. Over 80 local artisans fill the Arts Centre Lawn to showcase a variety of unique, handmade goods ranging from arts and crafts to freshly made delicacies.
Arts Centre Melbourne Sunday Market / Image by Melork of Flickr
Expect to find Arslan Food's Turkish gozleme, Indian spices from No Worries Curries, Lois Watson's hand painted tea towels and tote bags, eucalypt art by Gillian Sandrasegar, handmade boiled wool hates and slippers from Bonkers by Bettye, leather hats and bags from Pon's Leather Crafts, Vince Story's Australian fauna and flora inspired jewellery, irresistible cupcakes from Sophisticakes of Melbourne, Cat & Dog Design's ceramic cat and dog bowls, original ink and watercolour studies of Melbourne by Victorian Drawings and many more. This regional craft market set against the backdrop of Melbourne's buzzing arts precinct will help dad and family enjoy time together before heading off for a Father's Day meal in one of the nearby restaurants.
Located in Crown's popular riverside restaurant precinct nested on the banks of the Yarra, The Atlantic offers a true ocean to plate experience that promises to satisfy dad's seafood cravings. With seafood sourced from Australia's very best producers, The Atlantic offers a series of menus designed to excite dad's senses.
Mark Davie of The Atlantic Group explained that each day Executive Chef Donovan Cooke and his team select the best wild and sustainable fish, unique oyster varieties and pristine shellfish to offer a seafood harvest reflected in their a la carte range and Chef's signature degustation menu. As well as a broad range of seafood, the restaurant also offers a small selection of export quality steak, dry aged and grain fed, as well as rare breed pork and free range and organic poultry.
The Atlantic, inspired by the famous New York meat packing district and the hustle and bustle of the fish markets of years gone by, in New York and Chicago also features a sophisticated and quirky bar hidden in the basement of the restaurant. The Den's expansive bar, boasting selections from the finest distillers from around the world offers dad hand-picked rare whiskies, vodkas and cocktails that will help make Father's Day an occasion truly worth toasting. Reservations are essential.
Why? Dads may be a tough lot to buy gifts for but Melbourne dishes up even more interesting places and activities to make dad feel special. Here are more ways I found to spoil dad on Father’s Day in Melbourne.