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The Top 5 BYO Restaurants in Melbourne

Get set to bring that favourite bottle out of the cellar as we present the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.


Ask any Melburnian with an Italian leaning where they would take an aged Barolo, and it’s always Scopri. $15 per bottle corkage will get you glassware and a smooth Italian waiter.

Recommended Wine: What grows together, goes together. Think Italians reds like Barolo or Montepulciano and VermentinoFiano and Pinot Grigio for whites.

Corkage: $15 per bottle

191 Nicholson St, Carlton

Visit the Scopri website


Inexpensive and delicious with corkage at just $2 per head so you can focus on the delicious Malaysian fare – don’t forget the Roti bread.

Recommended Wine: Reds with medium tannins like GSM or Merlot are a good choice for spicy cuisine. So too are light and aromatic whites such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Corkage: $2 per person

366 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Visit the Mamak website


You want pizza in Prahran or fettucine in Fitzroy? You got it. On Mondays, you can bring your own and enjoy a slice of the action with the $5 corkage going to two amazing local charities.

Recommended Wine: Bring along a good Italian red variety like a Montepulciano or Nebbiolo. For whites, think VermentinoPinot Grigio or Fiano.

Corkage: $5 every Monday with all proceeds going to Vinnies Vannies and the Prahran Mission. BYO also available at $15 per bottle Tuesday to Sunday at the Fitzroy Ladro.

Ladro @ 224 Gertrude St, Fitzroy and Ladro TAP @ 162 Greville St, Prahran

Find out more about the Ladro charity BYO


Some call this the best Asian BYO in the city and it already has a three glass rated wine list, but for $15, you can pair dumplings with your own Riesling.

Recommended Wine: Gewürztraminer is a great choice as it is similar to Riesling, but has more rose petal and lychee flavours that match well with Ken Yuen’s modern Chinese cuisine. For red wine, we recommend a medium-bodied Pinot Noir from the Yarra or Mornington or a subtle Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Corkage: $15 per bottle

95 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

Visit the VicAsia website


The original and best, for over 30 years, Jean-Paul Prunetti’s bistro has been a leading light in Melbourne’s restaurant scene. Marry your best French bottles to some of the classiest French food in the city.

Recommended Wine: Bring along your favourite french import, or your best ChardonnayCab Sav or Pinot Noir.

Corkage: $15 every day except Saturdays

11-13 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

Visit the France-Soir website:

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My Market Kitchen
ABOUT My Market Kitchen is a cooking show that serves up the freshest modern Australian cuisine from market ingredients featuring Masterchef greats Elena Duggan & Khanh Ong! MY MARKET KITCHEN - MEET THE CHEFS ELENA DUGGAN Having grown up in Noosa, Queensland, Elena loves being on, near or in the water. With her family running a scuba diving business when she was young, there were plenty of good times and holidays spent on the water and, of course, an abundance of seafood, which she loves to both cook and eat. In 2016, Elena took home the title of Masterchef winner for 2016. Many happy childhood memories for Elena revolve around food. From cooking with her beloved nan as early as two, she was preparing entire meals by the age of eight. Blessed with artistic talent, cooking and art go hand-in-hand for Elena and she uses both to express her creativity. Having applied for MasterChef Australia season seven, it was a blessing in disguise that she did not make it through as she since met fiance Eric, a builder, with the pair now happily living together in Sydney. That decision led her to take the title of Masterchef winner for 2016. Drawing in influence from chefs including Jock Zonfrillo, Kylie Kwong, Maggie Beer, Callum Hann, Jamie Oliver, Marco Pierre White as well as food photographer David Loftus, Elena would love to own a farm café, partnering with young people and the wider community. KHANH ONG Khanh’s passion for aromatic Asian flavours has transported Australian families into the bustling marketplaces of his native Vietnam. With his infectious smile, down-to-earth nature, cheeky sense of humour and captivating story he quickly became a household name and a MasterChef Australia season 10 fan favourite. Khanh’s journey has strongly appealed to the MasterChef audience because it is both genuine and fun. He was born in an Indonesian refugee camp to Vietnamese parents and grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Khanh’s story offers hope and inspiration to the millions of Australians who can relate to his journey and his success. Having cooked for international culinary superstars Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and even Prince Charles on MasterChef Australia, Khanh is a natural in front of the camera and at ease speaking and cooking for an audience. Family and heritage has always been a major part of his core values, with a thirst for knowledge and high curiosity about different cultures and cuisines, wanderlust has hit Khanh hard. An energetic, adrenaline junkie with a positive “let’s give it a go” mindset, a truckload of ambition and a warm inviting personality, Khanh is now back on our screens as cohost of My Market Kitchen. WINE SELECTORS - MEET OUR WINE EXPERTS ADAM WALLS For 10 years, Adam served wine and developed wine lists in restaurants and hotels in both Australia and the UK, solidifying his love of all things vinous and planting the seed for further wine exploration. After returning to Australia from the UK, he worked for Tower Estate in the Hunter Valley before joining Wine Selectors in 2010. Adam has completed wine based training in both Europe and Australia and holds a WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits. He was awarded the Fellowship at the 2015 Australian Alternative Varieties wine show and is an active associate judge at wines show around the country. If Adam was a wine he would be a Barossa Shiraz! Unmistakably Aussie, he is big and generous and undeniably popular! BELINDA TAYLOR Starting in hospitality from a young age, Bel quickly developed a love for all things wine! Bel loves everything about wine – tasting, educating her team and customers about new wines as well as growing her own knowledge. Bel is currently studying her WSET3 in Wine to take her know-how to the next level. As manager of the NSW team, you will find Bel at one of Wine Selectors’ Sydney Cellar Doors or as a resident wine expert on Channel 10’s The Cooks Pantry with Matt Sinclair and My Market Kitchen. If Bel was a wine she would be a bubbly! She makes every occasion fun and it doesn’t matter what time of the day or night it is – she is always full of effervescence! RECIPES Check out My Market Kitchen recipes in our dedicated Food section or click on the following recipe links: Duck with orange and fennel salad Cheeseburger spring rolls Parmesan soup Roast chook with figs Baked brie with rosemary and figs Barbecued Mediterranean lamb and veggies Baked salmon nicoise Seafood paella Salmon and coconut ceviche barbecued bone-in rib eye with chimichurri and herbed potato ‘chips’ Olive and ricotta puffs Controversial pizza Orange and fennel BBQ prawns Strawberries five ways Middle Eastern spiced lamb san choy bau Charred asparagus with anchovy crumb THIS WEEK ON MY MARKET KITCHEN... Join Wine Selectors and My Market Kitchen at 3.30pm weekdays on Channel 10. Watch the video below for a sneak peek of Tuesday's yummy episode!
Meet Penny Grant, Group Sommelier of Blackbird Bar & Grill
From stomping grapes as a child in the vineyards of country Victoria to her sommelier experiences with some of Australia’s most notable restaurants (Circa, Taxi, Maze, Stokehouse) Penny Grant’s passion for and knowledge of wine is already the stuff of industry legend – especially following her successes with Brisbane’s Blackbird Bar & Grill. Penny took some time from her schedule to talk with Wine Selectors about the importance of mentors and a few of her favourite things. Your career began at 16! What made you so passionate about joining the industry?  My parents have always been heavily wine focussed. My mum was managing restaurants and bottle shops when I was in high school. After school, my sister and I would dust bottles and help her stock fridges. She is now State Manager for Mezzanine Wine. We have always been surrounded by great wine and we were very fortunate that mum and dad would always share. You’ve worked at some fantastic establishments with some very distinguished restaurateurs and featured in many notable publications. What are your most memorable career highlights so far? Blackbird was my first wine list and it was scary, launching this venue took a lot out of us. Just getting it off the ground was a huge achievement, and wining Sommelier of the year for the Good Food Guide in the same year was the icing on an already full on but exciting year. Blackbird has continued to achieve great awards to this day and I know it will just continue to grow under the watchful guidance of Marcel and his team. How did having mentors shape your career? The relationships you build with people who are generous with their knowledge and time sets the standard for how we then train others. I owe my career to the people who trained me, and continue to do so in other ways now. Whether it be Chris Crawford who has played a big role in my wine show judging development and my first junior sommelier role, or Lincoln Riley who remains my rock for guidance and friendship. The importance of finding these people in your career will pay dividends for life. What achievements are you most proud of? My daughter Alba. Also Blackbird being nominated in the Top 3 wine lists in Australia for Gourmet Traveller Wine list of year 2018. What advice would you give to other women in the wine industry? Surround yourself with the right people. Don’t waste energy on the things you cannot control, spend your time on being the most prepared in the room instead. Knowledge is power. What’s the best part about being a sommelier and working at Blackbird Bar & Grill? My floor days are over I'm sad to say, but the best thing about being in my role as group sommelier is the training and education time I get to spend with our sommeliers. Marcel Thomson our head sommelier and his team continue to evolve the wine list and keep Blackbird on its successful path. What sets Blackbird apart from other fine dining establishments you’ve worked at? We can pretty much accommodate any kind of experience you want here. Steak from our Infierno 96 ironbark fired wood grill, fresh seafood on ice, slow cooked lamb shoulders, whole fish, truffles, caviar, burgers, fresh pasta, Cristal at 2am in our bar that's open until 5am, events for 500 people downstairs, 3 private dining rooms, wine list with over 500 bins, and our biggest asset our incredibly talented staff. How do you decide which wines to include on Blackbird’s extensive wine list? We follow the simple philosophy that each and every wine has to be a great example of variety, vintage and region. Most importantly there has to be a guest in mind, food to match and a balance of price across the list. We focus on what our guests enjoy and ensure there are ample options. If you had to pick a favourite wine on the list, which one would it be and why? 2018 Hughes & Hughes Barrel Ferment Riesling from the Coal River Valley in Tasmania. I’d have to say it’s my go to bottle to take home, not expensive and doesn’t have to be. Riesling with substance, texture, great acid and most importantly an abundance of flavour. Tassie Riesling is epic! What’s your favourite wine varietal and wine? Riesling probably and it’s a bit cliché from a sommelier but you can never have enough. 2017 Joh Jos Prum Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett Riesling - Mosel, Germany. Also, tough question, how can we choose a favourite…? What’s your ultimate wine and food match? I generally say fried chicken and white burgundy. What is your favourite… Blackbird menu item: Brisbane Valley Quail, roasted breast + confit leg w chestnut puree, pine mushrooms + quince. White wine: 2016 Mount Mary Chardonnay - Yarra Valley, VIC Red wine: 2012 San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo Sangiovese - Tuscany, Italy Sparkling Wine: 2011 Meadowbank Blanc de Blancs - Derwent Valley, TAS Australian holiday destination: Booloumba Creek National Park, Sunshine Coast QLD. Amazing rainforest for camping, crystal clear water.

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The Top 5 BYO Restaurants in Perth
Words by Ben Hallinan on 9 Oct 2017
Here are the best BYO restaurants in Perth and the wines you should take along with you. Looking for the perfect restaurant to take your favourite wine to in Perth? To find out where you should enjoy your favourite drops, we asked a local Perth foodie and wine blogger, two of our favourite West Australian winemakers and Dave Mavor from the Wine Selectors Tasting Panel . Viet Hoa Could this be the best Vietnamese in Perth? Recommended by Ryan Gibbs, owner and viticulturist at Aylesbury Estate “Viet Hoa is one of those Perth icons that never disappoints. Pairing tasty, traditional Vietnamese with fast and friendly service is perfect for a casual dinner with a nice glass of Geographe wine . The Pho is great, as is the shaking beef salad, which is loaded with fresh herbs and lemongrass making it great with a crisp and citrussy Aylesbury Sauvignon Blanc .” Corkage: free Unit 1, 349 William St, Northbridge Visit the Viet Hoa website Dough Pizza
Inspired by the pizzerias in Naples, this Italian pizza shop in Northbridge serves up traditional wood fired pizza. Recommended by Casey, wine blogger at The Traveling Corkscrew “It's no surprise pizza is the specialty at Dough. I always like to take a nice bottle of Prosecco with me, as the refreshing crispness of the bubbles complement the thin, crispy wood-fired bases and the stringy mozzarella on the pizzas perfectly. If you are more of a fan of red, then a wine made from Sangiovese or Nero d’Avola would be a great choice. My philosophy when it comes to international cuisine and wine matching is to stick with their local wines (if possible), or wines made from grape varieties that originate from their shores to ensure a tasty match.” Corkage: $6.50 per bottle  434A William St, Perth 6000 Visit the Dough Pizza website Uncle Billy’s This Perth institution has served tasty Chinese until the early hours for many years and is the perfect place to bring along a crisp Western Australian Riesling . Recommended by Dave Mavor, Wine Selectors Tasting Panelist and Wine Show Judge “Whenever the Wine Selectors team is in town to run masterclasses at the Good Food & Wine Show , or to explore the many world class wine regions of WA, we always end up at Uncle Billy’s for late (sometimes very late) night Chinese. Often we have a few winemakers with us, who have brought their favourite Margaret River Chardonnay or Great Southern Riesling to pair with the great live seafood, congee or claypot dishes on the menu. While a crisp white wine is generally a good idea for Chinese food, lower tannin, fruit-focused reds like Pinot Noir , Merlot and Grenache can pair perfectly with richer, less spicy dishes like sweet & sour, chao zhou style duck and sizzling satay.” Corkage: $6.00 per bottle 9/66 Roe St, Northbridge Visit the Uncle Billy’s website Bistro Felix Wine
Charming French bistro and wine bar that hosts weekly BYO Cellar Nights. Recommended by Michael Ng, senior winemaker at Ironcloud Wines “Bistro Felix is a superb restaurant with quality food and impeccable service. They have an impressively large wine list sourced from around the world, but if you’d like to bring along a special bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion, then their BYO Cellar Nights , held every Tuesday, are the perfect chance. I might be biased, but I think the Ironcloud Cabernet Malbec 201 4 is the perfect choice to go toe-to-toe with their rich, French inspired menu.” Corkage: $12 per bottle (Tuesday only) 118-120 Rokeby Rd, Subiaco Visit the Bistro Felix website Royal India 
A first class Indian restaurant with top notch service and food. Recommended by Casey, wine blogger at The Traveling Corkscrew “This West Perth curry house love their tandoori! I like to take a nice bottle of Pinot Noir with me when dining at Royal India, as the fruity and savoury elegance in the wine works well with the plentiful spices in the dishes. However, it you're more of a fan of white wine, then an off-dry Gewürztraminer , Riesling or Müller-Thurgau would be ideal choices. Corkage is more like a first-class wine service at Royal India – the staff will take care of pouring your vino (they'll make sure your glass is never empty!) and they use lovely Plumm glassware to ensure your wine is showing at its upmost best.” Corkage: $10 per bottle (Sunday to Thursday only) 1134 Hay St, West Perth 6005 Visit the Royal India website   For more Perth restaurant ideas make sure you visit Casey's very comprehensive Perth BYO restaurant list . Or, if you're heading to Melbourne or Sydney then check-out our Melbourne and Sydney BYO restaurant articles.
Pacific Reef Fisheries Best of the Best RAS President's Medal
Words by Words Ed Halmagyi on 12 Jan 2017
Winner of the prestigious NSW Royal agricultural society president's medal, pacific reef fisheries are revolutionising aquaculture one luscious Cobia at a time. The rich alluvial plains that straddle Queensland's Burdekin River on the Whitsunday Coast are some of Australia's best agricultural land. Tomatoes, melons, capsicums and more find their way to markets all over the nation from here. But as the river nears the coast, salt-tinged air from the Coral Sea takes hold, making vegetable production less viable. Yet at Alva Beach an extraordinary story in Australian farming is unfolding. Nestled on the edge of the ocean, a vast series of deep 100m2 pools are laid out, each one teeming with life; swirling masses move below the surface, seen only by the way the water wrinkles in the sunlight. This unique farm is home to some of Australia's best seafood, for in these ponds, Pacific Reef Fisheries breed delicious tiger prawns, and one of the world's most impressive fish - the cobia. TROPICAL ORIGINS Australians usually refer to cobia as 'black kingfish', but this is misleading for the fish is actually a relative of remora, those sucker-fish seen attached to sharks in documentaries. Native to the world's tropical waters, it has an oil-rich pearl-white flesh, prized by chefs because that lush oil does not leach out when cooked - distinguishing cobia from other species. Cobia is also well-adapted to aquaculture, and the Alva Beach joint venture between  Pacific Reef Fisheries  and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries produces fish of unrivalled quality, plus the commercial, social and environmental standards under which it operates are world leading. For these reasons, Pacific Reef Fisheries was the recipient of the 2015 President's Medal from the NSW Royal Agricultural Society , Australia's top award for excellence in food. CONQUERING AQUACULTURE Two big challenges for aquaculture are inputs and outputs - feed and wastewater. Traditionally fishmeal has been made from vast quantities of trawled target species like pilchards and anchovies. While these fish are not currently under threat, that system is unsustainable as a growing aquaculture market will eventually pressure stock numbers. To this end, Pacific Reef are working with the CSIRO and other Australian businesses to replace wild fish with farmed sources. The effect is to create a positive net fish benefit - more fish come out than go in. As the fish are farmed in on-land ponds, as opposed to traditional sea cages, the quantity of feed input is more easily controlled, resulting in less waste and the elimination of localised pollution. Output water from the ponds can also be a problem, as it becomes nutrient-rich in a way that should not be simply returned to the ocean. To ensure it is as near to pure seawater as possible when it reaches the Coral Sea, the waste is filtered, then discharged through a purpose-planted mangrove system, enabling a second stage of filtration. It's an investment not only in the environment, but also in the business's commercial longevity. THE PRESIDENT'S MEDAL The RAS of NSW President's Medal recognises excellence in Australian produce. The 'best of the best' food and beverages from the Sydney Royal shows are nominated for the President's Medal. Finalists undergo a triple bottom line audit to assess social, economic and environmental impacts - making the President's Medal the most prestigious in the country. Find out more about the  President's medal in this recent article   ED HALMAGYI'S PAN-ROASTED COBIA WITH GARDEN PEAS AND OLIVES RECIPE
Massimo Bottura - Nourishing the soul
Words by Interview Lyndey Milan Words Mark Hughes on 12 Dec 2017
In the process of trying to recreate a food memory, chef Massimo Bottura started a movement that was designed to fight food waste, but has grown into a social triumph. In the opening to his latest book, Bread is Gold , Italian chef Massimo Bottura tells the story of how every morning he would fight with his brothers for the leftover bread from the previous night’s dinner to dip in warm milk with a splash of coffee and a liberal pouring of sugar. It is one of his fondest memories, reminding him of delicious food, but also time with his family and his dearly departed mother. A few years ago, he thought about recreating the recipe, and trying to recapture that glorious memory. It was the catalyst that evolved into a concept that evolved into social change. But more on that later. In essence, taking old food memories and recreating them is what has made Massimo famous and seen him reach the very top of the chef world. For the last few years his restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena on the northern outskirts of Milan, has been ranked in the top three in the world, last year, No.1, this year just behind New York’s Eleven Madison. A culinary renaissance
At Francescana, Massimo has taken Italian classics, memories and culinary ideas and transported them into the modern world. Combing his love of art and music with his culinary talent to create dishes titled Memories of a Mortadella Sandwich, The Crunchy Part of Lasagne, and his signature Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s been a culinary renaissance. Of course, messing with traditional Italian cooking created quite a stir in Italy and for that measure, it is understandable that he gained recognition internationally before he was eventually praised at home. And while Massimo has explored plenty of Italian history for his dishes, he insists he still has a wealth of heritage for future culinary inspirations, for the rest of his life, at the very least. “Maybe for 10 lives,” he says when chatting with Lyndey Milan at a special event organised by Italian coffee company Lavazza in Sydney earlier this year. “We have centuries of tradition that we can reinterpret and rediscover. “For instance, last autumn we created this dish detailed by a philosopher from Rome, Petronius, in a book of his. Over three pages he described an amazing dish with a beautiful big bird filled with another bird, filled with another bird, and then many small birds and then dates and figs – for me, that’s Italy. “So this is what I say to Italian chefs when they look for the next trend. Let’s be honest. Let’s go deep into our history and try to bring the best from the past into the future, not in a nostalgic way, but in a critical way.” A chance to make a change These days, Massimo is lauded for his ideas and for returning Italian cuisine to the top of the culinary world. He has used his time in the spotlight to full advantage. During Expo 2015 in Milan, Massimo was invited to cook for dignitaries. Instead, he used the opportunity to make a statement about food waste. His initial idea was to do a short-term pop-up at the city’s central train station and invite the world’s best chefs to cook leftover food for the homeless. But then, apparently, the Pope got involved. His holiness heard the chef’s idea, but thought it could be something done long term. Through the Catholic charity Caritas, an abandoned theatre in the poorest suburb of Milan was made available for Massimo’s ‘community kitchen’. He took the opportunity. Not wanting it to be a regular soup kitchen, he recruited well-known artists and designers to help transform the venue into a warm, inviting space, a restaurant for those who most likely have never even seen inside a Michelin-starred venue. It was named, Refettorio Ambrosiano, a Refettorio being a place where monks and nuns would eat their daily meals. “In a world where one third of the food we produce is thrown away, we need to ask ourselves: Could food wastage and hunger be an expression of the same problem? We believe so,” Massimo asks in Bread is Gold, a diary and collection of recipes from the Refettorio Ambrosiano project. Over the following months, more than 65 chefs turned surplus ingredients collected from the exhibition’s pavilions into nutritious meals served to the homeless and people in need in the area. Names like Ferran Adria, Rene Redzepi, Ana Ros and Alain Ducasse used their creative powers to turn discarded food into delicious dishes. “It was challenging and rewarding to be a chef in that kitchen. It brought out the best in everyone,” says Massimo. “And it’s important to show that chefs in 2017 are not just the sum of their recipes, we are much more than that. People need to know we are social agents and we can give to the people, to the world an example.” Nourishing the soul
Following this initial success, Massimo and his wife, Lara established Food for Soul, a non-profit organisation dedicated to nourishing the underprivileged. The Social Tables project in Bologna followed, then Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio, converting surplus food from the Olympic Games into healthy meals. Refettorio Felix opened in London in June and there’s plans for projects in Berlin and the United States. “Food for Soul is not a charity project but a cultural one. Sharing a meal is not just a source of nourishment, but a gesture of inclusion,” says Massimo. “In looking for solutions to fight food waste, we found a wider impact. We became aware that a good meal in a beautiful and welcoming environment can change a community. “Will the role of chefs define the future of food? I am an optimist and I believe that we are already making positive change. A recipe, after all, is a solution to a problem. Choose to be part of the solution by cooking and sharing a meal around a table. It might be the most revolutionary thing you do all day.”
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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