Essential Eating: CALIA at Emporium Melbourne

CALIA has a new space at Melbourne’s Emporium that offers a seamless restaurant-to-retail experience. Don’t be put off by the thought of a shopping mall. This is no food court offering – the menu was designed by Michelin star chef Francisco Javier Araya.

For the official launch party, the staff at CALIA pulled out all the stops, with a mixed group of Melbourne’s big names trying different morsals of seafood with white wine, truffle flavoured fries and wagyu beef. A perfectly assembled Bibelot dessert destination beckoned, and as I skipped from savoury to sweet and back again (and er, back again), I decided that I am basically a foodie’s nightmare – I enjoy the good things in life, but I don’t claim to know the science of it all. Eating and drinking is easy when it’s quality.

CALIA sits within a quiet corridor of the swankiest food places within the Emporium complex. It boasts an open kitchen that encourages the hungry hordes to watch a very precise assembly process, which adds an inclusive element to the experience of sampling delectable bites. The menu at CALIA focuses on sustainable and ethical produce from some of Australia’s most prestigious suppliers, and the minimalist interior was designed by Faculty Design.

My favourite foods

Premium marble 9+ Blackmore Wagyu beef paired with 36° egg,  crispy pork and sushi with a tomato and mung bean filling topped with guacamole and tomato salsa (amazing vegan option). I limited myself to trying just one thing from the dessert bar, and I managed to hit the jackpot. Before you die, you must eat the Matcha Lava Lava, a rich chocolate cake oozing with warm matcha ganache. Oozing. The wine was equally as decadent and perfectly matched the menu – A glass of Krug to start, and a Ulithorne Dona Grenache to finish.

Emporium is a major, relatively new shopping precinct in Melbourne. Inside it are hundreds of high end fashion and food retail destinations, as well as the international high street labels whose arrival marked a permanent change in Australia’s shopping landscape (and market share).

Thank you to the team at Reymond Communications for the invitation.

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