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Yarra Lane is taking off. Until recently, the South Yarra development had been the sole hunting ground of Salvatore Malatesta (St Ali) and chef Paul Hewson, with their solitary ‘Outpost’. But developer Michael Yates has decided to colonise the precinct with a who’s who of established and rising stars. George Calombaris will be opening his Greco Roman extravaganza, Mama Baba, later in the year, but for now there’s plenty to get excited about. Malatesta has expanded his offerings with the suspiciously-titled MoPho noodle bar, headed up by executive chef Benjamin Cooper (ex Nobu, Ezard and Longrain) who will be dishing up fried tofu and braised brisket rendang. Salvatore has kept the Asian theme going with the neighbouring Deba Sushi Bar. Domenic Gentile has taken over Café Veloce, in the classic car dealer Dutton’s, and turned it into a fashionable Italian pit stop, with an apparently ‘very popular’ happy hour. Directly across from Veloce is the ever-energetic new kid on the block, Davis Yu (The Millswyn), with a fresh produce store paying homage to London’s Daylesford Organic food store, and designed by Paul Hecker. Hassell has been responsible for the Salvatore outlets, including the Outpost dining room, that has added much needed table real estate to the exquisite yet small diner.

Lucie

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