prahran's greville street
Is it Prahran? Is it Windsor? Even locals get confused on the name of this hip southern neighbourhood, located just five kilometres from the city centre. But both occupy slightly different territory – Windsor is actually Prahran’s northern neighbour, with its name changed from Prahran South to Windsor in 1891. Whether you call it Windsor, Prahran, or even, as the locals do, “Pran”, the precinct is centred around the southern end of Chapel Street – Melbourne’s longest shopping strip. For many years, the 3181 end of Chapel Street was considered the poor cousin to the South Yarra end, which features designer brand shopping and coveted restaurant tables. But today, the Prahran/Windsor end is making a name as one of Melbourne’s hippest restaurant, bar and shopping hubs. Here are 21 of 3181’s best offerings:
The Woods Bar and Kitchen
This quirky venue pays homage to the 1930s with art deco décor and shadowy mood lighting – not to mention taxidermy aplenty. Offering up a combination of food and drinks, it has more than 50 single malts on the menu. It′s not only the atmosphere that′s inspired by another time; the menu captures all the richness of the era. 108 Chapel Street, Windsor, +61 3 9521 1900.
The Wolf & I
The taxidermy theme continues at The Wolf & I, where rustic Victorian interiors meld with the exotic and the kitsch. Peruse a feature wall of 60 vintage Singer sewing machines or strike up a conversation with an anthropomorphic deer mannequin. Then grab a beer and settle in for some truly delectable reinventions of classic pub fare. 152 Chapel Street, Windsor, +61 3 9510 1819.
Hanoi Hannah/Saigon Sally/Tokyo Tina
This tasty triad of restaurants now gives 3181 a distinctly Asian flavour, with the buzz of the streets of Hanoi captured at Hanoi Hannah, more sophisticated Vietnamese fare on offer at Saigon Sally a few blocks away, and the eats, beats and vibes inspired from the streets of Japan at Tokyo Tina. 180 High St, Windsor, +61 3 9939 5181/2 Duke St, Windsor, +61 3 9533 2342/66A Chapel Street, Windsor +61 3 9525 2774.
Its street address is in South Yarra, but 3181 firmly claims the Prahran Market as its own. Australia’s oldest continuously running food market, Prahran Market has been in operation since 1864. Experience the tastes, sounds, smells and above all freshness of the buzzing market stalls and meet some of the passionate personalities behind the scenes. Top Melbourne chef Paul Wilson is set to open his new venture, Wilson & Merchant, at the market in the coming weeks. 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra, +61 3 8290 8220.
Tea connoisseurs can blend their own brew at the new concept store, Royal Elixir. The store is a world-first concept store for its parent company, Imperial Teas Group, a Sri Lankan tea giant. A range of 10 core teas are available to use as the base for the brew, while a selection of more refined flavours such as ginger, orange and cinnamon can be added to create a blend for any taste. 185 High Street, Prahran, + 61 3 9939 6222.
Boston Sub/Jungle Boy
Sandwiches in the front – cocktails in the back. Tiki-themed bar Jungle Boy is accessed via the fridge door at Americana sandwich hotspot Boston Sub (think subs overflowing with slow roasted meat and side serves of poutine). Open the door and Tiki style décor fruity cocktails await – this place is a favourite of the southern hipster crowd. 96 Chapel St, Windsor, +61 3 9943 7653.
Asian hawker style food and beer hall taking its inspiration from the Hawker centres of Singapore and Malaysia. From Chris Lucas, the restauranteur behind Chin Chin, Baby and Kong. 98 Chapel Street, Windsor. Tel. +61 3 8560 0090.
Chapel Street Cellars
A bottle shop that offers interesting wines and craft beers – and lets you sit down and drink them on the spot? With bar snacks, or BYO food? That’s the hook at Chapel Street Cellars. Well, one of them, anyway. The shop also has a large, rotating range of exotic beers and ciders, so repeat visitors re unlikely to find the same thing twice. Beers on offer range from $5 to a $210 tipple that is 41 per cent alcohol. 89 Chapel St, Windsor, +61 3 9533 7769.
A taste of the Caribbean resides in Prahran, with Bickle having both Haitian and Jamaican influences. The Head Chef’s family recipes are highlights of the menu (think jerk chicken that’s three days in the making) and the food is accompanied by a strong cocktail menu – with Pina Colada and Jamaican Iced Coffee Bickle’s best sellers. 173 High Street, Prahran, +61 426 575 366.
Uncommon offers unprocessed, chemical-free, whole food but extends its ‘healthy vibe’ beyond quinoa and kale (although that is on the menu) to breakfast and lunch dishes such as salmon pastrami with whipped honey, or Wagyu beef short rib with fried egg and a pesto. There is an exteriors list of coffee and juice varieties (turmeric latter anyone?), with the only drinks coming out of bottles, being the alcoholic ones. 60 Chapel Street, Windsor, +61 3 9510 6655.
Charlie Dumpling/Charlie Dumpling Jr/Bā Charlie
Charlie Dumpling delivers a modern twist on dumplings, with ingredients like cumin, spiced chickpeas and pomegranate poking their cheeky heads into this classic Asian dish. But with new twist, come queues, so, to combat queue fatigue, Charlie Dumpling Junior – a takeaway version of Charlie Dumpling has recently opened just a few doors down from its parent. But it’s not just the take home dishes that has locals visiting regularly – these who looks carefully will see the entrance to Bā Charlie, a hidden speakeasy-style bar hidden behind a secret door. 184 High Street, Prahran, +61 3 03 9510 4213/212 High Street, Prahran, +61 3 9510 6107.
Pidapipo is named after an Italian version of Simon Says. It joins Messina as one of 3181’s coolest (pardon the pun) gelaterias. Flavours on offer change daily but often include pistachio, rose, coconut, ricotta and fig and Nutella swirl. There is also a chocolate tap that fills up the inside of your cone with dark, milk or white chocolate; and the ridiculously delicious sounding frappe brioche – a Sicilian brioche roll with gelato inside and toppings. 85 Chapel Street, Windsor.
There’s no need to catch flies with your chopsticks here – the menu has many more palatable – and creative – items, such as roast duck roti wrap, tuna tataki pizza and their famous nori taco. The menu is broken into grazing items, items by the piece and a range of sashimi and nigiri combos.And the venue has recently opened Yukie’s Snack Bar next door. Named after the Karate Kid sensei’s one true love, it features an extensive cocktail menu, as well as snack-sized versions of the restaurant’s now classic dishes. 99 Chapel St, Windsor, +61 3 9529 5999.
Signed & Numbered
This distinctive little shop in the fashionable Greville Street precinct is an art lover’s gold mine. Choose from street art, pencil drawings to watercolours and photography and get it framed on site. 153 Greville Street, Prahran, +61 3 9077 6468.
Third Drawer Down
Hours can be lost in this little store, which curate objects from around the world. Whether its homewares, books or jewellery, all items are distinctive and would be hard to find elsewhere. 155 Greville Street, Prahran, + 61 3 9988 2390.
Chapel Street Bazaar
The Chapel Street Bazaar is a magnet for bargain hunters, or visitors who love to browse. Broken up into individual stalls, each curated by a different purveyor of pre-loved goods, including furniture, glassware, crockery, clothing, stamps, records, shoes, watches, jewellery, cameras, and toys – just to name a few. 217 Chapel St, Prahran, +61 3 9529 1727.
P Johnson Tailors
Open Tuesday to Saturday, P. Johnson fits guys to suits so they can feel as comfortable as they would in a pair of pyjamas. Operating more as a show room than a shop per se, visitors can make an appointment, get to know the cuts and fabrics and then have a suit made to measure. The process takes a total of about six weeks and requires three fittings, so it is best suited to travellers visiting Melbourne frequently or staying for an extended period. 29 Thomas St, Windsor, +61 488 207 240.
It doesn’t get more hipster than the barbershop that is Brother Wolf. These boys have barbered all over the globe and combine old school traditional charm with a modern approach. Customers can walk on in, put their name down on the board, take a seat and relax and enjoy a beverage (beer or whiskey are the tipples of choice) while they wait. The barber offers fades, pomps, quiffs and contours and are also a shaving parlour, specialising in beard maintenance. 113 Greville Street, Prahran, + 61 3 9529 8603.
Bromley & Co
Artist David Bromley and his wife Yuge Yu have returned to Chapel Street with their gallery-meets-homewares store, Bromley & Co. The space is a combination of art gallery, fashion boutique and homewares store, filled with an eclectic collection of beautiful objects, textiles and clothing. 93-95 Chapel Street, Windsor, +61 3 9510 8990.
This luxury boutique hotel, part of the Art Series Hotels, features more than 450 pieces of original artwork and prints by one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artist, Adam Cullen. Experience the works of the famed artist with an in-house curator or hire a Kronan Bicycle or Smart Car and uncover Melbourne’s hidden secrets. Pop downstairs to dine in at popular dumpling house, Hu Tong Dumpling Bar or Gramercy, which brings a little slice of New York to Melbourne. 164 Commercial Road, Prahran, +61 3 9098 1555
There has never been a more relaxing way to be enclosed in a small space than by being suspended in an briny mix of Epsom salts and water. Floatation tanks are now to be found dotted all over Melbourne and are the high tech version of taking a long, soothing bath. Beyond Rest has some of the most hi tech pods available – meaning they’re surely some of the most relaxing. 26 Regent St, Prahran, +61 3 9521 4963.