Melbourne's new 2500sqm dining precinct is now open, with a hatted chef leading the charge
The latest offshoot of Charlie Carrington's hatted restaurant Atlas in South Yarra and a host of other eateries have now opened at Ella, a giant new dining precinct within Melbourne Central shopping centre.
Covering 2500 square metres, Ella takes its inspiration from the high-end offerings found in Asia’s train stations in a venture will bring together restaurants, art installations and music events.
Opening on May 27, it has opened with deep-fried Korean chicken destination Son in Law, Thai eatery The Pad and Pick a Stick Chinese Skewers by the team at Dainty Sichuan.
Existing Nepalese restaurant Chilli Everest and Ajisen Ramen have also reopened with a brand-new look as part of Ella's launch.
Further openings will continue as the year progresses, with purveyors of wine, beer and cider Blackhearts & Sparrows among those set to launch as part of phase two on June 27.
Upscale cocktail bar by globally-renowned Luke Whearty, Byrdi, will open its doors in July, with the final slew of retailers slated to open early 2020.
A chatbot will be accessible to Ella diners via Facebook Messenger, facilitating ordering and payment whether dining-in or taking-away.
Ella development manager Stuart MacLeod-Smith said food is just part of what the precinct will offer.
“We know Melburnians love food, but we’re also mad about music and art, we’re pretty innovative when it comes to technology and we enjoy continued opportunities to learn.
"We’re planning to tap into these elements to elevate and enhance the Ella experience.
"We want the space to be an intimate place for residents and visitors to meet and enjoy Melbourne life away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD streets, while still being surrounded by the attributes that make this city so fantastic.”
With this in mind, the precinct has been acoustically treated to accommodate both live and recorded music.
Live music will pop-up several times per week from emerging and established artists, as well as a curated soundtrack with tunes by local Melbourne artists.
Tech platform, crowdDJ will enable visitors to select tracks from their mobile device and even vote for a genre of the week - via an in-built kiosk.
In an ode to Melbourne street art, Ella will also house a mural wall that local artists will keep refreshed.
Collingwood-based hospitality hub, Worksmith, will open the doors to its second coworking space here, complete with first-in-Australia high-tech facilities available for communal use including an on-premise drinks lab and a space for events and pop-ups.