Introducing an energetic new combo of food, music, art and design.
Now open, Commune Group introduces a remixed version of its Swan Street restaurant New Quarter,bringing a fresh take on Neo Vietnamese to Richmond’s bustling dining scene in a new identity that is textural, impulsive and alive.
“While Melbourne took a break during 2020, it’s back to being the country’s most exciting food city. New venues and concepts are popping up all over town and New Quarter is our contribution to this mix. A restaurant not just for Richmond but for the whole city,” says Simon Blacher, Commune Group Creative Director.
“Richmond has always been the home for Vietnamese food in Melbourne. At New Quarter we are embracing the flavours and history of the area and repackaging it into what we believe is a unique expression of Melbourne Vietnamese.”
The restaurant, located on the prominent corner of Swan and Lennox streets, once known for its street food vibes and takeaway, has relaxed its offering releasing a shorter, tighter menu led by Head Chef Scott Lord (Sunda Dining, Tokyo Tina and Cumulus Inc.). Lord has stamped his own style onto the menu, reinventing the traditional Vietnamese creations with a Melbourne twist.
The new menu includes dishes:
• Banh mi finger, whipped chicken liver pâté, chicken skin and pickled
• Beef tartare, egg yolk, pho jelly and anchovy tapioca crisps
• Nước chấm caviar, chicken toast with Laughing Cow cheese
• Clam “in parchment”, banh canh cua broth and watercress charred tomato
• Grilled short rib, burnt chilli nước chấm and charred betel leaf grill
And for dessert:
• Vietnamese coffee crème caramel, bitter caramel
• Mango parfait, Oreo crumb, micro Thai
Designer Ewert Leaf and agency Space Between, regular collaborators of Commune Group, were called upon to bring the Melbourne vibe to the 80-seat venue, taking cues from two local artists – Soul Mckenzie’s dynamic artwork and photographer Josh Robenstone, who has provided soft, raw urban streetscapes of Richmond.
Providing contrast to the rich artwork, the new interior is pared back with cork-top tables, natural muted tones in timber, hardwood veneers and textured plaster. The warm neutral walls reflect the natural light during the day and transform it into a dark and moody space at night.
The new iteration presents four distinct dining areas to choose from, the low seating area accommodates 58 diners, with space for eight in the high-backed wooden booths. For those who would like a seat at the bar, there are 10, along with some prime high seats with windows to the action on Swan Street.
“The restaurant allows dinners to flow seamlessly between day and night, vibrant Melbourne art and music. New Quarter will demonstrate a cleaner and more restrained approach to the Vietnamese cuisine, but feel free to get your hands messy,” says Simon Blacher.
79–83 Swan Street, Richmond VIC 3121
03 8391 1388
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Images: Parker Blain