Southgate restaurants are turning up the heat with a host of exciting events, masterclasses and Father’s Day celebrations.

Winter has well and truly arrived in Melbourne, but never fear – Southgate Melbourne’s riverside restaurants and bars are coming to the rescue with wine festivals, special events, warming seasonal menus, opera nights, and whisky masterclasses.


At the top of the event list is the new Southbank Progressive Dinners – The Winter Trail, hosted by three Southgate restaurants. Southgate is perhaps the ultimate destination for this style of dinner in winter – whether it’s wind, rain or hail outside you’ll be staying warm as you enjoy three courses across three different restaurants, all under one roof!


The progressive dinners are hosted by Red Emperor, La Camera Southgate and Hophaus with Waterslide Bar billed as the official pre and post dinner drinks venue. Progressive Dinners are available Sunday to Thursday evenings from 12 August to 6 September. In one night, let your tastebuds travel from Germany to Italy to China, without the need for a passport. Each acclaimed restaurant features breathtaking views overlooking the Yarra River and city skyline.


On Sunday 12 August, Pure South Dining are hosting Wine Tasmania’s annual VIN Diemen festival, bringing 100 wines from over 20 Tasmanian vinters together with their rare produce on the banks of the Yarra River. Pure South Dining’s remote artisan food suppliers will come together with wines from each region, offering a truly intimate experience of the ‘pure south’s’ startling fresh produce.


Family-favourite La Camera Southgate is set to impress with their second wonderful winter performance event. On the 27 August the celebrated Opera Night returns – join sopranos Samantha Fawcett U’Ren, Laura Slavin, and Suzanne Shakespeare as they perform some of your favourite arias, combining culture and cuisine in one electrifying evening.

Warm your bones with a whisky and learn something new along the way with one of Southgate’s stellar whisky masterclasses. Waterslide Bar are hosting intimate masterclass dedicated to some of the rarest and finest whisky in the world (booked at your convenience, with a minimum of two and maximum of fifteen in your group), while famed Irish pub P.J.O’Brien’s has a whiskey masterclass in the calendar. On  15 August the Peated Malts of Distinction masterclass will unearth some of Scotland and Ireland’s delicious peated single malts.

On 7 September, Pure South Dining is hosting an exceptional evening dedicated to ethically sourced and sustainable produce. Meet the Makers of Pure South will highlight delicious produce from Tasmania’s most sought after ethical farmers: Nichols Poultry and Mount Gnomon Farm, with celebrated head farmers from both businesses hosting the event. To top it all off, each course will be expertly matched with award-winning wines from Josef Chromy Wines, with the winemaker also in attendance.


In September, when the chill (hopefully) begins to ease, our restaurants will turn on the charm, with an assortment of fun and delicious Father’s Day specials and events. Whatever your Dad likes, there’s something here for him – from a photo booth and prizes for the Best ‘Dad Joke’ at La Camera, to free drinks for Dad at Hophaus, P.J.O’brien’s, Blue Train and Bear Brass and a special Father’s Day Chef Selection at Tutto Bene. Meanwhile the ever-delectable Damon Bradley is celebrating ‘man’s best friend’, donating $3 from every pancake sold on the day to the Lost Dog’s Home.


Effervescent Sundays continue to steal the show at Southgate, with long lunches and sparkling accompaniments consistently on the menu. ‘Free Flowing Champagne Sunday Lunches’ at Pure South Dining continue, while Tutto Bene’s Sparkling Sundays pairs delicious two or three-course Italian feasts, with bottomless premium Italian sparkling.


Southgate is home to fifteen diverse restaurants, bars and eateries with cuisines ranging from German to Tasmanian to modern European. A range of boutique retailers including vintage fashion, books and stationery can also be found within the precinct.

**Information and Images Courtesy of Southgate Restaurants/Supplied by Fuller PR – Keryn O’Donnell



Southbank Progressive Dinners
The winter weather will never dampen the much-loved, Southbank progressive dinners. Enjoy three courses across three different restaurants, all under one roof!
This event is hosted by Red Emperor, La Camera and Hophaus, with Waterslide Bar the official pre and/or post dinner drinks venue. All four venues are situated on the mid-level in Southgate and feature alfresco dining (that’s well-heated!) with breathtaking views of the Yarra River and city skyline.
When:              Sunday to Thursday evenings, 12 August—6 September
Where:             Week 1, 12—16 August
Entrée: La Camera
Main: Red Emperor
Dessert: Hophaus
Week 2 : 19—23 August
Entree: Hophaus
Main: La Camera
Dessert: Red Emperor
Week 3 : 26—30 August
Entrée: Red Emperor
Main: Hophaus
Dessert: La Camera
Week 4: 30 August—6 September
Entree: Hophaus
Main: La Camera
Dessert: Red Emperor
Time:                Two sittings per evening, 6pm & 7pm
How much:        $89 per person. Includes a glass of wine with entree and main, and tea or coffee to accompany dessert. Gluten Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Options available.
*Cost of ticket does not include pre and post drinks at Waterslide Bar
Bookings:         Purchase tickets online, here:

Waterslide’s 3rd Birthday Celebrations
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party with the team at Waterslide Bar, marking the venue’s 3rd birthday!
Take advantage of all-night* drink specials – such as $8 Patient Wolf G&Ts, $12 Rum Diary Spiced Dark and Stormys and $12 Tromba Palomas – and get ready for a boogie, with DJ Ravi Ravs and a special guest serving up funk and soul tunes from 5:30.
*Whilst stock last
When:               Friday 3 August, 4:00 pm til late
Where:              Shop MR3 Mid Level East End, Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006
How much:        Free entry
Bookings:         Bookings recommended for large groupsWhisky Masterclasses at P.J.O’Brien’s
Peated Malts of Distinction
Next up is a Celtic experience that will have your tastebuds singing – a masterclass dedicated to some of Ireland’s and Scotland’s great peated single malts. Also hosted by an expert brand ambassador, the night will see you enjoying some of the finest premium whiskies, accompanied by deliciously matched tasting plates.
When:               Wednesday 15 August, 6.30pm
Where:              P.J.O’Brien’s, River Level, Southgate Melbourne, Southbank VIC 3006
How much:        $65 per person
Bookings:        Book your spot online:

Whisky Masterclasses at Waterslide
Continue your whisky education with a Waterslide Bar Whisky Masterclass. Enjoy an informative and fun event with the knowledgeable Waterslide staff as they share their notes on some or the rarest and finest whiskies from around the world. This is an intimate event, with numbers capped at 15, so get it quick!
When:              Book at your convenience (minimum 2 pax, maximum 15 pax)
Where:             Waterslide Bar
How much:       Starts at $50 per head, which includes standard tasting and a charcuterie or cheese board at the conclusion of the event.
Bookings:        Bookings are essential email or call 0412 289 417.

VIN Diemen at Pure South Dining
Wine Tasmania’s annual VIN Diemen festival will return to Melbourne on Sunday 12 August. For the first time, Pure South Dining will host the one of a kind Tasmanian experience, celebrating the region’s exceptional food and wine culture.
Early bird tickets are $110.00 and general admission are $125.00, with limited VIP tickets available. Each ticket includes a Plumm wine glass to taste and take home, all wine tasting, and food served by Pure South Dining’s Michelin star chef.
When:              Sunday 12 August from 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Where:             River Level, 3 Southgate Ave, Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006
How much:       Early bird tickets are $110.00 and general admission are $125.00
Bookings:        Purchase tickets here:

Opera Night at La Camera
Opera lovers rejoice! La Camera’s Opera Night is back for another year, bringing together an amazing group of performers. Over a three-course set menu, join sopranos Samantha Fawcett U’Ren, Laura Slavin, and Suzanne Shakespeare as they perform some of your favourite arias in a very intimate performance.
These performers love to get the crowd involved so tune your voices and be ready for an interactive show like no other.
When:              Monday, 27th of August 6.30pm.
Where:              La Camera Italian Restaurant, Mid Level East End, Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006
How much:        $70 per person
Bookings:        It is recommended you book well in advance as these night always sell out. Book by calling 03 9699 3600

It’s a feast and frenzy like no other – a celebration of the oyster! One of the most popular events on the P.J.O’Brien’s calendar. Enjoy unlimited hot and cold oysters while you sip on Guinness, cider, beer and wine and learn from the Oyster Experts.
There will also be live music and great door prizes. Supported by Guinness, Redbank, HaHa, Laphroaig & Connemara. It will be a shucking good time!
When:              Thursday 30 August, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Where:             P.J.O’Brien’s, River Level, Southgate Melbourne, Southbank VIC 3006
How much:        $79 per person.
Bookings:        Buy your tickets online here:

Meet the Makers of Pure South: a special event at Pure South Dining
Hosted by Josef Chromy Wines and two of Tasmania’s most sought after ethical farmersJosef Chromy Wines winemaker Jeremy Dineen, together with two of the south’s most unique ethical, free-range farmers will host an intimate dinner showcasing the best of Tasmania’s wine and food on Friday 7 September.
Meet the Makers of Pure South is an exclusive event encompassing the entire Pure South Dining room upstairs, and is expected to sell out.
Attendees will meet and receive expert tasting notes directly from some of Australia’s most acclaimed farmer/producers and winemakers. Pioneer farmers Rob Nichols (Nichols Ethical Free-Range Poultry) and Guy Robertson (Mount Gnomon Farm) will tell the story of their exceptional and much coveted produce.
Matching this outstanding produce with eight of Josef Chromy’s award-winning wines, selected by the winemaker himself, makes it a culinary event for the most discerning calendars. Josef Chromy was instrumental in the development of Tasmania’s wine industry, while his state-of-the-art winery was recently awarded the Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat. Wine Selector Magazine’s Paul Diamond, will also host the event, adding his encyclopaedic knowledge of Australian cool-climate wines.
Since 2003, Pure South’s owners have developed relationships with Tasmania’s farmers, fishermen and artisan producers to capture the finest ingredients from the world’s purest seas, soil and air.
From King Island beef to artisan fishermen, dairies and remote, small producers, Michelin star executive chef David Hall and his team are spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh inspiration, plating up stunning dishes the whole year through.When: 6:30pm, Friday 7 September
Where: Pure South Dining, River Level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006
How much: $155 per person
Bookings:         Book Online or call 03 9699 4600

Pure South Dining’s Free Flowing Champagne Sundays 

Grab your friends, find something to celebrate and book a spot at Pure South Dining’s Free Flowing Champagne Sundays.
Each Sunday, Michelin star head chef David Hall creates seasonal dishes highlighting Tasmania’s finest produce. To accompany your meal is free-flowing Premium French Champagne. Their sommelier will choose Moet, Bollinger or Mumm each week.
When:               Available every Sunday except New Year’s Eve
Where:             River Level, 3 Southgate Ave, Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006
How much:        $139 – 2 course + free-flowing Champagne
$149 – 3 course + free-flowing Champagne

Sparkling Sundays at Tutto Bene

Sundays are best spent long lunching with your nearest and dearest. And what better way indulge than with delicious Italian food, paired with bottomless Italian bubbles, all whilst enjoying sweeping views Melbourne’s Yarra River and city skyline.
Sparkling Sundays will feature a two or three course meal, match with premium Italian sparkling wines, alternating weekly.
When:               Every Sunday between 12.00pm – 3.00pm
Where:              Tutto Bene, Mid Level, Southgate Melbourne. M28/3 Southgate Ave, Southbank
Cost:                $85 per person for two courses / $95 per person for three courses
including unlimited premium Italian sparkling wine alternating weekly
Bookings:         To book call 03 9696 3334 or visit Tutto Bene website

All You Can Eat Coeliac-Friendly Yum Cha at Red Emperor

A true Southgate mainstay, Red Emperor has been serving some of Melbourne’s the best Chinese food for no less than 23 years. With the recent return of their original head chef Hon Kau HUI (Flower Drum), who was at the helm from when they opened until 2013, their menu has never been better.
Enter, an inspired new way to taste many of their best dishes: All-You-Can-Eat Coeliac-Friendly Yum Cha. Approved by the Coeliac Society of Australia, Red Emperor’s Yum Cha menu has more than 50 classic dishes to pick from, plus new additions like pork ribs cooked three times, infused with stock, steamed and then fried, as well as Berkshire Kurobuta pork fillets and Chatham Island blue cod, spiked with ginger and spring onion.
When: Any time the restaurant is open, seven days a week.
Where: Red Emperor, Mid Level, Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank VIC 3006
Bookings: $50 for all you can eat, or pay as you go. Book via (03) 9699 4170 or

Father’s Day at Southgate

Whether your Dad has a sweet tooth, likes a big bowl of pasta or is partial to a pint of Guinness, we have his Father’s Day covered. Restaurants throughout the precinct are serving up delicious specials and events that are sure to bring a big smile to his face.
When:              Sunday, 2 September
Where:              Southgate Melbourne, 3 Southgate Ave, Southbank VIC 3006
Bookings:         Bookings essential via each of the below venues.
La Camera
If you’re Dad loves a bit of fun, then Father’s Day at La Camera could be just his thing! This is a day for celebration and the La Camera staff do it in style. A photo booth is definitely a highlight, with prizes and vouchers for the best picture. There’s also a prize for best dad joke (of course!) and all Dad’s will receive a $20 drinks voucher to use at La Camera or next door at its sister venue, Waterslide Bar.
It’s Bluetrain’s shout! This year all Dad’s will receive a free pint of beer or glass of wine when they dine with Bluetrain, for lunch or dinner.
P.J.O’Brien’s is celebrating Father’s Day this year with a free pot of Guinness for all the dads with any main meal ordered.
Tell your Dad to don his Lederhosen. Hophaus are offering all Dads a free tasting paddle of any of German tap beers with lunch or dinner. There will also be live acoustic music from 2pm until 6pm, featuring Liam Bowditch.
You must book to receive this offer, so make a booking today by calling 9682 5900.
Tutto Bene
This Father’s Day, treat your Papa the Italian way, with a delectable feast at award-winning risotteria, Tutto Bene. For $55 per person, your Dad can enjoy Tutto Bene’s five-course Father’s Day Chef’s Selection. And if that wasn’t enough, there will also be ½ price tap beer available all day.
Bear Brass
Southgate favourite, Bear Brass, will be offering a free pot of Furphy to all Dads on Father’s Day with their main course or pizza.
Damon Bradley
If your dad has a sweet tooth, then look no further than Damon Bradley, for a crepe and pancake extravaganza. To sweeten the deal, Damon Bradley will donate $3 from every pancake sold to the Lost Dogs Home (aka Man’s best friend).
Better yet, they’re open from 8:30am, so treat your early riser Dad to breakfast and a morning walk along the Yarra.


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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