Lunch beneath the arbory leaves

By Sarah Harrison

2015 has seen a healthy number of new and diverse lunch options open doors to hungry city workers, from the recently launched Rosa’s Canteen to Five Points Café and Magic Mountain Saloon.

Amongst this flurry of activity is a new riverside alternative, Arbory Eatery, launched in mid-March.

Perched beneath the Arbory trees lining the Yarra (hence the name), this timber clad, architecturally designed venue can be found wedged between Flinders St Station and the Yarra in place of the former and now disused Sandridge line.

A joint project between HQ Group and Metro Trains, the inspiration for the site flows from the concept of joining the city to the Yarra and utilising an otherwise much-underutilised area.

Open from 7.30am til late seven days a week, and with over 120m of seating beneath large custom-made umbrellas, Arbory Eatery offers a good spot for a business lunch or casual midday meal that’s within the CBD yet worlds away from the office.

Lunch options range from reliable sandwiches and burgers like the crumbed mushroom and haloumi burger ($15) or sobrasada and mozzarella toastie ($13), smaller eats such as pea and herb arancini ($9) and steak tartare ($16), to larger dishes including spaghetti ($26), rare roasted salmon ($26) or pork chop ($28).

The elongated eatery comes as a welcome addition to the riverfront with not too distant neighbours, Riverside, previously monopolising the absolute city-side waterfront location. It now shares this stretch with the less than a year old Pilgrim Bar and, under the other side of the bridge, Arbory Eatery.

For the city, it marks an exciting development indicative of expansion and progress. For hungry workers, visitors or residents of Melbourne, it means a leafy, lunch-to-late destination with crisp views across the water.

What are the plans for tackling the cooler months ahead? “It’s an outdoor venue which we’ll make more comfortable and warmer for winter,” said Tim Botterill, director at HQ Group. “We’ve got some big stuff planned so bring your jacket, bring your beanie and come down to Arbory Eatery.”

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