First serve: What to eat at the Australian Open


Duncan Welgemoed_AfricolaThere was a time when the Australian Open was all about highly-paid athletes hitting a little yellow ball over a net. Now the world’s best tennis players face some competition from some seriously top-seeded chefs, including Africola’s award-winning Duncan Welgemoed (pictured). From Michelin-star degustation dinners to Melbourne’s fanciest hamburgers, there are too many options at Melbourne Park from January 7-27. Here are five of the best:

  1. Michelin star action

     Simone Zanoni

    1. AO Chef Series at the Glasshouse. Book here
    2. Now in its second year, the AO Chef Series returns as the ultimate pop up restaurant across the road in the Glasshouse, starting with Simone Zanoni (pictured) from January 14-16. Italian-born Zanoni cooks up a Mediterranean storm at the Michelin-starred Four Seasons George V in France.
    3. Adelaide’s hottest chef Duncan Welgemoed will also be cooking his modern African cuisine (fifth best restaurant in the Financial Review’s Top 100 Australian Restaurants) at the pop-up from January 23-25. Melbourne’s Alejandro Saravia and Jacques Reymond will also take over the kitchen during the fortnight. Prices start at $195.
  2. Beijing Betty

    1. Pork wonton, chilli vinegar, ginger from Beijing Betty
    2. Grand Slam Oval, Melbourne Park
    3. The crew behind Tokyo Tina and Hanoi Hannah are building a 200-seat Chinese restaurant on the Grand Slam Oval for dine in or grab-n-go. Expect a mix of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing specials, with gems like the pork wonton, chilli vinegar and ginger in the picture.
  3. Huxtaburger

    1. Huxtaburger
    2. Australian Open Festival at Birrarung Marr (free entry)
    3. On your way to the tennis, pick up one of Daniel Wilson’s Aus Open burgers, a blue-bunned burger with crispy fried chicken, a tasty Asian slaw with sesame dressing, finger lime and turmeric mayo.
  4. Hellenic Republic

    1. Hellenic fish and chips
    2. Grand Slam Oval, Melbourne Park
    3. George Calombaris turns his hand to a Melbourne Greek staple – excellent fish and chips. George’s version will be panko-crumbed blue grenadier from Lakes Entrance, and the perfectly crisp chips will come with a Greek-style tartare.
      Hellenic Republic Fish and Chips – Panko crumbed Lakes Entrance blue grenadier, chips, Greek tartare
  5. Mamasita

    1. Barbacoa beef tacos,  Mamasita
    2. Grand Slam Oval, Melbourne Park
    3. Tacos from Melbourne’s best Mexican restaurant will be served hot and fast on the Grand Slam Oval throughout the tennis.




First serve: What to eat at the Australian Open