La Madonna, Melbourne CBD

MELBOURNE | I was recently invited to the launch of La Madonna. It’s part of the newly opened Next Hotel, and bills itself as a restaurant that’s in a hotel, rather than a hotel restaurant. That is, the team behind the venue want La Madonna to be viewed as a restaurant and bar that can stand on its own as venue worth visiting.

The night began at the bar, and impressive space with some great views on the third floor. The highlight here is the bar’s in house wood barrel ageing program. Several cocktails and spirits are barrel aged on site, and they’ll soon be launching an option where you can reserve your own barrel. I tried the barrel aged negroni and really enjoyed it (well I had a few in fact).

Adjacent to the bar area is the restaurant, where chefs Daniel Natoli (ex Neptune, Rina’s) and Adrian Li (ex Tokyo Tina, Saigon Sally, Rina’s) have put together a seasonal menu that leans Italian with Asian flourishes. The kitchen also draws upon the barrel ageing program – they’re currently playing around with barrel aged fish sauce and white soy.

The food I enjoyed was all tasty. The highlights for me being the compressed tomato with white soy, stracciatella, the kingfish crudo with confit octopus and ‘forgotten ‘citrus, and basil, and the bistecca ala di’ana with roast potatoes.

Kudos to all involved for getting this one off the ground, opening a new hotel with an ace food and drink offering in the current challenging environment deserves a round of applause.

La Madonna

103 Little Collins Street
Victoria 3000

Telephone: (03) 9118 3352
E-mail: [email protected]

Mon – Fri: 7:00am to 10:00am, 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Sat – Sun: 7:00am to 11:00am, 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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