Neo Lemonade is putting the Docklands’ food scene back on the map. Defying all the stereotypes of what we expect from the usual food ventures in the area, Neo Lemonade has created a modern but welcoming restaurant, that offers an all-day menu full of locally sourced produce which is then partnered with a carefully curated cocktail list, utilising native Australian herbs and produce.
The dining space is magnificent, with industrial features and impressive art installations. Owner Steven Velkovski has created a bright and spacious dining experience that features pops of their signature pink and green, alluding to the fresh and sustainable produce that you’ll be greeted with on your plate.
Steven, who tributes the inspiration of the restaurant to his twin sons Leo and Lennon (who called themselves Neo and Lemonade in their early years), knew there was one major aspect that would see Neo Lemonade stand out from the crowd in the Melbourne restaurant scene, and that was the calibre of chefs in the kitchen.
Head Chef Francisco Arbelo has spent years mastering his skill and technique, working under respected chefs such as Peter Gunn and in well-known venues such as the popular Hunters Kitchen and Bar in St. Kilda. It is the combination of simple and elegant ingredients used by Francisco, alongside his favourite culinary techniques, that promises every guest a sophisticated dish that is smart and clean.
We loved tasting our way through the menu. To start the octopus ceviche was a thing of beauty. It was a dish that allowed the subtle sweetness of the octopus to shine through.
The salmon tapioca crisp was similarly delicious. We loved the vivid coloured dill beetroot cured salmon contrasting against the crunchy squid ink tapioca crisp.
For entrée, the dish of mushrooms delighted and featured 5 different mushroom varieties served alongside beetroot, red vein sorrel and olives.
Mains continued the trend of the evening – delicious. For something light we recommend the Red Snapper Fillet served with an aromatic smoked fish broth and finger lime, a deceptively simple looking dish that showcased restraint and elegance.
For meat lovers the spiced crust lamb rump is not to be missed. We loved the perfectly sous vide and seared lamb which was served with green olives and pea tendrils.
Dessert time showcased the kitchen’s versatility. For the mature palate the Passion Fruit Kaffir Lime Crémeux is elegant and served with raspberry, sable and cardamom mascarpone.
For those with a sweeter tooth, we recommend the playful dessert of watermelon cube - think sugar dome encased smoked watermelon with gooseberries, balsamic, leatherwood, honey labneh, lemon aspen and juniper. Just yum!
Gone are the days of Docklands’ residents being forced to leave their own suburb to chase a high-quality restaurant experience. Neo Lemonade has answered all of our prayers by providing a slice of heaven in an otherwise scarce food location. This venue has provided Melbourne food lovers with an all-inclusive culinary experience which is leading the way to making the Docklands the destination location that it was always intended to be.
Location: 850 Collins Street, Docklands
Phone: 03 9620 7030