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January 25, 2018

Melt Henley opens its doors

The power is on, the tables are set, the view is spectacular.

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  • Story: Johnny von Einem

The largest restaurant in the ever-expanding Kardachi collection, Melt at Henley – a spacious 200-seater pizza, tapas and breakfast restaurant and bar – has finally opened, after months of anticipation and a tumultuous lead-in week.

The addition of a breakfast menu is new for the Melt brand, but with three venues now sitting under the same umbrella, there have been moves made to unify the offering, particularly behind the bar.

“We’ve got a bar atmosphere in here, you can see this is going to be the kind of place where you can hang out all afternoon,” managing partner, Ben Kelly says.

“We see that all of the Melts have the potential for a bar focus. When you go to Hyde Park, a lot of people use Hyde Park as a wine bar type of experience…

“We see that addition of Ollie [Margan, managing partner at Maybe Mae] as a strategist for our cocktail list, Michael Murphy sommeliering, it just lifts the overall image of the Melt brand and shows that it’s a serious hospitality venture. It’s not just about pizza and tapas.”

However, Melt Henley will respond to its seaside location, with a “leaner, a more Mediterranean-style wine list than a lot of our other restaurants,” Michael Murphy explains, as well as a skew towards seafood on both the pizza and tapas menus.

There will also be a strong focus on service and atmosphere – traits Kardachi restaurants are known for, but which, according to Ben, are lacking in the Henley market.

“It’s something that’s not been down here before, that serious service aspect. Down here, it’s all about go up to the counter and order your drink and then go and sit down – you’re doing all the work,” he says.

“Here, we’re going to do the work for you; you can ask questions, we can talk about what you want… Michael Murphy can sit there and inform the customer, and help them make an educated decision on what they want to drink.

“The competitive advantage to our venue is that professionalism… The locals want something of quality, and they haven’t had it, and I think they will support it.”

Melt Henley will opens from 8am seven days a week (breakfast served until 11:30am) and open for dinner late.

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