Located in the courtyard of Nauru House, at the top “Paris end” of Collins Street, you will find the exciting and vibrant new street-style dining destination of Rue & Co, and be glad that you did. The new venture is a real treat for Melburnians and visitors to the city, incorporating St Ali (Salvatore Malatesta), Jimmy Grants (George Colombaris) and Kong (Chris Lucas), and is the first joint venture for this trio of maestro chefs.
A gorgeous and inviting space, Rue & Co is all astro-turf and glittery with tree lights, and features a stunning art backdrop that completely fills the entire wall of 9 storeys high. Its so easy to be seduced by it all and the vibe is warm and welcoming. There are covered and uncovered casual dining spots to sit at and the space is heated. And then there is the food!
Jimmy Grants At Rue & Co, each restaurant’s menu choices are really well-priced and the diversity means there is something for everyone. We started at Jimmy Grants, simply because the smell of marinated lamb wafting on the cool Melbourne night air was irresistible. We took on the “Mr Papadopoulos” ($9.50) and can possibly say it is the best souva we have ever eaten. It is served all wrapped up in paper – a pillowy soft pita bread with slow-roasted lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions and parsley, and it is simply “to die for”. A side order of chips came in a cardboard box, drizzled with garlic oil, feta and oregano and tasted as delicious as it sounds. There are also tasty slaws, salads, dips and steamed Jimmy Dimmys.
Kong The new Chris Lucas venture, Kong, has been variously described as a Japanese slash Korean pit barbecue and the hype surrounding its opening has been justified. We suggest you try the Kimchi Stew of chunky beef and sweet potato as a starter and move on to a roti roll – we tried the Gochujang Kong Ssam Roti of barbecued chicken with lemon and it was divine.
St Ali St Ali is up and running early with a delicious breakfast menu (smoothies are a speciality) and for dinner there are some amazing burger combinations to try – Seoul Searching, Pork Me, St Ali Royale and Cheech & Chong’s are just a few. Pork Me was a favourite with a pile of pulled pork and celeriac slaw all topped with apple sauce.
Whether you are in town with a group or solo, venturing out for a theatre show, shopping, catching a movie or simply heading home after a late night at work, Rue & Co is the funky new dining destination that ticks all the boxes.