This new restaurant continues Melbourne's love affair with Greek cuisine

June 5, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Share plates from the new Grounds of Arcadia restaurant at Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum.

Since the Gold Rushes of the 1800s, Melbourne has had the biggest Greek population in Australia. Loved for their warm spirit, sporting passion, cafe culture and delicious cuisine, Melbourne’s Greek community has contributed an enormous amount to the social fabric of Victoria’s capital, helping it to become a cultural hub.

Grounds of Arcadia is located in an indoor-outdoor pavilion in the Hellenic Museum’s courtyard garden.

Greek culture is so central to Melbourne that there is a Hellenic Museum in the heart of the city on William Street. The grand former Royal Mint building houses a comprehensive collection of Greek art and antiquities – and now, a new Greek restaurant called Grounds of Arcadia (‘arcadia’ is the Greek word for ‘utopia’).

The restaurant’s panels can be raised or lowered depending on the weather.

Local architect (and former AFL player) Sean Godsell won awards for the indoor-outdoor space he designed, MPavilion, that Grounds of Arcadia calls home. Housed within the museum’s courtyard, the restaurant is a silver cube that can quickly respond to Melbourne’s changeable weather – when cold it’s enclosed to stay cosy, while on warm days the wall panels open to natural light and fresh air.

The Oneiroi gallery features Bill Henson’s photography.

There are two exciting, immersive private dining experiences available to patrons at the Grounds of Arcadia. The first takes place in the Oneiroi gallery, among a display of renowned artist Bill Henson’s work. His photographs capture Greek historical objects, including a knife that belonged to a revolutionary leader and a 3,500-year-old golden cup. (The original items he worked with are currently on display in the Hellenic Museum’s Gods, Myths and Mortals exhibition.)

The Messenger by Sam Jinks.

The second private dining experience takes place under the gaze of Sam Jink’s hyper-real sculpture The Messenger. A Melbourne-based artist, Jinks was inspired by Iris, Greek goddess of rainbows and messenger of the gods. He created this statue of her filling a vessel from the River Styx, which lies on the border of earth and the underworld.

Food at the Grounds of Arcadia is simple, hearty and Mediterranean.

Most importantly, the dishes offered at Grounds of Arcadia are traditional and nourishing, cooked in wood-fired ovens and paired with Greek wine, beer and spirits. “Food and wine is in every Greek’s DNA," says John Tatoulis, CEO of the Hellenic Museum. "So it was apt for the museum to launch its very own restaurant." Tatoulis is no stranger to the city’s food scene – he was part of the team that opened Orexis in the ’80s, which became Melbourne’s first hatted restaurant. Prepare for food-paired cultural events befitting a vibrant global city.

Visit: Grounds of Arcadia

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