Melbourne’s Newest Pontoon Bar & Eatery – Yarra Botanicals – To Open 10th March Championing Victorian produce and Melbourne city’s comeback

by the partae

Unique, two-level floating bar and eatery Yarra Botanicals will open in Southbank on Thursday 10th March, giving Melburnians and visitors alike another new reason to return to the heart of the city.  Bookings are now open for the highly anticipated new all-year-round venue, which cost $5.2million to build and is championing Victorian producers with a 100% Victorian beverage menu & 90% Victorian food menu*. 

Floating on the Yarra River, the venue will offer a relaxed setting for up to 690 guests, with sweeping city views and Southbank’s bustling promenade alongside. Guests will enjoy a unique eating and dining experience where they can feel immersed in an inner-city garden oasis.

Partnering with Drink Victorian, Yarra Botanicals is committed to a 100% Victorian drinks list. The all-local line up is extensive, with cocktails, wines, beers, ciders and premium spirits. A variety of Yarra Botanical flavours grace the Signature Yarra Botanicals Spritz menu which the Peculiar Pepper Berry Spritz (Billson’s Alfred Peculiar gin, grapefruit, Pepper Berry, Prosecco and soda) and Lemon Myrtle & Jasmine Spritz (Four Pillars gin, Lemon Myrtle, jasmine water, Limoncello and soda). Victorian producers include Two Birds Brewing, Rochford Wines, Fixating Brewing and Grainshaker Ausvodka.

The food menu celebrates the bounty of seasonal produce available from Victorian farms and fisheries, and proudly name drops the Victorian regions that power each dish. Executive Chef Telina Menzies’ menu is designed for socialising and sharing, with tasty snacks, fresh local seafood and six woodfired pizzas. 

The 90-hour sourdough pizzas are made from Aussie stone ground flour, water and Mount Zero pink river salt. Soft cheeses are by That’s Amore Cheese, meats are from Salt Kitchen and the vegetables are Victorian. The pizzas flavours are Classic Tomato with mozzarella, basil (Yarra Valley), Squid with Murray Cod Belly, scallop, tomato and chilli (Coastal Victoria), Western Plains Pork & Fennel Sausage with honey, radicchio and ricotta (Yarra Valley), Kent Pumpkin with Meredith goat’s cheese, Warrigal greens pesto & smoked mozzarella (Meredith), Prosciutto with fig, tomato & smoked mozzarella (Ballarat) and Wattle Bank Farm Oyster Mushroom with radicchio & smoked mozzarella (Wattle Bank).

Hero dishes include Hand Stretched Burrata with rosella, green tomato, basil & jalapeno (Gippsland), Pickled Portarlington Mussels with nduja, garlic, aioli, curry leaf, pizza fritto dippers (Bellarine Peninsula), Lakes Entrance Calamari with native spiced salt, confit garlic and lemon (Lakes Entrance), Local Whiting with Ronin kelp, soy & lemon aspen caramel, pink grapefruit & finger lime (Port Philip Bay) and Halloumi with new season fig, honey and mountain pepper (Yarra Valley).

A Feed Me Menu will be available for groups of 15-30 which includes a selection of signature snacks for $50. 

For dessert, guests can enjoy a cone or cup of plant-based Hemp Soft Serve, available in Roasted Wattleseed & Choc or Lemon Myrtle & Lemon Custard.

Every weekend, guests can enjoy sun-drenched brunch sessions aboard Yarra Botanicals. For $69per person, guests can enjoy a signature Yarra Botanicals Gin Fizzer on arrival, a choice of brunch item, 2 Yarra Botanicals gin cocktails and a Hemp soft serve cone. The brunch package is bookable for every Saturday & Sunday from 11am – 1pm.

The floating bar & eatery will span across two levels with Melbourne’s stunning cityscape as the backdrop. As a year-round venue, it has been designed with Melbourne’s four seasons in mind. From lattice pergolas on the lower deck to oversize market umbrellas providing protection from both the hot sun and rain to heaters, blankets and rugs for extra warmth in the cooler months.

Yarra Botanicals is a green oasis, decked out with native plants and aquatic vegetation, including climbing vines, native trees, planter boxes, herb gardens and edible plants. Patrons will enjoy the memorable Australian experience that has been intertwined into the design and feel of Yarra Botanicals.

Yarra Botanicals has been designed to be installed with minimum impact on its surrounding natural environment and will have a dedication to nature and sustainability. Working closely with Parks Victoria, the team kept sustainability at the core of the venue’s philosophy. Supporting local was just the start, with minimising waste, no single use plastic for consumers, using recyclable packaging wherever possible, using energy efficient strategies and separating organic and recyclable waste to divert from landfill on the agenda.

The unique venue, from Melbourne-based hospitality group Australian Venue Co, is set to become Melbourne’s newest landmark destination, attracting Melburnians and tourists alike back to the heart of the city once again.

Entry into Yarra Botanicals is free, and the venue will be open 7 days a week. Bookings are encouraged with walk-ins available. 

*Approximately 90% of food will be sourced within Victoria, with a small percentage of items sourced from interstate when not available in Victoria. Victorian producers are encouraged to contact Yarra Botanicals to submit their product via the supplier page on the website.


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