© Ella Ling

Aussie Open

Where to eat and drink during the Australian Open


Koko, at Crown Entertainment Complex:
Every tennis player of note knows his sushi from his sashimi, and during the Australian Open fortnight, a good number of them will pop in here. Maria Sharapova might be found gorging on the spicy tuna crispy rice rolls (I’ll have about ten of them”), and Andy Murray has also been seen in this Japanese restaurant. Rafael Nadal became so attached to Koko in 2009, the year that he won the title, that he is said to have visited the restaurant ten times during the fortnight, and invited the chef to sit in his box during one of his matches. Nadal’s victory that year was fuelled on tooth fish, sushi, fried rice with seafood rice, and noodles with teriyaki sauce.
Go for: off-duty tennis players. 
Melbourne Supper Club, on Spring Street:
When the evening session finishes late on the Rod Laver Arena, there are few better places to go than the Supper Club – it is open until 6am at the weekend, and until 4am on school-nights. The Melbourne Age had this to say: “When people talk about Melbourne’s fantastic bar scene, this is the place they’re talking about.” While the worldsbestbars.com has described “a wonderful woody long room full of bulging couches, battered armchairs and weathered floorboards that will make you want to light up that Cohiba.”
Go for: the long wine list, the cocktails, the roof-top terrace, the view of Parliament House. 
Chocolate Budha, in Federation Square:
Sit on one of the outside tables (all tables are communal here), and you can watch the tennis shown on the giant video screen in the Square.
Go for: the tempura prawns, to be eaten while you watch live coverage from Melbourne Park. 
Donovans, on St Kilda beach:
This used to be a bathing pavilion; it is now one of the finest restaurants in the city, with the kitchen more than living up its setting right on the beachfront (the only restaurant which could suggest that its location is on a level with Donovans’ is The Stokehouse, and that’s because they are just a short walk away, also on the foreshore).
Go for: the sun, the sea, the sand, the ‘Four Tastes’ tasting plate. 
Riverland Bar. near Federation Square:
A good early-evening spot, after the end of the day session at Melbourne Park. Stroll along the Yarra River, order a beer and people-watch.
Go for: The view, the schooners.