Jardin Tan, Royal Botanic Gardens

Head chef Mike Reid

Head chef Mike Reid

Shannon Bennett turns his focus to joggers and young families as the first stage of his French-Vietnamese eatery, Jardin Tan, opens today in the former Observatory Café in Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens.

The restaurant will eventually be a sprawling 350-seat monument to sustainable food but in the meantime visitors to the gardens can get a taste of what's to come from a small kiosk at the front.

Head chef Mike Reid (former executive chef at London's Gaucho) will spruce up bánh mi and pho with his classic French kitchen skills and a liberal dose of Blackmore wagyu and Greenvale pork. Reid's kiosk menu is perfect picnic fodder, with a big range of rice paper rolls and French pastries, Five Senses coffee, cold-pressed juices, liquor-laced milkshakes, beer and wine. Orange and star anise-infused coffee with Viet-style condensed milk is also available.

Waiters from Jardin Tan will also ride retro bicycles with trailers around the Tan jogging circuit, selling picnic staples from their bikes with a smartphone app available to track the mobile kiosks via GPS.

But the real action starts in a few weeks when Jardin Tan opens its indoor-outdoor space. The bones of the original cafeteria remain, but recycled timber, new decking and giant herb planters add warmth. The best tables are under the fig tree out the back, catching the morning sun next to the vegetable garden. The full menu will include gems like crisp bành xèo pancakes with pork and shrimp, plus coconut mussels with lemongrass and chilli. Reid's favourite dish is the Flinders Island lamb ribs with Vietnamese spice rub and chilli caramel. Proteins are his specialty, charred on a giant parrilla grill shipped in from Brazil.

A heaving Ottolenghi-style salad display will feature biodynamic produce from Jardin Tan's kitchen garden and the venue's sister property, Burnham Beeches. As the lunch rush finishes, salads will make way for high tea.

And, as the weather warms up, picnic hampers will be available for the adjacent Moonlight Cinema crowd.

Jardin Tan, Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Ave, South Yarra, Vic, (03) 9691 3888. Open daily from 8am-4pm (later in warmer months).


Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Catch Borago chef Rodolfo Guzman in Australia next month
19.10.2017
Firedoor launches Sunday brunch series
18.10.2017
Donovan Cooke opens new restaurant Ryne in Melbourne
10.10.2017
KingFish opens, sampling poke, hip-hop and matcha treats
07.09.2017
Bridge Bon Appetit, the latest addition to Hubert, opens tonight
06.09.2017
Get to know Orana, Australia's Restaurant of the Year 2018
25.08.2017
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2013

There are a lot of food shots on Instagram: the good, the ba...

Where our chefs want to eat

We asked Australia's leading chefs to name the restaurants t...

Hot 100 2015 - Restaurant news

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

What the hell is Gelinaz anyway, and why is it shuffling?

On the eve of the second outing of one of the world’s strang...

Nahm named best restaurant in Asia

The 2014 50 Best Restaurants in Asia were unveiled this week...

Restaurants cooking with seaweed

With its complexity in flavour and texture, seaweed is the c...

On the pass

Tell us about Tomahawk’s menu, Ali...

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015

A mighty fine plate of beef short ribs with roast celery vin...

Dan Barber talks sustainable food

Farm-to-table is a neat catchcry but, argues Dan Barber, one...

Alessandro Pavoni, Ormeggio, Sydney

You’ve just released your first cookbook, a tribute to Lomba...

The 2016 GT Restaurant Guide Top 100

Here's the list of our 2016 Restaurant Guide Top 100. How ma...

First look: 108 at Noma, Copenhagen

Rene Redzepi may be headed to Sydney next month, but he's ba...

Dear Sainte Eloise to open in Potts Point

Sydney’s new wine bar is going back to basics.

Party-starting playlists

Music is a key ingredient that can turn your party from good...

Grant Achatz interview

Pat Nourse talks to the chef of Chicago’s Alinea ahead of hi...