The 50th Anniversary Issue

Our 50th birthday issue is on sale now. We're celebrating five decades of great food and travel with our biggest issue yet.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 27th November, 2016 and receive a Villeroy & Boch platter!

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Paul Wilson arrives at Prahran Market

Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Prahran Market will soon be home to two new ventures from Paul Wilson: a restaurant and a chicken shop.

It's hard not to get a little bit excited when Paul Wilson describes Wilson & Merchant, his forthcoming restaurant at the Prahran Market, as "a luxe, younger version of the Bot". The Botanical Hotel was, after all, a high-water mark for Melbourne restaurants last decade, where the unofficial leader of the cheffing Britpack helped refine the notion of modern Australian food.

Wilson & Merchant promises double happiness - it also heralds Wilson's return to the kitchen after a long hiatus during which he acted as gun for hire, designing Latin American-leaning menus for the likes of the Newmarket, Albert Park and Middle Park hotels.

Tapping into his old Botanical networks (executive chef is Dave Marshall, the Bot's sous-chef who went on to open the Middle Park Hotel; bar chief is his former chef de partie and recent Black Pearl resident Sam Ng), there will be no tacos in sight when the 90-seater opens, replete with separate bar and café areas, in anywhere from three to six months. It's back to mod Oz, the menu enjoying a symbiotic relationship with the market, supplemented by biodynamic and organic produce grown specially for the restaurant.

"It will be a seasonal menu with a seasonal accent," says Wilson. "European-leaning in winter, more Mediterranean in summer. There are some amazing fishmongers here and as a chef I can order produce four times a day. It's like having a restaurant by the ocean."

You can expect rare-breed chicken on the wood-fired rôtisserie, too, a concept Wilson is trying out with a second Prahran Market project on the boil: a modern take on the classic Australian chicken shop. "There's no market in Melbourne where you can buy a roast chicken and they're usually disappointing quality. I really want to highlight real free-range, brined, wood-roasted chicken with different condiments and triple-cooked chips, all designed to take home."

The as-yet unnamed chicken shop is due to open in the former Swiss Bakery site in around six weeks. While Wilson is using the dreaded words "pop-up", he has a five-year lease and plans to move it to a larger location if the concept works out.


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

Latest news
Hot Plates: Zaab Street Food, Canberra
Pinbone is opening a new Sydney restaurant
Melbourne’s Rosa’s Kitchen has closed
Hot Plates: Pickett’s Deli & Rotisserie, Melbourne
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards are coming to Melbourne and we know where and when
Missy French has closed
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
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Melbourne’s Rosa’s Kitchen has closed

A kitchen fire has forced Rosa Mitchell’s Punch Lane restaur...

Bistro Gitan

With its impressive pedigree (launched by the progeny of lo...

Cafe Di Stasio

We live, mostly happily, in a democratic age: that tattooed...


Cicciolina has been doing its bohemian no-bookings bistro t...


Don't let the curated-kitsch surrounds and laid-back servic...

Da Noi

While many chefs bang on about provenance, few can top Piet...


Elwood is perhaps an unlikely destination for some serious ...

Dainty Sichuan

Sichuan food, like sado-masochism, is not for everyone. ("M...


David's hums with renewed energy since its transformation t...

Flower Drum

Four decades is a long time in this fine-dining caper, yet ...


How is it that after nearly 28 years, France-Soir still gen...

Izakaya Den

This subterranean bar and diner always holds a sense of adv...

Il Bacaro

Il Bacaro is proof that great design never goes out of fash...


Hidden away in Collins Place under the soaring five-star So...

Ladro Greville

Overdue a Roman holiday? With its well-groomed, Aperol-swig...

get the latest news

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