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Restaurants, Seafood Melbourne
Pinchy's lobster roll
Photograph: Supplied
Photograph: Supplied
Pinchy's prawn roll
Photograph: Supplied
Razor clams at Pinchy's
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

Sustainable seafood and Champagne, anyone?

Mid-City Arcade, known for its ground-floor budget restaurants like Mr Ramen-san and ShanDong MaMa, is not where you would expect to find a lobster-and-Champagne restaurant. But then again, Pinchy's is no stuffy, white-tablecloth joint.

The décor is Millenial pink, with a giant neon claw on the wall. The vibe inside is much more fun hidden bar than French Champagne and expensive crustacean, and there is a sizeable terrace overlooking Bourke Street that seems like the place for bright young things to see and be seen. After a lengthy pop-up at Emporium, Pinchy's has found a home next door to Heroes and across the road from the Carlton Club, and it fits its neighbourhood, if not exactly its downstairs competition. 

Unlike its Emporium iteration, Pinchy's is not entirely about seafood rolls and has expanded its menu to include oysters, anchovy on toast, kingfish ceviche, mini crab tacos, scallops and razor clams. Gone are crab rolls, but in their place are prawn head rolls with sea urchin aioli. Servings are on the small side, so you'll probably need a few dishes unless you're just after a snack.

Pinchy's fans will be glad to know the lobster roll remains. The Maine to Melbourne lobster roll contains the expected crustacean, seasoned butter, chives and fresh lemon on one of those rich, crispy rolls. With seafood this good, you don't need to add anything else. The lobster comes from Maine, USA, and Pinchy's supplier is committed to sustainable seafood. 

You can get through a roll in about six bites, and as seafood is quite expensive to source, prices are accordingly on the high side. The lobster and prawn rolls clock in at $20. But really, this is lobster. It's not a cheap lunch, but those who value their seafood will find it worth the spend. 

Truffle fries and a few vegetarian and vegan snacks are also available. 

Drinks are Veuve Cliquot brut, Veuve Cliquot rosé and French still and sparkling wine, as well as champagne cocktails. Pretty fancy stuff for a shopping arcade, eh?


Address: Mid-City Arcade
200 Bourke Street
Level 1
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 11.30am-late
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