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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4
  1. The bar area at Serai restaurant.
    Jana Langhorst
  2. Mini burgers at Serai
    Jana Langhorst
  3. Duck cooking on the fire at Serai
    Jana Langhorst
  4. Dimly lit room with hanging lights at Serai
    Jana Langhorst

Time Out says

Walk down a hidden alley to find Filipino food over fire and natural wines in this lofty warehouse space

Tucked in an unassuming alley a few steps from the bustle of Hardware Lane you'll find Serai, a 50-seater loft serving up Filipino food over fire. When ex-Rice Paper Sister chef Ross Magnaye returned from a stint in Bulgaria, he knew his next venture would be a place of his own. Alongside co-owner Shane Stafford (also of Rice Paper Sister), he set out to create a menu that plays true to his Filipino heritage – with Malaysian, Spanish and Chinese flavours peeping through each dish.

Whilst traditional flavours and Filipino condiments are a menu mainstay, you can expect some twists as he incorporates influences from his time living abroad in Eastern Europe. Think: Ross’ take on kinilaw, a kind of Filipino ceviche, with burnt cucumber resting on some serious crunch of pork crackling, or the wood-roasted Milawa duck brightened up with calamansi (a lime-like citrus native to the Philippines) that you can scoop up with charred bread hot off the fire.

The space itself is a bare warehouse-style loft that doesn’t distract from the star of the show: the impressive fire pit responsible for the charred, smoky flavours that pop up on every plate. The bar’s on show too – with a mostly local drop of natural wines and a bartender spinning Filipino-inspired cocktails. It’s moody but casual, and has the kind of energetic atmosphere that suits anything from a date night spot to a night out with friends.

Serai is taking bookings from Thursday 12 May.

Love a local drop? Here's our guide to the best wine bars in Melbourne.

Cjay Aksoy
Written by Cjay Aksoy


7 Racing Club Ln
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