Emporium Melbourne has just added another string to its bow with the opening of Calia, a sustainably minded restaurant and retail concept that celebrates only the most ethical of produce.
The concept was created by Michelin-starred chef Francisco Javiar Araya. Chilean born, Francisco has cooked in kitchens all over the world, including El Bulli in Spain and 81 Restaurant in Tokyo. He now brings his multitude of influences to Calia, named after an old lady he met in San Sebastian, who was running a kitchen out of her own home.
The restaurant and retail concept allows individuals to eat in and then buy the products used in the adjoining store to take home and continue the experience. The try-before-you-buy style will give customers the chance to see how the product can be used and applied, with inspiration for the home cook. Customers will also be able to access recipe cards, interactive recipe stories and classes by Francisco.
The menu focuses on the highest quality ingredients sourced from Australia and all over the world. The Wagyu beef originates from Tasmania and seafood is sourced from sustainable supplier Mark Eather, who supplies the likes of Vue de Monde, Dinner by Heston and Brae. Other environmentally friendly products include Manuka honey and milked Osetra caviar.
Dishes at the restaurant include red snapper ceviche; Wagyu MB7 on rice with an onsen egg, shiso and diagon orashi; and an indulgent rock lobster croissant with miso mayo, green apple fennel and radish. Sashimi rice bowls include the Ultimate, with langoustine, scallop, abalone, toro, salmon, Alaskan King crab legs, caviar, salmon roe, uni and wasabi.
Luxury products at the retail store include Yarra Valley and Red Hill truffles, coffee by Seven Seeds, pastries and breads by Chez Dre and sweet treats by Bibelot. House-made gourmet jams and sauces include a ruby grapefruit and orange cognac marmalade, and a honey mustard, perfect for sandwiches.
In line with its grand opening, Calia will be holding interactive masterclasses, workshops and educational events open to the public. Wine tasting, sake appreciation and private dining experiences will also be available, with more events and opportunities to come.