Larry Kestelman to launch restaurant group in Melbourne

The Australian property developer enters the hospitality arena, with a selection of new restaurants and bars at his South Yarra residential development, Capitol Grand, launching late 2019.

The hospitality establishments will be stylish design-led settings in which to enjoy multi-genre experiences, from breakfast and all-day-dining to chic cocktail bars. Food retail will be championed by David Jones Food, whose store will overlook Chapel Street, supplying fresh produce and the finest food to residents and locals alike. 

Serving as the Executive Chef for all hospitality concepts at the venue, Stephen Nairn will also head up his own kitchen in a restaurant due to open in early 2020. With a CV committed to mastery of his craft, Stephen’s career spans local and international establishments from Eleven Madison Park, NY (Chef de Partie) to Vue de monde, Melbourne (Executive Chef). Stephen has been heavily involved in the initial restaurant setups and is working with the very best local producers and growers, making Capitol Grand a culinary ambassador for greater Victoria.

Executive Chef Stephen Nairn (left) and Larry Kestelman (right). Credit © Samara Clifford.

Larry describes Stephen as a linchpin in the project. “His incredible skills, alongside an intuitive understanding of local produce and enviable international knowledge makes him an invaluable addition to the team. Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures which, combined with a seasonal climate, produces some of the best tasting and most exciting food in Australia. I think the city has a global reputation for great tasting food and I aim to evolve the customer’s experience.”

The first restaurant to launch will be the venue’s all-day-dining restaurant. A transformative multi-use community hub that evolves from early breakfast and daytime lunch and meeting place, into a local evening restaurant. The menu will lean towards a European-style format, and favourite dishes from France and Italy will feature heavily. Seating approximately 100 guests, the venue is scheduled to open in October this year, with the other bars and restaurants to follow into early 2020.

Guests will not have to wait too long for a sense of what’s cooking, as the team have set up their development kitchen in a local vacant restaurant space on the Toorak Road. While dishes are being tried and tested behind the scenes, those that are menu-ready will be served in a pop up located on 25 Toorak Road. Named Omnia, the pop up will open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from mid-May.