First came Dexter, the original ‘meat project’ from Adam Goldblatt, Tom and Sam Peasnell. Then came Takeaway Pizza, a cocktail bar and late night restaurant offering a fresh take on American style pizza. Now, the talented trio have two new additions to their impressive line-up of stylish eateries, introducing Cheek and Peaches on Swanston Street.
First impressions start at the luminescent pink stairs. Not much is given away, and the dreamlike glow creates an exciting sense of uncertainty as you ascend.
Level one: Cheek.
Monochromatic interior with raw concrete walls create an industrial feel at Cheek where they’ve made clever use of the narrow space. While there’s a casual feeling to the dining experience here, don’t let this fool you. This ‘non-traditional meatery’ is serious about the food they deliver and prioritise sourcing the highest quality meat and produce.
By experimenting with bold flavours as well as a variety of international cuisines, Cheek promises dishes that push the boundaries and create a BBQ experience unlike any other. Try a duck liver profiterole before getting messy with some smoked short ribs dripping in sesame caramel. Or perhaps some of their signature bone marrow mash to go alongside a succulent pork cheek.
But why should meat-eaters have all the fun? Vegos can rest easy because the guys at Cheek have remarkably managed to create a menu that’s vegetarian friendly; battered sweet and sour cauliflower is just one of the meat-free highlights. If you’ve left room for a sweet finish, why not indulge in one of Cheek’s inspired desserts. Choose between yuzu ice-cream, caramel parfait or their unique re-invention of the Aussie favourite, fairy bread – a brioche ice-cream, 100s & 1000s and golden parsnip chips.
There’s an impressive list of handpicked booze to compliment your meal at Cheek too, however if you’re craving a change in scenery, a short trip up the stairs will deliver that and much more.
Level two: Peaches.
This venue comes in two parts. The cocktail bar on level two flirts with 70s nostalgia, featuring rose suede booths, terrazzo counter tops and a shimmering mirror ball for added charm. Countless peach-shaped globes offer warm lighting with scattered foliage breaking up the pastel interior. Here you’ll find cocktail creations inspired by music genres. Under 90s Pop is the cocktail ‘It’s Britney Bitch’ with sloe gin, basil and raspberries or if you’re wanting something that packs more of a punch, see the Heavy Metal section for all your brown liquor concoctions.
Head up the stairs once more and escape to what could almost be a beachside terrace somewhere tropical. Pristine white décor, an abundance of greenery and a refreshing drinks menu await you, featuring a variety of quirky spritzes to cool you down in the warmer months. But don’t think that this new city oasis won’t thrive in the wintertime too. The concrete seating on the rooftop has a built-in heating system so you don’t have to worry about Melbourne’s cold night air getting in the way of a good time.
Of course the real fun begins around happy hour, which occurs not once but twice a day between 12pm – 2pm and 12am – 2am. Pickleback shots are just $7 (whisky chased with pickle juice), and for the same ridiculous price you can grab a hot or cold chicken sandwich. One features a mouth-watering slab of fried chicken, the latter is gently poached and paired with yuzu mayo and pickles. Both are served in a soft milk bun and are the perfect strategy for tackling late night hunger.
So if you’re looking for a one stop shop with all the things sweet dreams are made of, do yourself a favour and head to Cheek and Peach at 301 Swanston Street.
For more info on Peaches click here.
Photos provided by Kate Shanasy
By Jenn Roper