You’ve probably already heard that Gary Mehigan, co-host of Masterchef, has sold his highly successful Fenix Restaurant in the inner city suburb of Richmond to concentrate on other ventures.

Under the stewardship of its new owners, the Maple Group, Fenix has moved away from its restaurant roots and is now a fully dedicated function venue trading under the name Fenix Events.  The Maple Group, a family run business headed by Carly and Eric Cohen, also owns another popular riverside function venue, Leonda By The Yarra.

On behalf of Couturing, I had the privilege of enjoying a sit down banquet lunch to highlight all that Fenix Events has to offer.  The event was held at the lower of Fenix Events’ two levels.

The lower level has recently been luxuriously redone.


The first words that jump to mind to describe the new space are bright, luxurious and contemporary.  The colour palate is understated and obviously well thought out to provide the perfect blank canvas for you to plan your perfect event.


As you walk into the space, there is a marble topped bar that runs the length of the venue offset by a dark and almost textural feature wall.  The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling curved glass windows also draw the rivers views into the space.   The space also boasts full modern amenities such as fully retractable screens, coloured projectors and private toilets.  This, coupled with the ability to divide the space into separate areas, gives Fenix Events the ability to impress event guests and the flexibility to cater for events of any size.


Back to the lunch, a single long table was set for a three-course lunch, topped off perfectly by peonies and orchid centrepieces by renowned florist and event stylist, Fleur McHarg.

The lunch menu was a creation of Maple Group’s Executive Chef, Roland Gordon.

Each course had three options and I can assure you that the decision-making process was not easy.  I wanted it all.


For entrée I almost went for the Crisp Confit Duck with Beetroot Puree topped with Orange and Carrot Relish, but settled on the Bug Tail Ravioli served with Sautéed Spinach, Finger Lime Veloute and Lemon Balm.  This was a single raviolo, topped with a creamy veloute that complemented the ravioli perfectly with just enough acid to balance the dish.


The main was an even harder choice.  I was tossing up between the Beef Tenderloin with Foie Gras Tartlet and the slow roasted Victorian Pork with Fondant Potato and Crackling.  I am generally a big fan of pig in any of its glorious forms but the addition of a Foie Gras Tartlet intrigued me and I had to go with the Beef Tenderloin.  And I was not disappointed.  Judging by the silence around the table as everyone devoured their mains, there probably wasn’t a bad decision to be made.

The first two courses were accompanied with a choice of wines that perfectly complemented each course.  I am a cool climate wine fan and I could not say no to a Yarra Valley Chardonnay and a Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir.   There were also thoughtful accompaniments of Crispy Roasted Potatoes and a seasonal dish of Spinach, Carrots, Crispy Bacon (yes more delicious pig) topped with an Avocado Dressing.

I was so engrossed in the food and wine that I had failed to notice a jazz musician had started playing in the background.  He sang soulful tunes, accompanied by an acoustic guitar, and at one point mimicked the sounds of a trumpet sans trumpet with just his mouth.

As you sit back enjoying the space, the river views, the food and the live music, it’s easy to forget that you are just minutes away from Melbourne’s CBD.


To complete what was already a glorious lunch, dessert, the most important course of the day, was a choice of Leatherwood Honey and Yoghurt Panna Cotta, a Meyer lemon and Elderflower Tart complete with strawberry Sorbet and a Taste of Chocolate, consisting of mini fondant, Mini Mouse Tart, Mini Chocolate Éclair with a scoop of White Chocolate Ice Cream.


As each dessert was served the chef came out and individually finished off each dessert as it was placed in front of each guests with a selection of edible flowers and micro herbs.  There were nods of approvals as each person devoured their choice of delectable dessert.

The lunch ended with a selection of tea and coffees and Petit Fours.

We can strongly recommend Fenix Events for your next function. Please contact Kathryn Gibson, Fenix Events’ dedicated Events Sales Manager on +613 9427 8500, and she will assist you in making your next event a flawless success.

About The Author

Jason Scully

Jason Scully is a Malaysian-born foodie whose interest include marathon television sessions, flipping through Domain on the weekends and checking out Melbourne's latest festivals. Jason is also the founder and co-editor of Collective Tee - The World's First Wearable Blog. Check it out at

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