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This Week in Food: Eat to help bushfire victims + summer snacks you can’t pass up!

BAR NONE

He’s never sitting still, is he? Fresh from the successful launch of Maha East last year, next month Shane Delia will open Maha Bar in Collingwood. He’s promising all the hallmarks of what we all love about the Maha brand, but a bigger focus on booze – all the cocktails, wine and beers that will work with his take on meze. And in a nod to his Maltese heritage he’ll be adopting their tradition of gifting meze to customers; every Friday, Saturday & Sunday between 3pm – 5pm the Maha Bar kitchen will be serving a free menu of tasty bar snacks to keep you going while you enjoy a few drinks with mates. mahabar.com.au

LOVING THE LAGOON

One of my favourite dining experiences over the summer was at Lagoon Dining, the Asian eatery that has opened smack bang in the Italian heart of Lygon Street. Prepare for heat, but enjoy the relaxed surrounds, the superb service, and banging flavours of dishes like Hot & Sour Shredded Potato, and Snake Beans with nduja, dried prawn, shiitake and cashew. lagoondining.com

FOOD DOING GOOD

There are a myriad of food and wine events happening around Melbourne to raise funds for bushfire relief, so you’ve probably already been inundated, but if you’re still after some ideas, try the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s Restaurants for Relief page.

MAKING A POINT

I’m confident not many people will have heard of Campbell Point House, which is one of the things that make it so special. This luxury boutique hotel, deep in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula, on the edge of Lake Connewarre, really is one out of the bag. The largely French-style mansion sits on 14 acres, sleeps a maximum of 30 guests, boasts tennis court, pool, and a seriously good restaurant – and now, you don’t need to stay the night in order to enjoy it! Reservations for chef Corey Fowler’s eight course degustation are now open to the public. I was honestly blown away by what we ate. From bar snacks including octopus on white bean with house-made paprika (who makes paprika in house!?!), to dishes like tender, shaved calamari with onion and seawater; and crisp-topped pork jowl with sherry and Goolwah pippies. It’s actually quite good value at $175 for eight courses, there’s a three course option, and serious value on the current wine list. campbellpointhouse.com.au

HAT TRICK

Here comes venue number three for Christian McCabe of Embla and Lesa fame, together with winemaker Patrick Sullivan, he’s opened Punchin’ Bottles on Russell Street this week – a city bottle-o. There’s a firm focus on Victorian wines, producers, they’re promising an ever-changing selection of small batch local wines and some European-leaning pours. There’ll be weekly in-house tastings with Victorian vignerons and internationalindustry types, starting with Gareth Belton from Gentle FolkWines on Wednesday, 22 January. pbwineshop.com.au

SNACKING THROUGH SUMMER

Surely we all need something to tide us over between lunch and dinner? An excuse to head out in the summer after work and socialise? Well, Marion is here to help. The Gertrude St wine bar is celebrating “Bon Apero” all the way through until the end of Feb. Each evening between 5pm & 7pm, enjoy l’apero – when they’ll be serving up three pintxos-style bites until they run out (think Gordal olives, lemon and juniper oil for $6 or Red & white anchovy tarte fine for $8) and some summer drinks like a Bup Bup Americano $cocktail with Lustao Blanco, Airone Poli aperitivo, red grapes for just $10. marionwine.com.au

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