Abacus was one of the much anticipated openings of late 2017. Its name is a throwback to Westpac, the former occupants of this triple-frontage site, and the design of the lighting fixtures above the coffee counter gives another nod to the site’s history and new beginnings. The space is light and airy, making use of its corner position by having plenty of bi-fold windows on two sides. ...

With a focus on nutritious and delicious food, SMÄK’s philosophy fits right in with health-conscious South Yarra. For those who don't speak Swedish or Norwegian, which is most of us, it's pronounced ‘smark’ meaning 'taste'. As with its name, its interior design is in a minimalist Scandinavian-style of polished concrete and blond wood. SMAK also tries to use sustainable produce from local suppliers within a 100km radius. There are plenty of salads, and also options for coeliacs and vegetarians. Lunch starts at 11am....

Loud hip hop tunes and bright pink neon lights are the setting for Malvern Road's Rock Sugar, which was once the former home of owner Nikon Souphan. The kitchen is in the hands of Executive Chef Kam McManamey, who's had experience doing up the menus for places like Botherambo, Dandelion and Bang Pop. ...

Sitting on River St and aptly named Stepping Stone, the name represents their food philosophy: STONE stands for Seasonal, Traceable, Organic, Natural, and Ethical. People who follow the lifestyle, they dotingly call ‘stoners’. It’s the latest venue from Clare Hu (Bluff Town, The Resident Cafe). The textures and flavours of the quality, locally-sourced ingredients are showcased by using simple cooking techniques; ingredients are kept to ‘al dente’ when possible, to preserve the flavour and texture of them in their natural state. ...