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Hot off the grill

Five unique new CBD eateries to try this week

Wollongong is truly punching above its weight in world-class eateries, and our passionate local businesses continue to surprise. This week we peek into five brand new venues that are serving up fresh taste sensations you won't want to miss.

K.malu Kitchen + Bar

I've got one word for you: fondue!!! We are loooong overdue a fondue comeback, and the clever folk at brand new eatery K.malu have raised it to a fine dining art form. Think premium gruyere and gouda cheeses, with options to add truffle, jalapeno or speck to the mix, all served in a beautiful flame-warmed fondue pot with fresh bread, chorizo and vegies for dipping. K.malu blends modern Australian with European cuisines, and if fondue is not for you, check out the decadent Wagyu Sandwich, or abundant paella.

Find K.malu at 122 Keira Street, open for lunch and dinner, Tues - Sat.

Lux Bistro Bar

The CBD has been crying out for an all-day eatery, and shiny new venue Lux is here to save you! Open 7 days from 7:30am til midnight, or 2am on weekends, now you have somewhere to head pre-work, mid-shopping or post-gig.

Looking for an afternoon coffee, or lunchtime cocktail? Lux has your back! With a classic crowd-pleasing menu of steaks, pastas, salads and more, you can't go wrong, any time of day.

Find Lux Bistro Bar at 110-114 Crown St, open 7 days.

Restaurant Santino

The team behind hugely successful restaurant Kneading Ruby have gifted us with a second Italian eatery in the CBD. Tucked inside Globe Lane, Restaurant Santino's interior has been lovingly renovated with fresh take on a traditional Italian diner. Beautiful tiles, soft pinks and warm chocolate brown interiors will have you reaching for the limoncello before you can settle yourself into a cosy booth.

The menu is classic Italian, done to perfection. Think duck, mushroom and marscapone ravioli followed by rosemary and chilli spatchcock. For the true taste seekers, branch out and try the packed-with-flavour grilled Ox Tongue Skewers!

Find Restaurant Santino at 2/17 Globe Lane, open Wed-Sunday for dinner, and Fri-Sunday for lunch.

La Mamita's Cafe

Upper Crown Street is transforming by the day into a pop culture paradise, filled with comics, gaming and vintage stores. La Mamita's cafe is the newest venue to pop up just before lockdown, and has quickly made its way to the brunch and lunch essentials roster!

The family team have drawn on Spanish influences to liven up cafe favourites. Think chilli scrambled egg croissants, house-made Empanadas, and Lomito pork sandwich. With super fresh ingredients, it's a winner for quick snacks, and work-day lunches. Our favourite? There's a unique array of sweet treats baked fresh everyday. It's well worth a visit just for a coffee, paired with an indulgent blueberry cheesecake dome, or mini chocolate cake. We can't wait to see what else they whip up!

Find La Mamita's at 280 Crown St (opposite Spotlight), open Wed-Sun for brunch and lunch.

Papa 'ete

We're going to let you in on a little secret. Shopping up a storm can lead to working up a thirst, and City Diggers have just opened a brand new bar and cafe fronting onto Church Street. It's the perfect locale for a mid-shop cheeky cocktail, arvo caffeine hit, or after work share platter and local beer.

Chef Simon Evans has curated a French Polynesian influenced menu with a heavy emphasis on local agreements. The eclectic menu ranges from crepes and toasties, to duck spring rolls and spam sliders. Yep you read that right! Local Hastie's Butchers worked with Pape 'ete to produce a delicious ham creation that far exceeds expectations.

The bar is fully stocked with Headlands Distillery gins, and Five Barrel Brewing on tap.

Find Pape 'ete inside City Diggers, at 82 Church St, Wollongong (just off Crown St Mall) - open 7 days for lunch and dinner.