At The Bar with Chef Matthew Butcher

Melbourne-based Matthew Butcher heads up the culinary touches at ETO Collective – which includes all the dining hits from Ronnie’s in the CBD to Sydney’s Estate at Coogee Beach and the retro throwback at Dive Bar in Melbourne.

He spoke to The Write Drop for our At The Bar Series – and gives us great insight into his bar hits, where you’ll find him pulling up a barstool around the country, and the white wine he orders each and every time.


I’m a Melbourne boy and spent the last few years in Sydney – it’s so good to be back. I live in Port Melbourne, and have everything I need in my almost-literal backyard – the beach, shops on Bay Street, fantastic spots to eat and drink and I’m in the CBD in less than 20 minutes.


Alinea in Chicago is the number one, for me. Grant Achatz was in the kitchen that night, they kept sending out extra dishes, and the entire experience was a game changer. It was a remarkable meal, and was truly an entire experience. Nothing has even come close since.


While it depends on where I am, and what the circumstances call for, on every trip to New York I always seem to find myself at La Esquina with a Mezcal Margarita. There’s just something about the city, location and drinks that pulls it all home for me.


Probably sparkling water with green homemade cordial. Hear me out – it’s a bit more fun and celebratory than regular water, but it goes down easily and everyone will like it. That’s me, in a nutshell.


McChicken with a steamed bun and a Coke.


In NSW, nothing beats a frigid martini at Will’s in Coogee.

In QLD, my go-to is Maker in Brisbane – I’ve been going there for years and they are always doing something new. I let them decide what to serve me.

When I’m in SA, I always drink wine – so probably a heavy red Penfolds at Magill Estate.

Tasmania, I do the ever popular (for a reason) 1-2 punch in Hobart: wine and dinner at Sonny, then pop next door to Rude Boy and sip through their incredible rum back bar.


I’m a Chablis guy. Whenever I see Patrick Puize on a list, I immediately order it, and keep ordering it. It’s a smashable wine that’s best shared.


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