If you live in Melbourne, chances are you've heard of boutique catering co Tommy Collins - they're the event stylist's caterers of choice, having done the food for the Portsea Polo, VAMFF and some of the state's most upscale weddings. But now, you no longer have to wait for a big event to sample their legendary eats - the Tommy Collins team has opened a restaurant, Sth Central, on Yarra Street.

"The menu is a cross between bistro and gastronomy, Bistronomy," co-owner Tommy McIntosh says. "An easy balance of modern and classic hospitality. It's food we love to eat, and gets even better with a few drinks." So no, this is not the kind of place where you need to worry that the waiter is judging your wine intake.

South Yarra fires up a hot new restaurant

The vibe is laidback, the cocktails are plenty and the food is simple and, more often than not, woodfired, from the flathead with vadouvan spice and lemon puree to the flame-grilled lamb shoulder with gremolata. Sides include mac and cheese and for those still sticking to their New Year's resolutions, fried cauliflower with green tahini.

Sth Central is open seven days for lunch and dinner and takes bookings for both; head to sthcentral.com.au.

South Yarra fires up a hot new restaurant