Descend to the lower ground floor of Melbourne Central and you’ll find a slick new pan-Asian grocer. But, despite being called Pantre, it stocks more than just staples.
By the team behind Box Hill’s Zero Mode – an Asian-inspired all-day eatery known for its modern, out-of-the-box approach – Pantre is also a strong new contender in the CBD’s grab-and-go lunch game.
The fridges are stacked with a rotating selection of ready-to-roll bento boxes (with luxe toppings such as thinly sliced 8+ Sher Wagyu, Ōra King salmon and twice-cooked eel) and rice bowls (including pretty, colorful chirashi – a variety of sashimi scattered over lightly sweetened sushi rice seasoned with salt and vinegar).
Want something warm instead? Made-to-order toasties also feature on the menu; go for the Wagyu brisket number with kimchi slaw, pickled cucumber, cheddar and mozzarella. And on the dessert front, find fluffy Japanese cheesecake and choux buns – both fixtures of Zero Mode’s menu – which are baked fresh daily for Pantre.
The shelves are filled to the brim with hundreds of different kinds of imported sauces and condiments, instant noodles and drinks. In the freezers, pick up gyoza you can cook at home and black-sesame ice-cream, plus there’s vibrant green matcha mochi.
Lower Ground, Shop 8, Melbourne Central, corner of Latrobe and Swanston streets, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 6.30am–6pm
Sat & Sun 10am–6pm