After seven years, Geelong fine-dining restaurant IGNI announces ‘indefinite break’

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After seven years, Geelong fine-dining restaurant IGNI announces ‘indefinite break’

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The high-end, two-hatted restaurant has announced it will be taking a "back-seat to make way for an exciting new direction".

The venue itself might be hidden, the name IGNI has become well known amongst those immersed in the Victorian dining scene, regarded by many (if not all) as one of Australia’s very best restaurants.

Located down Ryan Place, a back alley within Geelong’s CBD, renowned chef Aaron Turner alongside partners Jo Smith and Drew Hamilton opened IGNI (meaning ‘fire’ in Latin) back in 2016, transforming the old electrical showroom into a petite 28-seat, two-hat restaurant.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

Championing independent farmers and artisan producers, IGNI’s dining experience is based around the charcoal grill, which, along with the imaginative flavour combinations and seasonal ingredients, provides much of the drama. With a minimalist interior, all blonde wood, muted greys and polished concrete, the focus remains on the food at all times, and is presented to diners in the form of a mysterious six-course dégustation menu, with the option of adding on beverage pairings.

Pure opulence and well worth the visit, IGNI is calling time on the restaurant as we know it, announcing the business would be taking an indefinite break to make way for a new direction. The news was announced on social media earlier this week with doors officially closing Sunday, September 24th, 2023.

“With tears in our eyes it is with huge excitement that, after 7 years, we announce that IGNI will be taking an indefinite break,” the post read, attributed to Aaron, Jo & Team IGNI.

“The end of September will mark the last services for our little 2 Hat restaurant, as IGNI takes a back-seat to make way for an exciting new direction.”


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A post shared by Restaurant IGNI (@restaurantigni)

Citing the ongoing effects of the global pandemic, the restaurant acknowledged a shift in the ‘the way we all live’, leading to a reimagining of IGNI.

“We think ourselves fortunate, as an independent small business, to be still operating after a global pandemic. Though, in reality, its effects are ongoing and it’s forced a shift in the way we all live.”

“The reimagining will continue to center around cooking over fire, using great local products, punchy flavours, fun and unique drinks, and sharing a meal with loved ones.

“We wish to thank all past and present staff who have contributed to making the IGNI experience what it is today.”

Marking an end of the era for the restaurant, the team have revealed the reimagining will still focus on all the best bits of IGNI (charcoal grilling, imaginative flavour combinations and seasonal ingredients). More information will be released soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more!

The news attracted more than 100 comments from locals and IGNI loyalists, congratulating the team on the bitter-sweet news and sharing the excitement for what’s to come. And given this is Aaron Turner we’re talking about, you can bet whatever this reimagining looks like, it will be utterly divine and entirely worth it.

If you’d like to experience the high-end brilliance of IGNI before it goes, bookings are open until Sunday, September 24th, 2023. Any unredeemed vouchers will still be honoured after IGNI has been put to bed, though guests are encouraged to make a reservation enjoy one last meal with the team before they “shake things up!”

IGNI is located at Ryan Pl S, Geelong. Final bookings can be made here