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Restaurants & Reviews

Melbourne’s Identity

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Exuberant Roy Choi describes Melbourne, Australia, as a mash-up of his favorite cities: Seoul, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles. The well-known proprietor of the Korean taco truck, Kogi BBQ, visited Melbourne in 2011 and fell in love with the city. The author commends Melbourne for fostering an environment that values thoroughness, honesty, and purity, highlighting the negative impact of arrogant attitudes on the community.

Chef Andrew McConnell, who runs four well-known eateries in Melbourne, including Golden Fields, adds Asian elements to his hyper-regional dishes, such as Kewpie mayonnaise. Melbournians value more original and less diluted tastes. Therefore, McConnell’s emphasis on authenticity is a good fit for them. Golden Fields serves delicacies like sautéed Chinese greens in a fiery XO sauce, cucumber, and baby radish cooked in ginger and garlic. McConnell also dabbles with unconventional meals like lobster rolls with New York influences.

A suburb of Melbourne, Ben Shewry’s Attica is a regular on the San Pellegrino World’s 100 Best Restaurants list. An immigrant from New Zealand, Shewry finds inspiration in locally referred-to native Australian dishes, or “bush tucker.” Described as “emo,” his recipes bring back childhood memories, and the vast gardens surrounding Attica supply distinctive ingredients. Shewry is a challenging yet local experience, best represented by foods like red basil in a shiitake soup and freshly plucked nasturtium.

Smith Street in Collingwood is similar to its counterpart in Brooklyn in that it is home to many emerging eateries, including Easy Tiger. The restaurant’s family-style dishes reflect Chef Jarrod Hudson’s love of Thai food. The perfume of freshly ground spices permeates the air, drawing inspiration from delicacies such as red oxtail curry and mah, a sweet morsel of chicken, pork, and shrimp served on a pineapple square.

After a meal, Melbournians like to stroll around alley pubs, and the author’s search takes her to Bar Ampere. Nestled down a cobblestone lane, the bar’s appeal is enhanced by its laboratory-style design from the 1930s. Wearing lab coats, the bartenders tinker with concoctions like the Keen Keener, which consists of gin, China Martini liqueur, herbsaint, and bitters.

Even after thirty years in the restaurant business, Paul Mathis worries about how people will react to his new endeavors. One of his newest ventures, The Sharing House, offers family-style meals in a bright, airy space with views of Melbourne’s South Wharf region. In addition, Mathis owns and runs the Japanese eatery Akachochin, next to The Sharing House.

The author muses on the distinctive and dynamic culinary culture that Melbourne residents have fostered as the piece comes to a close. The city’s distinctive culinary scene is a result of the multiculturalism that it fosters. Several Melbourne eateries are highlighted in the article, including the renowned Attica, Golden Fields, Easy Tiger, Bar Ampere, and The Sharing House.

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