This good-time girl certainly serves up the right flavours, but needs a bit more work to truly stand out from the crowd
Mod-asian flavours at Ms Elwood.
WITH her neon “Stay Saucy” sign and licks of hot pink, Ms Elwood certainly commands attention.
Opened in January, this new modAsian casual diner occupies a hole-inthe-wall along Elwood’s main drag. There is seating for 40 in and six out, with two swings in the front window proving irresistible to children and big kids alike. It’s run by Daniel Dixon, who serves up flats whites and fritters at The Joinery cafe across the road, and pan-asian bites, bowls, desserts and drinks here.
The booze on offer is impressive, from sparkling sakes and local and Japanese beers to a killer cocktail list, some using frozen gin from Four Pillars.
The sharing menu also packs a punch, with stopovers in Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Name-checked ingredients like Robbins Island wagyu and Cape Grim flat iron make sense given chef Nick Steven’s previous tenure at the Tassie-loving Pure South Dining.
Kimchi greens flecked with chilli burst with flavour, colour and crunch, while the karaage chicken with wasabi mayo hits the spot for salty snacks. Ditto pork and spring onion gyoza – bronzed parcels with a sharp ponzu dressing.
Desserts are also worthy of your time, offering familiar-with-a-twist takes on sweet Asian flavours. A tumbler arrives laden with sticky rice, condensed milk and banana pieces, plus honeycomb bits for texture. Queue spoon wars for that. Or perhaps the matcha doughnuts, little nubbins of sugar-coated loveliness to dip in yuzu curd and chocolate chilli sauce.
The downsides? Cheap photocopied menus and portion sizes, which are sometimes too small to share. Our party of three ordered the sambal king prawns but only two arrive per serve. Waitstaff need to give more guidance on this front.
Ms Elwood certainly looks good and nails Asian flavours, but needs attention to detail to cement her stay at the bay.
Top and bottom: some of the fare on offer including bahn mi, sashimi and sushi; and (middle) the colourful streetfront. 3/5 $$$ 24 Ormond Rd, Elwood mselwood.com