Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Melbourne Review -


All the el­e­ments of a solid lo­cal restau­rant – com­fort, good ser­vice, deftly cooked food, well-priced wine – have been crossed off the list at

Congress (above). A clean-lined, two-level restau­rant be­low a new Colling­wood apartment build­ing, it mixes cur­rent de­sign tropes with warm hos­pi­tal­ity and good booze. Dishes like a crumbed pig’s head sand­wich, kan­ga­roo pas­trami with crisp onions, and Dutch spice cake with malt cus­tard all en­cour­age re­turn vis­its. 49 Peel St, Colling­wood, (03) 9068 7464


This in­de­pen­dent 57-seat cinema,

Thorn­bury Picture House, not only fea­tures a five-me­tre screen and top-notch sound sys­tem but is also one of the area’s best bars. The drinks list spot­lights lo­cal brew­ers (Stomp­ing Ground, 3 Ravens, Hawk­ers) and well-made Ne­gro­nis and Aperol Spritzes. Um­berto Espresso Bar sup­plies the snacks – an­tipasto, polpette, cala­mari fritti – and there’s batch-brew cof­fee from East

Brunswick roast­ers, Padre. 802 High St, Thorn­bury. (03) 9995 0040


A for­mer carpark next door to fel­low new­comer Bar Sara­cen is now home to

Sunda, a South East Asian restau­rant where Khanh Nguyen (for­merly of Syd­ney’s Mr Wong, Bent­ley and Noma Aus­tralia) pushes the boat out with his take on In­done­sian, Malaysian and Viet­namese food. Roti is paired with a curry and Vegemite dip­ping sauce, raw scal­lops with an­dal­i­man pep­per, and egg noo­dles with XO sauce, chicken crack­ling and pep­per­berry. One of the smartest new can­teens in town. 18 Punch Ln, Mel­bourne, (03) 9654 8190

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