If you are anything like me, and will happily travel a good half an hour for good food rather than ‘make do’ at a local that doesn’t shape up, you will know what it is like to discover great food right on your doorstep. Since recently moving Northside, I have loved discovering the mecca of food available in Northcote, Thornbury and Preston.
Asian Fusion is one of my favourite cuisines, and I love it when a restaurant doesn’t limit themselves to one section of Asia, but combines the flavours, cooking techniques and dishes from a range of different regions (something many places in Melbourne do SO well; think Chin Chin, Rice Queen, Hawker Hall, Supernormal). It is easy to drive right by Out of Sundaland on bustling High St, Thornbury, but on visiting on a Thursday evening, it was clear by how busy this restaurant was that the locals already know whats what.
Out of Sundaland hosts an innovative menu that pushes the boundaries a little, but still has something that everyone can enjoy, in a grungy and hip bar-like space that is oh so trendy and oh so Thornbury.
Crispy whole soft shelled crab with house made pickles, pea shoots and siracha ranch sauce in bao buns made for an incredibly moreish starter, but even more surprising was the delectable sweet braised baby corn with spring onion, garlic butter and shredded coconut- I could have eaten a whole bowl of this to myself.
My favourite dish of the evening was also surprising, and something I have only just started to eat and am really enjoying- bone marrow. Beef bones roasted in miso, dashi, shallots, spring onion and served with scorched bread were sweet and salty and incredibly satisfying when smothered on the charred pieces of bread.
A vegetarians dream dish was the Big Pile O’ Veggies. I am always on the lookout for creative Vegetarian dishes, and this was a long way from your standard Asian stirfry, basically a huge, delicious pile of health that tasted unreal.
And of course, one can never go past the Pork Belly- the most decadent of meals! Slow braised free range Otway Pork Belly in a coconut caramel (to die for!) with pickled cabbage, Asian herbs and a soft boiled eggs. The cabbage and herbs cut perfectly through the rich pork to make a deliciously balanced dish.
Moral of the story: if you live Northside, save yourself the drive next time you are craving some Asian fusion grub and check out Out Of Sundaland. It may be named after the region of Asia that disappeared into the ocean, but I can see this place doing anything but disappearing!
This week Out of Sundaland introduced an exciting new Summer menu… I can’t wait to try it!
Please note: Foodie Melbourne dined courtesy of Out Of Sundaland but all opinions are honest. Photos also courtesy of the restaurant due to the ambient lighting not cooperating with my camera at all 😉