|Left: Vermouth Spritz - Dolin Dry Vermouth, orange & holy basil, soda|
Right: NV Airlie Bank 'Brut'
294 Glenhuntly Road
Elsternwick, VIC 3183
Ph: (03) 8692-2680
I don't often visit new suburbs in Melbourne (definitely an east-side girl through and through), so it's nice when I get an opportunity to venture out of my comfort zone and visit somewhere new. Most recently it was to Elsternwick, for the preview dinner of Bang Bang. Walking the short distance from the station to the restaurant, I was surprised by how beachy it felt. The fact that it was a beautiful summer's day didn't hurt!
So, Bang Bang. Bang Bang is a new French-Indochine-inspired restaurant and bar built in the old Caulfield Rifle Club. With a view over the park next to the station, and both indoor and outdoor seating, it's a nice spot to spend a balmy evening. (Or a balmy morning - they do breakfast too! #coffeetococktails - the hashtag of the night).
For the preview dinner, we were treated to a range of dishes from their dinner menu.
|Left: Betel leaf confit duck with cashew nut chilli|
Right: Betel leaf pomelo with cashew nut chilli
We started with betel leaf appetizers. I particularly liked the confit duck one, finding it fresh and light, with a sharp dressing and a generous amount of fresh herbs.
|Chargrilled King Prawn, roasted shallot, lime|
The chargrilled king prawns were great, all plump and juicy and with a good charred taste and a spicy chilli sauce.
|Sashimi of kingfish, caramelised cashew, trout roe|
I've always loved sashimi. Salmon has always been my favourite, but lately I've been getting more and more into kingfish. The kingfish here was super fresh, and the dressing complimented the fish without overpowering it. Big yes to the crisp caramelised cashew and briny pops of trout roe too!
|Crispy Chicken Ribs, house spice, bang bang Sriracha|
I can never resist fried chicken, and Bang Bang's version was very good, with a crisp and spicy batter, juicy meat, and a super punchy Sriracha-based hot sauce.
|Tofu, avocado and sesame seed, mint, black vinegar, ginger|
This salad was a highlight of the meal. Tofu, avocado, coriander and black vinegar? Yes please! These are a few of my favourite things, mixed together into a dish that was creamy, yet totally light and vibrant.
|Chargrilled Pork Neck, iceberg lettuce, red pepper jaew|
The chargrilled pork neck was fine, but not spectacular - I found it a little dry, and the flavours weren't as memorable as the rest of the dishes we tried that night.
|Top: Roasted pumpkin, kipfler potato, cinnamon, anise curry|
Bottom: Chargrilled Cape Grim short rib, wild ginger, holy basil broth
Much better were the next two main dishes that came out - a gorgeously aromatic and creamy pumpkin and potato curry, and a meltingly tender chargrilled Cape Grim short rib, in a clean and spicy broth of wild ginger and holy basil broth. Both of these, with some steamed rice? Delicious.
|Black Sticky Rice, pandan sweet cream, mango, sorbet|
The first of two desserts we tried was black sticky rice. This reminded me of my mum's bee ko moi (or pulut hitam), a sweet Malaysian soup made of black glutinous rice, served with rich coconut cream. Very sedap! Bang Bang's take on black sticky rice was altogether more pretty, and also lightened up with mango sorbet and fresh mango. I'm a fan.
|Fresh Watermelon, chilli salt|
This was a really fun evening, and I was impressed by the food. I'm definitely keen to go back, especially to try their South East Asian take on Melbourne brunch dishes!
Sarah and Alaina attended the preview dinner of Bang Bang at the Rifle Club as guests