MELBOURNE | Anchovy Richmond is a little gem in the Bridge Road dinning scene. Owners Thi Le (Chef) and Jia-Yen Lee have drawn upon their South East Asian roots and their experience at venues such as Town Mouse, Cumulus Inc and Supernormal to create a flavour packed menu which utilises modern techniques. For years we have walked past this small venue with the intention of trying their Vietnamese inspired fine dining menu. Finally, we made a reservation and let’s just say we weren’t disappointed.
The space is small and minimal. White walls, a white bar, white tables and plates, and pine chairs. It’s almost Scandinavian in its sensibilities. The menu is also small – all killer and no filler. It contains a range of dishes with interesting flavours and textures, blending traditional Vietnamese and modern Australian to great effect. The menu changes depending on the season and uses fresh, locally sourced produce. We were dining with a group of group of six, the perfect number of people to order one of everything from the menu, which is designed for sharing. There was not one item that wasn’t aromatic and full of flavour.
One of the stand out dishes is the Vietnamese blood pudding – the intense custard like blood pudding is complimented with Vietnamese mint, star anise and pickled ginger all tucked into a radicchio leave. Currently it is served on baby cos as there is seasonal variation. Nonetheless it is a beautiful textually diverse dish which leaves you wanting more. Another stand out dish is the clams in a turmeric broth with dill and red chilli. The broth is intense and full bodied while the clams are meaty and tender. Oh and the buttery prawns grilled over charcoal? Do it, inside of the head and all.
The drinks menu is all about the wine, although a few beers and spirits are available. Most of the bottles are reasonably priced, and features a wide variety of styles from both local and international producers. We went for a bottle of the Chaffey Bros. Wine Co. Düfte Punkt Gewürztraminer Blend 2015 from South Australia’s Eden Valley, and found that it paired well with pretty much everything on the menu.
The food at Anchovy might be very modern, but, along with the friendly, passionate and attentive service, it’s traditional at heart. In a city where every other restaurant seems to be jumping on the newest trend (ahem American burger joints) it’s refreshing to find a place that’s doing something geninuely different. Do yourself a favour and book a meal here – you won’t be disappointed.
338 Bridge Road
Telephone: (03) 9428 3526
Tue – Thu: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Fri: 12:00pm to 2:30pm; 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm