Ryne, Fitzroy North

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MELBOURNE | Michelin trained Donovan Cooke needs no introduction to Melbourne diners of a certain vintage. Running Est Est Est, Luxe and Ondine between 1997 and 2004, he was the driving force between some of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants of the day. These days he’s the head chef and co-owner (along with business partner Alex Law) of Ryne in Fitzroy North. We were recently invited to the restaurant and were keen to see what Cooke’s newest venture was all about.

The space is open and airy, with high ceilings, polished concrete floors, and dark wood furniture. Enclosing the space is a combination of exposed brick and rendered walls, and floor to ceiling windows looking out to St Georges Road.

The restaurant hearkens back to an earlier kind of dining. Degustations, plates that aren’t designed to be shared, and an emphasis on refined French technique. And sauces. Lots of sauces.

Olive oil confit king salmon with storm clams, parsnip, garlic, parsley, white wine, and kale sets the scene at the start of the degustation. The salmon has a wonderful soft texture and the flavours work well in unison. Crispy skin Berkshire pork belly with home-made black pudding, apple, sage, and grain mustard is outstanding, with two kinds of pudding showing off the dedication to technique that’s expressed in the kitchen.

Spiced roast Millas Farm dry aged duck with quince and hazelnuts is outstanding, with tender meat and unctuous melting fat. Finishing with dessert, a delicious twist on the usual ice-cream sandwich really hits the spot. Cooke’s version is a caramelised fig ice-cream sandwich with dark chocolate cookies, and spiced fig marmalade. It’s not overly sweet, a little bitter, and delicious.

For drinks, the wine list leans heavily towards the old world, and use of a Coravin means that most of what’s on offer is available by the glass. There’s also a short cocktail and mocktail list, and a small beer selection.

Share plates are great, fusion is great, but sometimes the old school done with finesse is just what you’re after, and it’s here where Ryne delivers. Who would have though that the old school could be so refreshing.

Ryne

203 St Georges Road
Fitzroy North
Victoria 3065
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9482 3002
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Wed – Sat: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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