Sunda, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Sunda was one of Melbourne’s hottest restaurant openings of 2018, and long story short, it lives up to the hype. Located on the site of a former car park in Chinatown, the restaurant sees owner Adipoetra Halim (Hotel Windsor) give chef Khanh Nguyen the freedom to create food that’s like no other in this city, and perhaps the country.

The space is raw, and resembles a construction site of sorts, but it works. Exposed bricks and beams across two levels, aluminium scaffolding, and plywood make for a unique space. Despite appearances, sound is contained quite well at Sunda, and you don’t have to yell to have a conversation with those at the table with you.

Nguyen (ex Bécasse, Red Lantern, Mr Wong, Cirrus and Noma’s Sydney pop-up) has taken all that he’s learned in his career to date to create a menu that takes influence from the cuisines of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, infused with a uniquely Australian perspective. The result is outstanding.

If you want authentic food, this isn’t the place to find it. Instead, Sunda is exactly what fusion food should be – combining disparate flavours and techniques to create dishes that are new and delicious. Otak-otak, an Indonesian fish cake, is re-imagined here as a coconut spanner crab curry in parfait form. It’s served topped with crab meat, lime zest, chives, chilli threads, and coriander, and rice crisps on the side. You spread the parfait and a bit of the topping onto a rice cake and enjoy. It’s a fantastic explosion of flavour and texture.

Off menu, it’s the must order umami laden buttery roti with a Vegemite and curry dipping sauce. There’s usually another off-menu dish accompanying the roti that’s worth ordering too. If the smoked bone marrow congee with ghee confit pine mushroom, roasted chilli, puffed rice, and andaliman pepper is available, order it. Egg noodles with XO sauce, chicken cracking, and pepperberry, is another must order dish that excites.

For dessert, try the bika ambon – a honeycomb cake with banana, macadamia, and pepperberry. It’s somehow even better than the also fantastic Vietnamese coffee, chocolate, wattleseed, and coconut layered ‘Sunda pav’.

If you’re thirsty, there’s a few house cocktails, beer, cider and spirits, but the real highlight is the wine list. Lots of interesting bottles and glass pours from Australia and abroad on a list that leans towards the biodynamic, minimal intervention end of the scale .

Sunda

18 Punch Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9654 8190
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Thu: 6:00pm to 11:00pm
Fri: 12:00pm to 3:00pm; 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Sat: 5:30pm to 11:00pm

Sunda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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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