Shane Delia's Collingwood kebab house Biggie Smalls is on track for a December 10 opening.
Delia, whose CBD restaurant Maha has a hat in the Age Good Food Guide, says Biggie Smalls scratches a creative itch. "I love Maha but I've got other food in me that I want to cook. I don't want to be pigeonholed as just doing high-end Middle Eastern."
The 40-seat New York-style diner, on Collingwood's hipster-choked Smith Street strip, is named after late American rapper Biggie Smalls, and '90s hip-hop provides a springboard for dishes like puffy Turkish pita stuffed with maple syrup-glazed pork belly and peanut butter hummus, or fried chicken and pumpkin pie hummus, which can be customised old-school (garlic yoghurt) or new-school (Kewpie mayo).
Crinkle-cut chips come with preserved lemon and spiced butter, and the Middle Eastern bread salad has been renamed "phat touche".
After ordering at the counter, park on a comfortable stool or in a booth and sip a can of beer or a Brooklyn shake (bourbon, ice-cream and cherry) from the brief drinks list and soak up some tunes.
"It's fun, accessible, tasty food that people are going to want to eat. It's food that I want to eat."
Biggie Smalls, at 86 Smith Street, Collingwood, will be open daily for lunch and dinner.