74 Glen Eira Rd Ripponlea, VIC 3185

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Opening hours Tuesday - Saturday 6pm-late
Features Licensed, Degustation, Green-eco focus, Accepts bookings, Gluten-free options, Groups, Private dining, Vegetarian friendly, Bar
Prices Expensive (mains over $40)
Chef Ben Shewry
Seats 60
Payments Diner's Club, eftpos, AMEX, Cash, Visa, Mastercard
Phone 03 9530 0111

Sometimes, the trouble with great food is all the baggage that goes with it: you’re made to feel like you should be kissing the chef’s napkin ring while sitting in some temple to gastronomy.

Not at Attica, an unassuming suburban restaurant with a comfortably stylish modern dining room, warm and well-mannered service and – oh yes – brilliant, original food. Young chef Ben Shewry knows the power of understatement; his fast-growing fan club know they can trust him, whether it’s with seemingly random combinations like cauliflower cheese with blood plum and clove oil; a brave, confident dish of poached pork – slow-cooked just to pink – with confit turnips, nibs of black pudding and apple; or something playful like ‘a selection of childhood memories’, a sweet fantasia of fairy floss, sherbets and jubes complete with accessories. And while an entree of ‘sea tastes’ – prawns, clams, sea flora, sea urchin, a crest of foam – doesn’t pack quite the dramatic ocean punch promised by the waiter, to knock it for lack of grunt seems like criticising Mozart for not being Beethoven.

This is refined, lovely, surprisingly accessible food that sparkles with creativity and finesse, at a restaurant that’s grown to be one of our finest.