Provenance has become a buzzword in restaurants, but Baah Lah, Geelong's new Singaporean-influenced eatery, can boast extremely strong ties to its suppliers. Much of the produce at chef-owner Brian Anderson's first restaurant, which channels Singapore's combination of Malay and Chinese cuisines, is grown by his father.
This project has been a decade in the making for Anderson, who is of Singaporean heritage and cut his teeth working for his family's Asian fusion eatery Yiche, near Shepparton.
Local, seasonal dishes, are served in ceramic plates and bowls Anderson crafted himself. His father's farm supplies walnuts – "we already have enough until next season" – apricots, boysenberries and lemons.
Come January, diners will be able to fight the summer heat with "the most ridiculous sorbet" made from kilograms of seasonal mulberries plucked from his father's trees.
A Werribee greenhouse that works with local Indigenous community members supplies baby corn and Asian vegetables.
The menu will adapt with the seasons, but it now stars a number of pork and seafood dishes, and focuses on fastidiously crafted hawker dishes. Baah Lah's Cantonese roast duck is brined in salt water for at least a day, poached then dried and smoked with cherry wood for a crisp skin finish.
A dish of smoked king salmon with soy pearls, smoked tomatoes and sesame crackers was similarly honed over 10 years at Yiche.
Baah Lah serves only Australian craft beers, wines and spirits.
Open Tue-Sun 5.30pm-late.
Shop 1, 100 Pakington Street, Geelong West, 03 4222 7343, baahlahdining.com.