Richmond restaurant Hanoi Hannah New Quarter has rebooted as New Quarter, serving food its owners describe as "Melbourne Vietnamese".
Lockdown provided owners the Commune Group with an opportunity to sharpen both the space and the menu.
Former Sunda sous chef Scott Lord has returned to head the kitchen, ousting Hanoi Hannah street food signatures such as pho and rice-paper rolls and honing the menu to a shorter list of contemporary Vietnamese-inspired dishes that might be more at home in a wine bar, including snack-sized banh mi with whipped paté, and beef tartare with the flavours of pho.
There's even a touch of molecular gastronomy in the crumbed chicken terrine, which is accompanied by Laughing Cow cheese topped with balls of what look like salmon roe but turn out to be "nuoc mam caviar". Lord jokes that he rues the day they came up with the dish – turning Vietnamese dipping sauce into tiny balls of gel, a process known as spherification, takes several hours a day.
Regular design collaborators Ewert Leaf and Space Between have helped redefine the interior of the 80-seat venue, which now has four distinct dining areas, including a separate room that was once the takeaway outlet.
79 Swan Street, Richmond, 03 8391 1388, newquarter.hanoihannah.com.au