Chef and restaurateur Geoff Lindsay has called time on Dandelion, the modern Vietnamese restaurant he's run in Elwood for the past decade.
He's sold the business to Rosalin and Oliver Virnik of Curly Whiskers in Brighton, who will rename it Anchor and serve modern Australian food with Mediterranean influences. They hope Curly Whiskers will continue on the same site under new owners.
Dutch chef Silas Orre will move with the Virniks from their modest, homely Martin Street premises.
Lindsay, 56, is selling for personal reasons – he separated from his wife and business partner – and is leaving with a full heart.
"It was 10 beautiful years," he says. "I haven't had more fun cooking in a restaurant. The Vietnamese staff coming through the restaurant have been a constant source of buoyancy and enthusiasm. Most have gone on to open their own restaurants and I think that's been my proudest achievement."
He's excited about the future of the site. "We sold it to a couple who are moving up in the industry with great ambition," he says.
Lindsay retains an interest in Lamaro's Hotel in South Melbourne and is currently in Noosa, where he was holidaying before Melbourne went into lockdown.
"As I walk around, I'm seeing a lot of 'for lease' signs and no Vietnamese food," he says. "Maybe there'll be a Dandelion up here in the future."
The Elwood restaurant will trade until June 19, including a "long, long lunch" on Sunday, June 13. Book quickly if you want a last caramelised pork hock with tamarind caramel or Hanoi-style coq au vin.
133 Ormond Road, Elwood, 03 9531 4900, dandelion.ws