Melburnians are desperate to get to regional Victoria and local chefs are upping the appeal. Following in the footsteps of chef Matt Wilkinson, in residence at Mornington Peninsula's Montalto, chef Thi Le of Anchovy is taking over the kitchen of Sutton Grange winery in Bendigo from October 31 to November 22.
Melbourne is poised to reopen, but Le says that the Richmond restaurant's size only allows for two outdoor tables and minimal indoor seats. To ride out the bridging period, she will be creating a menu for Melanie Chester's cellar door, attracting regional diners to the winery, and making the reopening phase in town more viable.
A set lunch of Le's contemporary Vietnamese dishes will be $85. Cellar door tastings are $10.
As for Richmond, Le says it's hard for restaurateurs to plan for anything right now, but she says the restaurant will continue selling its banh mi at weekends for the duration, along with a set menu for dinner on Friday, November 6. They'll gradually reopen in Richmond simultaneously, but are still playing it by ear.
"We've offered a la carte for five years, and we learnt when we reopened last time that wasn't viable until things get back to normal."
Le also hopes to offer some of the specials she cooked during lockdown, from suckling pig to Cajun crab, but it will be on a pre-order basis.
Anchovy will pop up at Sutton Grange Winery, Sat-Sun from noon-2.30pm, October 31-Nov 22. anchovy.net.au/sgw.